July 25, 2012

Title tags: One way to boost search engine results

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

John HaydonAtitle tag is the main title of a webpage that search engines index. It’s visible in the title bar of a browser and in the headings of search engine results, as shown below.

An effective title tag is one that encourages people to click on it, and also contains keywords you’d like to get found for in a search engine results page (SERP).

WordPress makes editing title tags very easy – especially with plugins like All-in-One SEO plugin and themes like Headway.

Generally speaking, the title of the post or page will automatically generate a title tag that can be tweaked further in the post options, as shown below.

Here are five steps to writing better title tags. Regardless of the platform — WordPress, Joomla, etc. — writing title tags friendly to the search engines (SEO, or search engine optimization) essentially follows the following steps:

Decide what keywords you want to rank for

1Develop an understanding of how your core supporters talk about you. How do they search for information about your cause? What words do they consistently use in these searches? What specific burning questions are common among your supporters?

Creating content that answers these queries will help you get found more often by the same type of people who already love what you do.

Research your keywords

2Enter the keywords you’ve settled upon in Google, and notice what Google suggests as you type, as shown below. Write your title with these words – in the same order they appear.

When people use Google Instant and select what Google suggests, your website will show up in those results. You can also do more research with the Google External Keyword Tool. Continue reading

March 7, 2011

How to improve your nonprofit’s ranking on Google

social media forest
Image by Greenpeace Finland (CC BY on Flickr)

 

Help your supporters find their way to your organization’s key pages in the Web forest

Guest post by Matt Metten

The day or week after a website launch, someone will inevitably notice that they can’t find the site on Google, Yahoo! or Bing. This might seem funny or inevitable, given that there are thousands of websites launched each day, but it also shows a underestimation of what is required to be found online.

However, this isn’t as funny when your organization’s site has been online for a while and is still not being found. You know your website was indexed by the search engines, but it is listed on page 10 in Google – and no one will ever see it! What do you do?

There is a multibillion-dollar industry around the science of search engine optimization, so it’s not surprising that lots of Web managers are confused. What the search engines are looking for changes constantly, so unless you are committed to staying up with it all, getting ranked is going to take some help.

There is hope!

10 things to start improving your rankings right now

  1. Get an analytics tool. Ensure you have some sort of analytics tool installed on every page so you can see how people are getting to your site, what they’re looking at and spending the most and least time with, where they leave your site from the most, what keywords they are typing in to find you, what sites are referring them to you and a whole host of other data. I recommend Google Analytics — it’s free and quite comprehensive.
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  3. Ensure your pages load quickly. If there is something that takes forever to load on your page (a Flash movie or some JavaScript function, for instance), your rankings will drop. Try out your site on multiple browsers, on multiple operating systems, in as many different ways as possible and keep tweaking your pages until they are running quickly and efficiently. Another great free tool is Google’s Webmaster tool. Load that up and let it help diagnose any problem areas! Continue reading