The “secret” to achieving this success for your website is by harnessing the power of search engine optimization. By following this step-by-step guide, you will be well on your way to drastically improving your websites standing in only 30 days. Your objectives in the fourth and final week include emailing potential link partners, negotiating link agreements, and continuing your education of SEO and nonprofit resources online.
1. Link Recruitment
Email: Unless you have a personal friend within the site you are trying to contact, the first step you should take is to email requests for links. To do this you will want to make sure that your email contains the following:
Include the request for the link early in the email so the reader knows the purpose.
Explain what your website has to offer and why it will be beneficial for them to link to you. Be sure to demonstrate how this will benefit the users of the partner site.
Tailor your request for the site you are contacting. Do some research and learn what services they provide to better understand their needs.
Give your sites URL (address) that you would like them to use for the link. To make your link structure look more natural to search engines, do not always give the URL of your homepage. Where appropriate, link to pages within your site that are more beneficial to the link partner.
Tell where you would like your link to be placed within their site.
Give your contact information and request for them to contact you if they are interested.
Link Negotiations: After you have made contact with the organization; you will negotiate the terms of the link. Use the information you collected in week three with your primary and secondary link objectives to discuss the link placement. Again, your goal should be to get a link on their homepage, or within a part of their site that is topically relevant. Other points of negotiation will likely be how long the link will be posted and the appearance of the link. Use varied anchor text with your links. For example, do not ask for a “click here” link, but rather one that is topically relevant such as the organization’s name or main purpose.
2. The Future
Staying current with the latest technology advancements will make your nonprofit more successful. Below are three technology changes that will have a direct impact on your organization. By understanding what these key changes are and how you can use them, your organization will be better positioned for the future.
Vertical Search Engines: Have you ever wanted to search for information that is specific to nonprofits but been unable to find what you are looking for in general search engines such as Google or Yahoo? The growing number of vertical search engines may be the solution you are looking for because they are specifically focused on one topic or user group. Today, Guidestar and the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) are great tools which help network nonprofit organizations and related information. GoodSearch is also an excellent choice for more broad information searches because they donate 50% of their total revenue back to the nonprofits registered on their site.
Rich Media and Content: Rich media is becoming more and more popular due to its aesthetic appeal, but should be implemented with caution. It is often difficult for search engines to crawl frames and java content and therefore may be detrimental to your SEO efforts. Also, users with low bandwidth internet connection may become frustrated while waiting for pages to load. For more information on optimizing rich media content, visit www.seonews.com.
Social Networking: Sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Squidoo, and Friendster have caught the attention of many commercial companies and nonprofits alike for their unique ability to connect individuals. Many nonprofits are using social networking sites to raise awareness for their organization and accomplish very real fundraising objectives. For more information about how to leverage social networking, read TechSoup’s article, “What Can Social Networking Do for Your Organization?” or part one of my fundraising series titled, “6 Unique Online Fundraising Techniques for Your Nonprofit”
Review: Let’s now review your progress over the last four weeks.
1. You have identified several keywords and integrated these into our websites content. This has helped your website become more visible to searchers and improved its natural search position.
2. You have created a blog on your website which facilitates communication between affiliates and the organization while simultaneously encouraging other blogs/sites to link to you.
3. A well thought out link campaign strategy which targets topically relevant partner sites has been established.
4. You have begun to execute your link recruitment campaign by sending emails and negotiating link agreements.
Congratulations! You are on your way to vastly improved search engine optimization. Remember that great SEO is a continuous process and should be perused with diligence for as long as your organization is on the internet.
Week 4 Checklist:
đ ____ Email websites
đ ____ Negotiate link agreements
đ ____ Establish technology goals for future
đ ____ Continue SEO campaign and remain current with research
By Lance Trebesch and Taylor Robinson