Donor-Acquisition Strategies During Tough Times
Search: SEO vs. SEM
"Anyone searching for you is valuable to you by definition," O'Brien said. "They are clearly interested in your cause or something about your organization."
That's where search comes in, both organic and paid. Organic search, or search engine optimization (SEO), is all about getting your website found — and the goal is to get your site found by valuable people searching for information about you and your cause. The key is page rank, O'Brien said, and he offered the following advice:
- Include in your site's content (title tags and meta data as well) key search words, e.g. "help homeless," "protect whales," "stop fracking," etc. Be literal in word choice.
- Update your website pages often so search engines crawl your site more often.
- Encourage other sites to link to you to boost page rank.
The pluses of SEO are the costs are one-time and it's a good way to retain donors as well. However, creating content takes time and effort, something that not every nonprofit has the staff to accommodate as regularly as it'd like.