September 13, 2012

5 powerful ways to improve your website’s SEO

Why optimizing your website for search is key

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, Web publishers.

John HaydonThere are many ways to drive traffic to your website, including email marketing, social media and traditional PR. While these approaches are useful and effective, they all share one critical weakness:

You’re reaching people who weren’t looking for you.

Why SEO is an absolute must for your nonprofit

Optimizing your website for search allows you to reach people precisely when they are looking for you!  This means that they’re probably more likely to donate, volunteer, or join an email list. With this in mind, following are five ways to increase your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).

Understand how your supporters search for your cause

1Enter the keywords you’ve decided on 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.

Also study how your current supporters talk about your cause at events, on Facebook and on Twitter. Notice the lack of jargon used in your board meeting?

Understand how browsers see your website

2Once you understand how people are searching for your cause, you need to understand how search engines display your website in those search results. Check your website with and get all sorts of useful information about how your site is indexed (shown below). Continue reading

June 24, 2011

Find the influencers who matter most to you

Traackr helps you keep track of the big kahunas in your sector

Target audience: Nonprofits, social enterprises, foundations, NGOs, cause organizations, brands, small businesses, media professionals

Shonali Burke There’s a lot of discussion these days around influencers. With the proliferation of social media, it’s no longer just about generating the conversations online, but now it’s also about who’s talking about you and what they’re saying. It can be helpful to keep tabs on those influencers so that you can engage with them, as well as get feedback on your work.

This is where Traackr comes in. I received a three-month trial of the system and have been using it to gauge traction for the Blue Key campaign.

Much has already been written about the benefits of Traackr. If you haven’t read them, I’m pointing you to some great posts by Valeria Maltoni and Rick Liebling.

The main reason I’m a huge fan of the service is because with Traackr, it’s not about numbers, or how much you talk to someone on Twitter all day. It’s about context, relevance and therefore potential influence based on that contextual relevance. So you could, for example, have someone who is not very active on Twitter or Facebook but has a blog that is devoted to refugee and humanitarian issues. That’s someone I probably want to keep track of — and that’s the kind of thing Traackr lets me do.

You should know up front that Traackr is not cheap. It costs about $500 if you’re signing up for a list as a new account, and then the prices per list goes down. I was told that the founder may be considering alternative prices for small businesses, nonprofits or indie pros, but no word yet on when that will be.

How to use Traackr

Start out by identifying a particular area or topic that you’re trying to find online influencers in. For example, for the Blue Key campaign, one of my searches focused on refugees and humanitarian issues, i.e. people who are active online and who post frequently to any number of online channels about those issues.

Once you’ve identified these topic areas, make a list of keywords relevant to that topic area. You can set up to 50 keywords per search. As you’re doing so, Traackr will tell you how broad or niche that keyword is. You can also include Twitter hashtags and prioritize keywords. For example, here are the keywords I’d set up for this particular search (refugee and humanitarian issues):

Traackr A-list

Once you’re satisfied with your list of keywords (you can test them as you go; Traackr automatically generates a list based on who in its database is using those keywords most frequently), you can activate your search. Then, Traackr starts crawling the Web based on your keywords.

When it’s had a few days to do so, it will give you an updated list of influencers based not simply on how active they are on Twitter or Facebook, but on how much they use those terms in as many of their digital properties as they’ve been able to identify. If you find that the Traackr database is missing one or more of their digital properties can add a property and once Traackr verifies it, it will be added to that influencer’s profile. Continue reading

January 12, 2010

How to optimize your most visited blog pages

Group of business people on a chart

Welcome to the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media. Today guest contributor Michael Martine will offer tips on how to optimize your most visited blog pages.

Guest post by Michael Martine

Are you leaving money and opportunity on the table? You might be if you haven’t optimized your blog’s most visited pages. You should know what the most popular pages are on your blog and look for opportunities to optimize them for better reader engagement and conversion.

This is what web analytics is really for — not just visitor counts. What is working on your site? What isn’t? Analytics will tell you by revealing patterns of visitor behavior so you can make better content and conversion decisions. One thing nearly any analytics program, such as the free Google Analytics, will tell you is what your blog’s most visited pages are.

Take a look at your blog’s “top 10.” Are you surprised by which pages are the most popular? I hope not, because that means you’re having trouble matching your blog’s content to your goals (expect a couple of surprises in there, though). For example, my analytics told me that one of the most popular pages on my blog is the post How to Add a Blog to a Website.

Because of this post, that exact phrase and its derivatives are common searches that land people on that exact page. This was deliberate: it’s what search engine optimization (SEO) is for and why you should learn about it. Without the content there, no searches about this topic would ever reach me. Continue reading