- Wed, September 19 2007
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
Katya’s note: My colleague Jono is at Salesforce’s Dreamforce meeting out in San Fran. He’s sharing reports hot from the center of relationship management nirvana. Network for Good has been working with Salesforce.com to adapt its database tools to nonprofits. Here’s what he’s heard that can help us! I’m especially fond of this post - read carefully, it can help you.
There’s been some great discussion about Internet marketing taking place here at Dreamforce, and particularly about search engine marketing (SEM). In a nutshell, SEM is a way to promote your website by increasing its visibility in search engine results. Now, I will let you in on a little secret: before coming to this conference, I knew next to nothing about SEM. And to make matters worse, every time I heard the phrase it made me break out into a sweat—it sounded like the domain of a bunch of Internet whiz kids. Here’s the good news:
1) SEM is common sense
2) If you are a nonprofit, SEM is free, thanks to Google.
3) Getting started with SEM is as easy as 7 steps.
So why should you care about SEM? Let’s say you are a small AIDS prevention nonprofit in Boise, Idaho. It’s December 30, and several Boise residents have logged onto Google to search for a charity to donate to so they can get a last minute tax deduction. These potential donors might do a Google search for “boise aids charity.” If your nonprofit doesn’t pop-up near the top of the search results, these donors may never find you. So, how can you make sure your organization DOES get to the top? There are two ways: either organically by designing a website that is search engine friendly, or by paying a search engine to place your ads prominently in their search results. I am going to focus on paid search in this blog entry, since Google Grants provides free paid placement to 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
Here’s how to get started in 7 steps:
1) Signup for Google Grants: www.google.com/grants
2) Advertise your nonprofit on Google Adwords: Take five minutes to write your first ad. Not sure what to say? CRAM!
3) Develop your keywords: A keyword is the search word or phrase that you “buy” from Google (i.e., boise aids charity). Ask yourself which keywords–word combinations and phrases–you would type into the Google search box to find your organization’s programs and services. Select as many keywords as you like.
4) Still not sure which keywords to select? Go to www.google.com/keywords for suggestions. You can type in the address of your website and Google will even make recommendations on what keywords to use.
5) Target your audience: Through Google AdWords, you can create a variety of groups of ads for different audiences, as well as target your ads to different geographic locations (i.e. Boise) and even languages.
6) Test, test, test: Create two versions of the same ad: one that points to your website, and one that points directly to your donation page. See which does better.
7) Track your results: When people search on Google, your ad is displayed and traffic is driven to your website. But how do you know if anyone is clicking? Google’s dashboards provide an easy way for you to proactively monitor the status of your keywords and their associated ads.
Jane Lytel from a wonderful organization called Zero to Three wrote in to suggest two points of clarification about Google Grants. 1) The Google Grants website faq indicates they process all applications within 6 months, although many organizations have waited much longer than this. 2) In addition, Google will only pay for keywords in a grant for up to $1.00. If you want to supplement this, it comes out of your own budget.