We talk a lot about helping you get your residents signed up for emergency alerts. And we do a lot to help you. For example, Hyper-Reach has the most ways for citizens to register for alerts. And we make it easier for them to sign up than our competitors. We’ve also developed a plan template that you can use to promote your system. (It’s free; just ask us for a copy. We’ll even help you implement the plan.) And there are more ways you can take advantage of these resources.
To make the most of your mass notification system you need to make it easy for citizens to find you. And that means making yourself visible on the Internet, which is the way most people get their news and other information. And a few simple steps can get more visibility, both for the alert service and for your agency.
What we’re talking about here is what’s called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. That’s the process that companies and other organizations use to make it easy for someone to find them using Google, Bing or other search engines. It’s something that your agency can do, too. And we’ll help, with tips, tricks and content you can use to promote your system.
Here’s a start. On the web page that links to your signup form, do you use the phrase “emergency alerts” or “emergency notification” when describing your system? If you’re just using one, we suggest you use both. The reason is that some people may be searching for the first phrase while others may use the second one. You can also use phrases like “emergency messages”, “weather alerts”, “evacuation notices”, etc. on that same web page. And be sure to use the name of your county or city, because most people will need to include their area if they are going to find your sign up page.
You can even use the names of either the cities in your county or the county you belong to, depending on whether you’re a county-level agency or a municipal one.
In SEO-speak, these phrases are called “keywords”. SEO professionals try to make sure their “content” (a fancy word for web pages, blog posts, social media posts, etc.) are full of relevant keywords they think people are searching for.
The trick here is to think like someone who might be looking for emergency alerts in your area. What would you search for if you were an average citizen trying to find out how to sign up for emergency alerts?
We’ll offer more tips in coming months, and other resources too. So stay tuned.