Driving Volunteers to your Website: Online Marketing 101
Katherine Watier, 1-800-Volunteer.org
After this training you will:
Understand why you need to be listed on
Know how search engines work, and how user
friendly content can help your rankings
Be able to start brainstorming and selecting
Understand why inbound links are important
and have the tools to start a link campaign
(including links from social media)
Make sure volunteers and search engines can find your
Keyword Research & Selection
Modifying content for SE and visitors
Let SE spiders and visitors know your on the web
Registering on directories
Establishing a link campaign strategy
Using social media to build links
Measure results & refine
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
Without SEO/SEM you will not be found in search
Space on search engines is getting competitive.
Your competitors are engaged in SEO/SEM, and
you should to.
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.
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
Tips for User Friendly Websites
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 &
Use Alt Text to make your site friendly to all
Tips for Search Engine Friendly
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 sites
Step 1: Keyword Research
may use to
1. Brainstorm with staff, use thesaurus
2. Look at VC literature, competitor literature
3. Ask your volunteers
5. Add variations: volunteer, volunteers, volunteering, Texas, TX
It’s not about the keywords
You want to be found on.
It’s about the keywords the
Volunteer uses to find you.
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.
Step 1: Brainstorm keywords and phrases
Home page should feature the most universal keywords,
such as “volunteer” or “volunteering” plus location based
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 better
Other Keyword Research Tools
Yahoo Keyword Selector Tool
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
What sections should have
Meta tags: Title, description
Alt text for all images
Contact us section
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-
The Open Directory (http://dmoz.org/add.html): free
Other directories, both paid and free, can be found at or Directory
Creating a link campaign
Who would place a link to your site?
Newspapers you currently work with
Schools, community sites, professional associations, chamber of
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!!!
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 releases
Why Read Web Traffic Reports?
It will highlight if visitors are actually USING
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
Without reading web traffic reports, you
don’t know if your online marketing is
Keep in Mind when Reading Web
You are seeing a computer program translating a
report from a computer (server) and presenting it
to you a HUMAN. There will be translation
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 Analytics
Problem: Site Not Listed At All
Your branded website is not listed at all in Search
Things to check:
Did you register the site in the different search
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 mostly
5/1/2007 images/Flash (SE can not spider graphics or text) 19
What things should you track?
How many visitors are coming to your
Where are they coming from?
What do you want them to do on the
What are they actually doing?
Glossary of Terms
Hits – measures spider PLUS human visitor traffic
(don’t use this)
Visits (number of anonymous visitors who viewed
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)
Tracking Business Goals on the
Business 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
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
1-800-Volunteer.org SEO blog:
How Search Engines work:
The expert on linking strategies:
Web Marketing Today
Google maps http://www.google.com/lochp?q=
Yahoo local: http://listings.local.yahoo.com/