Driving Volunteers to your Website: Online Marketing 101

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Presentation for the National Conference on Volunteering and Service

Presentation for the National Conference on Volunteering and Service

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  • 1. Driving Volunteers to your Website: Online Marketing 101Katherine Watier, 1-800-Volunteer.org
  • 2. Learning ObjectivesAfter this training you will:  Understand why you need to be listed on search engines  Know how search engines work, and how user friendly content can help your rankings  Be able to start brainstorming and selecting keywords  Understand why inbound links are important and have the tools to start a link campaign (including links from social media)5/1/2007 2
  • 3. Lesson Overview Step 1: Make sure volunteers and search engines can find your site.  Keyword Research & Selection  Modifying content for SE and visitors Step 2: Let SE spiders and visitors know your on the web  Registering on directories  Establishing a link campaign strategy  Using social media to build links Step 3: Measure results & refine5/1/2007 3
  • 4. Why SEO or SEM? More than 86% of all people arrive at websites through search engines. HUGE cost for volunteers to find you solely through brand recognition/remembering your URL/web address Without SEO/SEM you will not be found in search engines Space on search engines is getting competitive. Your competitors are engaged in SEO/SEM, and you should to.5/1/2007 4
  • 5. How Search Engines Work Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com create their listings automatically. They "crawl" or "spider" the web and add those websites to their index. Keyword Phrases When a human visitor to the engine puts in a keyword phrase, the engine serves up relevant, fresh content based on the pages in their index who have those keywords, or are link to from other sites based on those keywords.5/1/2007 5
  • 6. Tips for User Friendly Websites Tips:  People scan online. Make sure content is bulleted and short.  Make use of underline and bold for key points  Make sure “above the fold content is clear & gives instructions  Use Alt Text to make your site friendly to all users5/1/2007 6
  • 7. Tips for Search Engine FriendlySites Fresh, relevant content that uses keywords Use of “meta tags” Keywords sprinkled throughout text All images have alt text Registered in Search engines/directories Links from other sites5/1/2007 7
  • 8. Step 1: Keyword Research Brainstorm phrases volunteers may use to find you How? 1. Brainstorm with staff, use thesaurus 2. Look at VC literature, competitor literature 3. Ask your volunteers 4. http://tools.seobook.com/general/keyword/ 5. Add variations: volunteer, volunteers, volunteering, Texas, TX5/1/2007 8
  • 9. Remember:It’s not about the keywords You want to be found on.It’s about the keywords the Volunteer uses to find you.5/1/2007 9
  • 10. Diversity of Keyword Phrases The Long Tail of Search: 3% of Excite’s search traffic was 3 keywords – 97% of the rest was in the “long tail” Amazon.com makes 57% of sales from keywords outside of the “popular” terms.5/1/2007 10
  • 11. Selecting Keywords Step 1: Brainstorm keywords and phrases  Home page should feature the most universal keywords, such as “volunteer” or “volunteering” plus location based keywords. Step 2: Visit Wordtracker, to learn:  how times people used that keyword in their searches  how many other sites contain that keyword, and  the Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI), a ratio between how many other sites contain that keyword, and how many searches were performed with that keyword. (a free trial is available.) Higher KEI is better5/1/2007 11
  • 12. Other Keyword Research Tools Yahoo Keyword Selector Tool http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ Google AdWords Keyword Tool https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal5/1/2007 12
  • 13. What sections should havekeywords? Meta tags: Title, description Page text Alt text for all images Links Opportunity titles Footer Contact us section5/1/2007 13
  • 14. Step 2:Registering in Search Engines & Directories It is important to get your site linked on the major and minor directories. Submission for non-profits/non-commercial are free. Your site should be submitted to the following major directories:  Yahoo! (http://docs.yahoo.com/info/suggest/): free for non- commercial sites  The Open Directory (http://dmoz.org/add.html): free  Other directories, both paid and free, can be found at or Directory Archives5/1/2007 14
  • 15. Step 2:Creating a link campaign Who would place a link to your site?  Newspapers you currently work with  Schools, community sites, professional associations, chamber of commerce, businesses  Just ask the webmaster and follow up!  SE like links from .edu and .gov more What should think links look like?  Make sure the text around the link is relevant, and not all sites are using the same phrase How can you place your own links?  Search engine friendly press releases  Postings on online boards, listserves  Write articles for enewsletters DON’T BUY LINKS!!!5/1/2007 15
  • 16. Step 2:Using Social Media to build links Post on craigslist.org Create Wikipedia account, or add to article with link to site Create accounts in Local search engines (local.google.com, local.yahoo.com, askcity.com) Create Flickr account, post pictures with links Post news on Reddit Optimize press releases, and use pr.com, prleap.com to distribute releases5/1/2007 16
  • 17. Why Read Web Traffic Reports? It will highlight if visitors are actually USING your website Helps you monitor success of your website Allows you to troubleshoot technical or usability issues with your website Can provide you insight into what kind of service your community actually wants to be engaged in Without reading web traffic reports, you don’t know if your online marketing is working.5/1/2007 17
  • 18. Keep in Mind when Reading WebTraffic Reports You are seeing a computer program translating a report from a computer (server) and presenting it to you a HUMAN. There will be translation required Web tracking is a TREND tracking process. It’s like solving a crossword puzzle. Will give you insight into marketing successes, and technical or usability issues with your website. Free Tool!!: Google Analytics5/1/2007 18
  • 19. Problem: Site Not Listed At AllProblem: Your branded website is not listed at all in Search Engines  Things to check:  Did you register the site in the different search engines?  Are your web traffic reports showing that you spiders have visited your site?  If not, check 1. type of redirection, robot.txt file  Areyou using your meta tags? (title, description)  Does your page content match your meta tags?  Does your page have real text or is it mostly5/1/2007 images/Flash (SE can not spider graphics or text) 19
  • 20. What things should you track? How many visitors are coming to your website? Where are they coming from? What do you want them to do on the website? What are they actually doing?5/1/2007 20
  • 21. Glossary of Terms Hits – measures spider PLUS human visitor traffic (don’t use this) Visits (number of anonymous visitors who viewed your page) Conversions – the # of visitors that did what you wanted them to do when they were on your website (signed up for an opportunity, filled out a contact form, viewed particular content, downloaded a .pdf)5/1/2007 21
  • 22. Tracking Business Goals on theWebBusiness Goals are tracked by “conversions” 1. Visitor clicks “express interest” on opportunity (converts from visitor to volunteer, etc.) 2. Visitor clicks submit on “create a volunteer account” 3. Visitor clicks submit on “create an organization account” 4. Visitor clicks on particular page or .pdf with content or searches using related keywords 5. Visitor clicks on “holiday volunteering event”, or visitors search using words “holiday volunteering” **These are all called Key Performance Indicators for your website**5/1/2007 22
  • 23. Learn More 1-800-Volunteer.org SEO blog:  http://www.1800volunteer.org.blogspot.com How Search Engines work:  http://searchenginewatch.com/showPage.html?page=2168031The expert on linking strategies:  http://www.ericward.com/ SEO Chat  http://www.seochat.com/ Web Marketing Today  http://www.wilsonweb.com/ Local listings  AskCity http://about.ask.com/en/docs/about/askcity_help.shtml#15  Google maps http://www.google.com/lochp?q=  Yahoo local: http://listings.local.yahoo.com/5/1/2007 23
  • 24. Questions? Katherine Watier kwatier@pointsoflight.org5/1/2007 24