Come Up First in Search
People search for just about everything imaginable on the Web, including information on the causes they’re passionate about. More than 80 percent of people without a predetermined site in mind start at a search engine. And once a term is searched, people typically look at only the first 10 listings generated by the search engine before either making a selection or refining or broadening their search.
Are you missing out on opportunities to raise awareness about your organization or reach potential donors because you’re not included in the top organic rankings of the major search engines?
You don’t have to be a Web expert to make a difference in organic rankings, but you do have to know a little bit about what it takes to get there. These tips not only will help you ask the right questions of the people who manage your site, but also will guide you in updating content, planning a redesign or even reviewing proposals from vendors.
Understand your keywords
If you were to search for your organization online, what keywords would you use? Are there terms you use again and again in your marketing materials? Relevant keywords that are used in searches and then used in the appropriate context on Web sites are how search engines begin to organize the trillions of pieces of information available on the Internet, and then begin to rank sites in relation to each other.
Understanding which keywords best represent your organization helps provide a framework for thinking about how to optimize your Web site for search engines. This, in a nutshell, is search engine optimization.
Have a content-rich Web site
The buzz term “content-rich” means your Web site is full of information that attracts interest from your target audience, and the information is updated on a regular basis. For some organizations, these updates are nonstop. For others, it is less frequent. In either case, understanding what your audience expects from your Web site is critical.