New Tool Offers Nonprofits Free SEO Help
Search engine optimization is an important strategy to ensure your organization's Web site gets found by Web surfers. But many organizations don't have the in-house skills to do SEO and don't have the budgets to hire consultants to do it.
If this sounds like your organization, LotusJump, a new Web-based tool designed for SEO novices, could be for you. The tool, created by SEO firm Vizad, offers free basic accounts to qualified nonprofits.
To set up and use a basic account — priced at $24/month for for-profit businesses — an organization must provide LotusJump with its Web address and three keyword phrases people most likely would use when searching it or its cause on search engines.
LotusJump then will create a customized list of steps that the organization can take to increase its online exposure. The steps or “tasks,” focus on:
- Content building — tasks direct the organization to resources online where it can add quality content to the Web with embedded links that point back to its site.
- Directory submission — tasks show the organization where to submit its Web site to some free and paid online directories.
- Buzz — tasks alert the organization when someone mentions its keywords online and prompts it, when possible, to comment back (on a blog, for example) and leave a link to its site.
- Article submission — tasks direct the organization to Web sites that allow it to publish unique articles online. It's an opportunity for the organization to establish itself as an authority on a topic and include a link to its site.
- Q-and-A — tasks prompt the organization to respond to questions posted online that include its keywords. This allows the organization to establish itself as an authority on the topic and direct information seekers to other resources, e.g., its Web site.
- Social profile — tasks help the organization create social profiles to build its brand and promote its Web site.
- Social bookmarking — tasks help the organization push its published items out to more people.
LotusJump identifies opportunities where a nonprofit can join in the online conversation and 1) get its name, goals and objectives out to the public; and 2) build its Web site authority so it ranks better in the search engines for keywords that are related to its scope of services.
Tom McConnon, product manager at LotusJump, says the program is an effort to support nonprofits, many of which don't have a strong Internet presence. In return for the free tool, LotusJump asks that participating organizations add a link at the footer of their Web sites that says their site is optimized by LotusJump SEO Software.
McConnon says LotusJump is relatively easy to use, providing specific instructions with every task to make it as easy as possible for people with little Internet marketing experience to use.
He says the time investment needed to do SEO with LotusJump depends on the keywords organizations are targeting. Organizations whose missions have a lot of competition and a lot of other organizations vying to rank well for the same keywords might need to dedicate more time to it. He recommends that organizations set a specific amount of time that they'd like to dedicate to their account and just make it a regular process.
"We've found that people have success with that model," he adds.
Interested organizations nationwide can send an e-mail stating the organization's name and mission to email@example.com.