How to Use Online Marketing for Fundraising


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  • According to Hitwise on 8-11-08.
  • 1. Web pages, not web sites. The engines index each page separately
  • 1. Based on eye tracking research
  • 1. The worlds used in the anchor text (the clickable part of the link) and the words used around the anchor text are read by search engine spiders and help them understand your web page.
  • Geo location is determined by your IP address that you’re connecting to the Internet from. 2. Login to your Google account (for gmail, google docs, etc.) Universal search is the display of various Google vertical searches on one SERP. It includes: Google Local, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Images, Google News, Google Books, Froogle, and others. Behavior search. Google can read your bookmarks (if you have the Google toolbar installed) and your previous browsing history. Google tries to determine the searcher’s intent (researching vs. shopping) and displays results appropriately – longer word count sites for a searching intent, and sites with fewer words and bullet use for shopping sites.
  • The goal is to be the least imperfect . You evaluate how well your competitors’ pages are ranking for your targeted keyword phrase based on the 40+ factors that we know about, and adjust your site to use the average for each element. For example, if all of your competitors’ pages for your keyword phrase (which Google is currently rewarding by ranking them well) use the keyword phrase first in their page title, use an average for 15 words in their page title, and average 250 words on their page with the keyword phrase repeated 5 times, then you copy that behavior, or do each of those elements BETTER based on best practices. For instance, a meta description is seen as required. If your competition doesn’t use the meta description tag, you make sure you do.
  • There are other ways to enable natural acquisition – which includes requiring a sign up on your website for premier content or to interact with social media tools. For instance, our clients could require people to sign in & leave their email address to make a blog comment, and could enable email subscriptions to their RSS feed.
  • 1. From Google regarding Quality Score: As you may recall, we began incorporating advertiser landing page quality into the Quality Score back in December 2005. Following that change, advertisers who are not providing useful landing pages to our users will have lower Quality Scores that in turn result in higher minimum bid requirements for their keywords. We realize that some minimum bids may be too high to be cost-effective -- indeed, these high minimum bids are our way of motivating advertisers to either improve their landing pages or to simply stop using AdWords for those pages, while still giving some control over which keywords to advertise on. Although it is counter-intuitive to some who hear it, we'd rather show one less ad than to show an ad which leads to a poor user experience -- since long-term user trust in AdWords is of overarching importance.
  • What seem like very small changes on a page can sometimes make a huge difference. For example, when Amnesty International removed just the title (Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc.) and suffix (Jr., M.D.) fields from their donation page, conversion improved 30%!
  • 1. For more on usability, read Jakob Neilson’s Usability 101: Introduction to Usability 2. In the summer of 2005, American Heart Association management became concerned about the percentage of site visitors entering the online donation section and not completing the donation process. This concern, combined with the prospect of potential donors being financially drained by the unusually large number of events calling for charitable contributions for disaster relief throughout the year led American Heart Association to investigate how the site was being used and look for ways to improve the design and functionality based upon user research. n order to address the problem, American Heart Association and Usability Sciences collaborated to design a research project with the following objectives: Determine the type of individuals visiting the donation section of the website Understand the behavior of the donation section visitors and what contributes to the successful or unsuccessful completion of the donation process Document the problem areas for the donation section Validate design and functional changes before going into development and launch to gauge whether abandonment and failure rates are corrected Develop a list of recommendations for improving American Heart Association’s online donation process American Heart Association’s implementation of the recommendations from the usability tests resulted in the following improvements: 60% year over year increase in online donations the first month following the implementation of the improvements Continuous monthly year-to-year improvement in online donations each month since implementation Increased number of monthly donors Increase in average gift per donor Improved visitor satisfaction with online donation process Increased likelihood to donate again Increased likelihood to recommend donating to AHA online to others Higher appreciation for user research and user centered design in the American Heart Association among all interactive channels and platforms.
  • This could be online content that you’ve set up/distributed (facebook profile, online press release) or a link from another site. Funnel is a pre-defined path from a landing page through to a conversion A conversion is a site visitor doing what you want them to do whether it’s donate, download a pdf, read the web content text
  • Creating a social media or Web 2.0 strategy should be seen as a relationship building strategy or a branding effort, and therefore the success of such initiatives should be measured based on engagements metrics, or a part of the larger strategy that encourages a prospect to become a donor. Very few studies have show that social media only campaigns drive fundraising.
  • See National Wildlife Federation’s work on integrated fundraising campaigns.
  • The average web page changes 5 times a year. News sites change more than every minute. Text needs to load in 5 secs. Slow load times will cause Google to reduce your ranking in SERPs. Search engine spiders get hung up or won’t index pages that are too complex. This includes CSS and Javascript code on the page, and extensive use of embedded tables. Search engines don’t index Flash, and has trouble indexing frames Title tags need to be unique for each page. Start with most important keyword, no more than 65 characters Description tags need to be unique for each page. Needs to include keyword from title tag. No more than 120 characters Keyword tag should have three word phrases first, then 2 word phrases, then one word phrases. Should have same keyword from title and description tag for page. No more than 240 characters. Good place to put common misspellings. Initial cap and comma in between keywords. Heading tags – similar to a thesis with a TOC. Internet was developed by academic institutions as a way to search thesis. Should include keywords. Alt tags for images. Computers (search engines and screen readers) can’t read images. Alt tags explain what the image is about. You should have one word for each 16x40 pixel block. Both internal and external links count toward Page Rank (Google’s determination of how important your site is). Links pass along a percentage of page rank from the “giving” site to the “receiving” site. Strategic linking both internally and externally can boost page rank for landing pages and increase their ranking in the SERPs. At least 250 text words, prefer over 400 words. Need to use keywords throughout. Contain important keywords from title, description and keyword tags. Needs to make sense to a person. Keywords used need to match the ones used in query Search engines read the file name in the URL to determine meaning. Should use keywords and – instead of _ Google will not rank site that don’t link to others, though the total number of outbound links should not equal more than 100 Anchor text in inbound links matter. As does the text around the anchor text (or clickable part)
  • How to Use Online Marketing for Fundraising

    1. 1. Online Marketing 101How to:1. Connect Prospects to our Mission2. Turn Prospects into donors using online tools
    2. 2. Let’s talkabout onlineactivitiesthatinfluence aprospect 2
    3. 3. From Curious Prospect to Donor1. Make sure they can find you online (natural acquisition)2. Purchase names of like-minded people (paid acquisition)3. Make it easy for them to sign up (conversion to list)4. Convince them to Give (conversion to donor)  Strategically communicate with them  Engage them in your story (social media)  Make it easy for them to spread the word 3
    4. 4. Which Tools to Use at What StageNatural Acquisition Paid Acquisition- Optimized Website - Paid media buys- Social Media Profiles - Paid search ads- Universal Search - Email List relationshipsConversion to List Conversion to Donor- Email testing - Personalized welcome email- Landing Page testing series- Web usability studies - Calendar of email messages - Social Media1 & offline engagement 4
    5. 5. Natural Acquisition “Being Found” OnlineSearch Engine Ranking 101 5
    6. 6. Overview of Search Engines Why do we care about Search?  91% of internet users use a search engine1  87% of people click on the natural results (vs. paid) The Big Players  Google, Yahoo!, and  Google has 70% of the search marketing share, accounting for 70.77% of all US searches.2  Each has computer algorithm to rank your pages in the search results. 6
    7. 7. How Search Engines Work Google, Yahoo!, and Live create their listings automatically. They use “spiders” or “bots” to "crawl" links to web pages1 and add those web pages to their index. Keyword Phrases When a human visitor to the engine puts in a keyword phrase, the search engine is focused on serving relevant, fresh content that the engines think is matched to the searcher’s intent. 7
    8. 8. It’s not about the keywords You want to be found on.It’s about the keywords the searcher uses to find you. 8
    9. 9. How people search 87% of people click on natural search results Only 48% even see paid ads Most people search for information, smaller % for commerce People click on the word in results that matches their query word1 58% of all queries are three or more words 9
    10. 10. How People SearchThe Long Tail of Search: 3% of Excite’s search traffic was 3 keywords – 97% of the rest was in the “long tail” makes 57% of sales from keywords outside of the “popular” terms. 10
    11. 11. How Does a Search Engine “Read” A Page? Remember…it’s a computer algorithm 11
    12. 12. It’s a Translation Problem A search engine tries figure out what your web page is about through its pieces. The spider reads just text, not images or flash. It also evaluates inbound links to determine relevancy. 12
    13. 13. Search Engines are ComputersA Lost in Translation example: “My Apple is a lemon”  It could mean your page is about fruit  If the words “computer” also appears nearby, the spider determines that the phrase is about computers. 13
    14. 14. Writing Spider Friendly Online CopyWriting tips for online copy:  Use contextual words in proximity to the keyword phrase  Repeat the keyword phrase & variations  Use Headers like a table of contents  Strategically link to the copy, and use the keyword phrase in the link text.1  Use alt tags for images, so that spiders can “read” the image 14
    15. 15. Every page matters Search engines don’t see “home” pages Every page is an entry page for searcher Conversions from landing pages for targeted keywords can be improved through testing 15
    16. 16. More Details about Google’s Algorithm 16
    17. 17. How Google’s Search Results Work Algorithm has 200+ factors, some weighted more than others. We know about 40 parts of the 200. In 2007, the Google algorithm changed 9 times per week. Only 2 web pages are listed for one company, so one company could rank for the first 152 slots, but will only show up in the #1 and #2 spot Influenced by:  Personal search (geo location, login)1  Universal search2  Behavioral search (previous browsing history, bookmarks, intent= shopping vs. researching)3 17
    18. 18. What Impacts Your Search Rankings?1. The changing search engines2. Your changing competition3. Your website constraints  Architecture/Links  Content  Site load speed  Code use None of these are under your control 18
    19. 19. How do you Tackle the Challenge? Keyword research  for each page Competitive Analysis  of site and current online marketing efforts Analyze your site  how each page ranks for each keyword Repair/Enhance site Submit non-indexed pages Monitor rankings/Analyze reports Fix/develop links & Universal Content Repeat 19
    20. 20. Questions about Natural Acquisition? Search Engine Overview Elements of SEO 20
    21. 21. Paid AcquisitionPaid online advertising Email List buys 21
    22. 22. Paid Online Advertising Two Models 1. Pay per impression (like traditional media buying) for either a week or month (CPM)  Can place graphic banner, flash or video  Or could pay per name acquired (CPA) - though select networks 2. Pay Per Click (PPC)  Used on search engines, and through Google network (blogs and other sites - NYT)  Pay per keyword  Placement based on bid as well as “Quality Score” 1 which is tied to ad performance (conversions) 22
    23. 23. Email List BuysThree Types1. Purchase of email addresses (ie  Negotiated with website owner  Pay flat rate per email, without deduping from your list1. Sponsored Email  Negotiated with website owner  Pay flat rate per email, without deduping from your list  i.e. Amnesty sends a message to members about IRC issue1. petitions  Price negotiated with  Supply them with petition text and follow up email text  You pay per names delivered 23
    24. 24. Questions @ Paid Acquisition? Traditional media buying Pay Per Click advertising Email buying 24
    25. 25. Conversion to ListLanding Page Testing Usability Testing Web Analytics 25
    26. 26. Conversion to ListGoal: Make sure that no one who interacts with your landing pages, or website gets confused or distracted during the sign up process. 26
    27. 27. Conversion to List Landing Page Testing:  Consistent messaging from email or ad to landing page  A/B or multivariate testing  Personalize landing page based on passed through personal data  Create header phrases based on best practices & test  Usability testing and eye tracking to enhance page conversions, effective content, navigation & layout  Make conversion compelling & clear. 27
    28. 28. Conversion to ListWeb usability testing On the Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a website is difficult to use, people leave. You can test the usability of your website.1 American Heart Association increased their online donations by 60% in the first month after implementing improvements based on usability testing.2 28
    29. 29. Conversion to List - Web Analytics Monitor how prospects navigate your site to improve conversions  Traffic source (email, natural, paid, links from other content?)1  What do they do when they arrive?  Is there a drop off in traffic through funnel? 2 Keep in mind that web analytics is a trending % process, part science/part art 29
    30. 30. Web Analytics Terms 1011. Unique visitors, not “hits”  Hits – Measures every element that loads when a visitor request a page (images, javascript, the html itself).  A visitor requesting a page with 30 elements would register as 30 hits! This is an inflated # you shouldn’t measure.1. Bounce rate – Measured in two ways:  % of visitors who see just one page on your site, or  % visitors who stay on the site for a small amount of time (usually five seconds or less).  Your homepage bounce rate should be 30% or less1. Conversions – the # of visitors that did what you wanted them to do when they were on your website  For example: donate, download a .pdf, sign up for a newsletter  Industry standard conversion rate is 8-10% 30
    31. 31. Questions @ Conversion to List? Landing Page testing Usability Testing Improving web site conversions 31
    32. 32. Conversion to Donor Email welcome seriesCalendar of email communications Social Media & offline integration 32
    33. 33. Starting a Conversation thatMakes Prospects Want to Donate 33
    34. 34. Conversion to Donor - Email Converting new names to supporters requires welcome series email Best Practice for Welcome Series:  Action email first, not generic welcome message or ask  Match action email to the prospect’s sign on issue  Ask for donation within the first week  Segment these names for at least 2 weeks before adding to generic messaging  Test message elements to increase conversions (from line, subject, copy, headers, link text, signer, P.S.)  Test landing pages to increase conversions 34
    35. 35. Conversion to Donor - Email Personalize the Message  Segment list  Ask for preferences in issue, frequency of message  Send them messaging based on preference  Personalize based on donor’s info/web activity 35
    36. 36. Calendar of Email Communications Create messaging so that it’s a building conversation Test individual messages  From line, subject line, body content, links, headers, call to action, signer, P.S. Measure success based on:  Rates for: delivers, opens, CTR, and landing page conversions  Overall: Cost per acquisition/email. Donation average per acquisition/email. Overall number and type of touch point per donor/activist 36
    37. 37. Email – Mobile challengesUnique Challenges with Mobile users: Emails and web pages need to be designed for mobile use, otherwise renders weird. Mobile traffic is not caught through traditional web analytic programs because JavaScript is not executed Additional mobile analytic programs or add- ons are required 37
    38. 38. Conversion to Donor – SocialMedia Monologues are over, no more: I’ll publish and put it out there and you’ll consume and you better not complain!. It is now a dialog. - Avinash Kaushik, Occam’s Razor 38
    39. 39. Conversion to Donor – Social Media Engage Them in Your Story  Social media/web 2.0 = Web pages created by all users without central control Good for:  Listening to better understand supporters (focus group)  Spreading the message about missing  Building attachment to mission  Building closer grassroots relationship among supporters  Having donors help define national issue focus 39
    40. 40. Conversion to Donor – Social Media Enable them to Spread the Word  Ask them to forward email  Post online content that is easily shareable  To the prospect’s blog, Facebook profile, etc.  Ask them to invite others (to social profile, to petition, etc) 40
    41. 41. Social Media – Tracking & Testing Testing & Improving Social Media’s role in conversion  Calls to action (eye tracking), frequency of use of platform tools (posts, sent emails, etc) cross campaign  Track keyword activity cross social media platform (online reputation monitoring)  Track visitors/subscribers, stickiness, #of comments, and conversion based on platform, increased traffic to your website. 41
    42. 42. Conversion to Donor – Integrated Higher Donation Rates & Long Term Donor Value with Campaigns that integrate online, DM, TM and face-to-face engagement 42
    43. 43. Questions @ Conversion toDonor? Email welcome series Calendar of email communications Social Media & offline integration 43
    44. 44. Summary Natural or Paid Acquisition  Focus on words, analytics and testing Ease of Sign up  Use best practices, consistent messaging, and test for usability Getting them to Give  Personalize messaging based on prospect’s interests  Coordinated multichannel works best:  Email, social media, DM, TM and face-to-face for donor conversion and evangelism 44
    45. 45. Appendix More infoAdditional Learning Resources 45
    46. 46. More about Google Google’s aggressive Spam filter is committed to delivering quality results matched to the searcher’s intent.  Filters out pages with:  Redirects  More “garbage” vs. good content  Deceptive coding (this is always changing)  Non-unique pages  Sites that only contain inbound links  Same/similar colored text and background  If found to be Spam = not listed 46
    47. 47. Some of the factors we know aboutFreshness1 Page Load time2 Complexity of Page Code3Title Tag4 Meta Description tag5 Meta Keyword tags6Heading Tags7 Alt attributes8 Links9Body Text10 Keywords used11 Keywords in file name12Number of outbound links13 Number of inbound links Internal linking structure14Keyword proximity to keyword density on pagedetermine meaning 47
    48. 48. Additional Tools Analyzing your competition:  SEO for Firefox  SeoMoz’s Tools  Picking keywords:  SEO Book’s Keyword Tool Understanding how the Engines see yrou site:  Google Webmaster Tools  Yahoo Site Explorer  Live Search Webmaster Central 48
    49. 49. Learn More – Search Marketing My blog: Search Marketing for Nonprofits Blog:  How Search Engines work:  The expert on linking strategies:  SEOMoz  Bruce Clay’s blog  Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day (book)  49
    50. 50. Learn More – Web Analytics How web analytics is like using Evite for a holiday party Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik Web Analytics Demystified (book)  Google Analytics 2.0 (book) Web Analytics: An Hour A Day (book) 50
    51. 51. Learn More – Social Media Social Media Today  The Original Signal – Web 2.0 blog  Social Media 101  conversations-in-social-circles/ Groundswell (book)  51