October 21, 2011

Why Long Tail keywords matter to your nonprofit

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, brands, bloggers, social media managers, individuals.

JD LasicaOn Wednesday I gave a presentation with author and nonprofit rock star Beth Kanter at CompassPoint‘s “Effective Social Media Strategy and Powerful Tactics for Networked Nonprofits,” a gathering that brought representatives from 80 nonprofits to San Mateo, Calif., for workshops to help them become more social organizations.

The session that Beth and I gave centered on topic that’s too often neglected in the nonprofit sector: measurement. See the SlideShare presentation above for the gist of my talk.

While most of you have heard of Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and even a host of Twitter dashboards and Twitter influence tools, I’ll wager that few of you have heard of SEMRush, a service that spotlights the keywords your nonprofit site or blog ranks for on major search engines (OK, on Google).

Socialbrite ranks No. 1 on a range of nonprofit topics

See not only the 22-slide presentation, but also tutorials and articles that help organizations learn how to use metrics effectively.

I was surprised, in researching my presentation, that Socialbrite.org ranks as the No. 1 search result on the entire Web for anyone searching on these terms:

• Socialbrite is the #1 search result on the Web for “fundraising tools.”
• Socialbrite is the #1 search result on the Web for “sms campaign” and “sms campaigns
• Socialbrite is the #1 search result on the Web for “social media monitoring tools
• Socialbrite is the #1 search result on the Web for “social media dashboard” (though my results show us slightly lower)
• Socialbrite is the #1 search result on the Web for “corporate social responsibility examples
• Socialbrite is the #2 search result on the Web for “virtual meeting

How do we do it? By creating content that’s relevant and useful to the social change community — naturally and organically, without gimmicks. (Do your search results differ? Sometimes they do.)

As I mentioned in the talk, these kind of niche, Long Tail keywords may not get tens of thousands of people searching on them every month, but those who do search out these keyword phrases are the people you want to attract to your site. Start by using the Google keyword tool to identify key phrases that are relevant to your sector, cause or organization’s mission. Then start using them by naturally sprinkling them — only where relevant — in your titles, posts and tags — and soon you’ll see them appear at the top tier of Google search results.

That’s what you want. Nobody clicks to the second screen of a Google search result.

Then, come back and SEMRush will tell you which of those keywords and phrases your site now ranks for.

Go ahead, do a search on SEMRush by plunking in your site’s url. What does your nonprofit, social business or organization rank for right now?

March 24, 2009

Social mobile: A moral duty to do more?

kiwanjaIs the future of social mobile an empowered few, or an empowered many? Mobile tools in the hands of the masses presents great opportunity for NGO-led social change, but is that the future we’re creating?

In The White Man’s Burden – Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good,” William Easterly’s frustration at large-scale, top-down, bureaucracy-ridden development projects runs to an impressive 384 pages. While Easterly dedicates most of his book to markets, economics and the mechanics of international development itself, he talks little of information and communication technology (ICT). The index carries no reference to ‘computers,’ ‘ICT’ or even plain old ‘technology.’

But there is an entry for ‘cell phones.’

smallbeautifulE. F. Schumacher, a fellow economist and the man widely recognized as the father of the appropriate technology movement, spent a little more time in his books studying technology issues. His seminal 1973 book – Small is Beautiful – The Study of Economics as if People Mattered” – reacted to the imposition of alien development concepts on Third World countries, and he warned early of the dangers and difficulties of advocating the same technological practices in entirely different societies and environments. Although his earlier work focused more on agri-technology and large-scale infrastructure projects (dam building was a favorite ‘intervention’ at the time), his theories could easily have been applied to ICTs – as they were in later years.

Things have come a long way since 1973. For a start, many of us now have mobile phones, the most rapidly adopted technology in history. In what amounts to little more than the blink of an eye, mobiles have given us a glimpse of their potential to help us solve some of the most pressing problems of our time. As the evidence mounts, I have one question: If mobiles truly are as revolutionary and empowering as they appear to be – particularly in the lives of some of the poorest members of society – then do we have a moral duty, in the ICT for Development (ICT4D) community at least, to see that they fulfill that potential?

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