Why environmental policy keywords are internet gold

Some of my most popular articles have been about environmental policy. It might sound strange, but it's true. I wrote an explainer on the Paris Climate Agreement pros and cons and it received over 3000 views a day for 3 days in January.

Why environmental policy keywords are internet gold

Some of my most popular articles have been about environmental policy. It might sound strange, but it's true.

For example, I wrote an explainer on the Paris Climate Agreement pros and cons and published it a year in advance of President Biden's election. When President Biden reentered the Agreement, the blog post caught fire. My client was notified by Google Search Console that the post was receiving over 3000 views a day for 3 days in January.

The formula may seem like it happened by chance, but it was more of a chance-meets-preparation situation. You can sniff out important policy trends far in advance of the internet traffic floodgates opening. If that moment never comes, they're still important for informing readers.  

This is why I support the idea of publishing environmental policy-related posts, especially if you can sense that change is on the horizon. Publishing in advance of the search trend will earn you engaged traffic.

Why I wish I had written about the Green New Deal

There are also situations when you sense a trend as it's happening, but you don't act quick enough. You hear a phrase and it seems to be shared on every influential sustainability thought leader's twitter. This is how I felt about the Green New Deal.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put the issues like climate justice, climate jobs, and environmental crisis front and center with the Green New Deal, and suddenly there were multiple books written on the topic. When a trending internet topic becomes fodder for publishing on real paper, you need to join the chorus.

The Green New Deal served a purpose: it created a perfect media storm. Even though it might not have been a policy made to pass at the time it was introduced, it certainly raised awareness. Now this policy stands as a defining moment. The phrase "Green Deal" is even being used in European politics now.

Alas, I missed my chance and I felt like I could barely keep up with the amount of views and opinions that started to come out on the topic. That's why it's good to enter the fray of such subjects early, and navigate them from the start. This puts you in a good position to give multiple point by point explainers or contextualizing framers on your blog (if it's relevant to your audience).

The same chance exists for many environmental policy topics, especially ones that cut through multiple issues at once like the Green New Deal did. Look out for those gems that talk about jobs, finance, health, conservation, survival, and power structures all at once.

Readers will want to make sense of these topics, and it's important for people in the sustainability space to communicate their authoritative views on topics linked to environmental policy.

Top 10 great environmental policy keywords

A lot of these well known policies are way too competitive in terms of Keyword Difficulty, which can bar you from ranking on these topics completely. That's why you need to write about them and publish them online ahead of the curve. But I do offer some good alternatives, and I explain the reasoning behind this below in my SEO tips.

  • Green new deal (135K, 87KD - too difficult!!)

...actually this is still a great topic! I might write about it on Medium, but I'd go for the easier Green new deal pros and cons (1.2K, 17KD)

  • Paris climate agreement (70K, 89KD - too much competition!!)

so go for Paris climate agreement pros and cons (100, 4KD)

  • sustainable development goals (24K, 97KD - nope!!)

I'd use this one instead – sustainable development strategies (100, 6KD)

  • Solar tax credit (7.3K, 62KD)

or the easier Solar itc (600, 29KD)

  • Carbon tax (6.8K, 53KD)

or the easier Carbon tax vs cap and trade (200, 27KD)

  • Conservation easement (5.2K, 24KD)
  • Environmental policy (4.8K, 28KD)
  • Climate justice (4.1K, 61KD)
  • Green climate fund (2.4K, 29KD)
  • Environmental regulations (1.5K, 12KD)
  • carbon pricing (1.5K, 64KD)
  • SFDR (1.4K, 3KD) - This is is a great keyword because this is a NEW regulation in Europe that will influence other regions.
  • civilian climate corps (450, 43KD) - This is a topic that could get more media attention, because the Sunrise Movement is protesting for it to pass.

3 SEO blogging quick tips for this trend

  1. As you may have noticed, I interpreted "environmental policy" pretty broadly. You can highlight a campaign slogan, legal entity, or even go into a larger guide or overview to do a roundup of policies using the keyword "environmental policy."
  2. Writing about political topics can be complicated, because people tend to get polarized on certain issues. To avoid the complication of alienating audiences, go deep. Giving more context and doing a deep dive on the different sides related to the issue, or on some unknown historical background worth investigating will give your readers the tools to decide for themselves.  
  3. Here's why I avoid super "difficult" keywords: most of my clients do not have massive sites with loads of authority (like Wikipedia), which warrants ranking for high difficulty keywords.

In that case, it's nearly impossible for them to rank for difficult keywords with a KD of anything higher than about 40-50. Even though they seem attractive with their high volume, I usually try to avoid these, because all that glitters is not gold.

I tend to go for the low hanging fruit, because it's much easier to get in the top 10 of the search engine results pages. That's where you'll actually see decent organic traffic growth from your content marketing efforts. That said, you'll also need to create very informative keyword-centered content to achieve that.

That's why it's important to hire a professional who can balance the needs of the search engine, the actual readers who find your content via search, and your existing audience, since you'll probably repurpose the content. Unfortunately, these three audiences don't always align, so it's best to rotate as part of your content strategy.  

High performing article examples

Samples of my own work linked to this trend

Coming up next time, I'm going to delve into sustainable fashion keywords.

Thanks for reading :)

Sustainability Traffic is a weekly newsletter written by Erica Eller. Each week I present a specific sector or trend within sustainable business and share details on SEO blogging for that field.

If you like what you've read so far, please share my newsletter with your friends.

My aim is to help sustainable companies improve their blogging content strategy with trend overviews, SEO tips, recommended keywords, etc.