This is the first of a series of blog posts capturing an “under the hood” look at our SEO Makeover for the Melete Foundation.  The first step in our process was a kickoff meeting. I visited Melete’s office in DC’s Dupont Circle and spent about 90 minutes talking with the team: Mija, Guy, Ben, and Heidi.  We followed this agenda:

  1. About Marketade (15 min)
  2. Marketade’s SEO Process (15 min)
  3. About Melete / Positioning (30 min)
  4. Keyword Brainstorm (30 min)

For the About Melete (#3) part of the meeting, I asked questions like:

  • What’s your elevator pitch?
  • Who are your competitors, broadly speaking?  Or what organizations do something similar to Melete?
  • What are the things that make Melete different from these other organizations?
  • If a donor was deciding between giving to you and one of these other orgs, what would you tell him to convince him to choose Melete?

They had great answers to these questions, and their passion for their mission and work came through.  This exercise is critical because SEO is so intertwined with content writing. If you’re going to be rewriting and reorganizing a lot of a site’s content for SEO, our view is that you should improve the overall writing while you’re at it. Part of doing that is getting a good handle on an organization’s positioning.  What makes them unique? What are the key benefits of their offering?

For the keyword brainstorm (#4) part of the meeting, I asked the team to throw out words or phrases that people might type into a Google and that are a good fit for Melete.  Here were some of the ones they said:

– meaningful international experience
– community based international experience
– teacher development
– teach abroad
– working with teachers abroad
– fostering cross-cultural knowledge
– making world smaller
– citizen diplomacy in action
– educational citizen diplomacy
– local citizens
– summer teacher exchange
– summer cross-cultural exchange
– empowering young women
– middle east peace

The goal here wasn’t to come away with a definite list of keyword targets, but rather to give us a starting point for the later step of keyword research, which often doesn’t have the benefit of a meeting setting.

Up next: web tracking optimization.

See the full series of blog posts capturing our SEO makeover for the Melete Foundation.