Disconnect Between Importance of SEO and PPC Spending

I’m always asked for the reference that highlights the shear number of people clicking on natural search results vs. paid, so here’s a great article that also references how much people spend on PPC…often without doing any SEO work.

Clay Shirky at PopTech – Organizing without Organizations

I’ve followed Clay Shirky for awhile now (he’s the author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations), and it was great to hear him speak at PopTech.

He admitted that he hasn’t found the magic formula for explaining the growth & activity in social media sites to “old school” organizations. I find myself in that role again and again, and while I’m getting better at changing mindsets, I haven’t found the magic formula either.

His top level elements of a social community design that will encourage charity?
1. Designing for intrinsic motivation (letting members be recognized for things they are good at doing, make them feel like they are doing the right thing, ensure that their efforts are appreciated).
2. Make sure members have autonomy
3. Make sure to strike a balance between a community that is too open or too closed/regulated – neither extremes will be successful.

I think they are great qualities to keep in mind when trying to encourage use of a new social network. Now I just need to quantify the tactics required for educating an old school organization on why and how to get involved in social media. If I figure out how to educate them so that they “get” it on a gut level, I’ll let you know.

Digital Ads on Buses Based on Location

I had to share information about a company that is selling digital ads for buses and subways where the ads changed based on their GPS location and time of day. It’s cool stuff.

ROI of SEO

Enough acronyms for you?

I had to share this article. It’s a great reference for all of us who work to justify work in the SEO space to C-Level Executives:

Upcoming Social Media Training

I’m excited to announce that I will be providing a training about how local non-profits can register on Local Search and use social media to promote their missions and get volunteers.

The training is being organized by the Alexandria Volunteer Bureau and will be held at the Northern Virginia Community College on November 5th. You can register for the training by sending contacting Jennifer Styles at jstyles@alexandriavolunteerbureau.org or 703-836-2176.

And here’s some great feedback from one of my previous training sessions focused on how to use online marketing to enhance your nonprofit’s fundraising program.

Getting Ready for Pop!Tech

Oh…I can’t wait, and Pop!Tech has posted an intro video about Pop!Tech to get me excited about this year’s conference. I can’t wait to get re-inspired and get my passion for social change and the potential for for technology re-charged.

Video about Why you Need to Have an Online Presence

I enjoyed this and had to share.

How Online Marketing is going to Change

I had to share a great article on SEOBook. Here’s the summary at the end:

So the question remains, is search engine optimization facing evolution or extinction? Certainly not extinction, not by a long shot, but in a short period of time it is going to be drastically different than it is today. The focus will soon be on producing a valuable and enjoyable user experience rather than just achieving top ranking, which is what it should have been all along.

You should read the whole article about how Google is shifting.

Shifting of Google’s Algorithm

I had to share this article from Search Engine Watch about how they see Google’s Algorithm shifting. The important parts to note are:

  1. Google’s focus on the uptime of your website (keeping the server that runs your site up is more important than ever)
  2. The important of keeping your website bounce rate low (bounce rate are the number of visitors who come to your site and leave within 5 secs, or only look at one page). From the article: “If you’re bouncing over 80 percent of the time back to the search results, it’s highly likely that the rankings will either be demoted or drop off completely.”
  3. Google’s monitoring of the # of RSS subscribers you have and ranking blog articles higher if the blog has more subscribers….Considering that Google has acquired Feedburner, this changing focus on RSS subscribers as a measurement of the value of your site should not be all that surprising.

This has huge implications for nonprofits.

Website Uptime and SEO

If you don’t monitor your website’s uptime, you should. Create a free account on Pingdom today.

Bouncerate and Google Ranking

Look at your bounce rate within Google analytics. If you have a high number, there are two possible explanations:

  • One, you might be ranking for keywords that aren’t related to your core mission. This is where optimizing that page strategically with keywords related to your mission comes in. You can find older articles on this blog that talk about keyword research & and where to put those keywords on your page.
  • Two, your homepage might be just plain confusing. This is where running a usabilty test comes in. The simple 8 second test is to take print out of your homepage, give it to a person who hasn’t seen the site before and let them look at it for 8 seconds. Then take it away and ask them three questions: 1. who owns the site? 2. What is the site about? 3. What can I do on this site? If you get answers not aligned with the goals of your site, you’re in trouble.  It’s best to get a professional firm to run an un-biased usability test of your site, but if you’re financial strapped, you can get volunteers and run a test yourself. Jakob Neilson’s usit.com site has usuabilty testing resources you can use.

RSS Subscribers

If you have a blog and haven’t created an RSS feed using Feedburner’s tools, you should do that today. It will allow you to create a widget on your blog where readers can receive blog updates via email – and those emails are then captured by you and exportable through the Feedburner interface. While I’m talking about RSS, here are a few other free tools I like to use to evaluate the popularity of blog posts. The first is Aids RSS is shows you how popular each of your blog posts are and where they are being bookmarked and shared.

The second is FeedCompare which lets you compare your subscriber #s to your competitors. This is really valuable. And finally here’s a listing of places where you can submit your RSS feeds to promote your site. You might also submit your blog to Wikio which ranks popular blogs by subject matter. It’s also a good idea to follow those popular blogs & provide appropriate comments on posts you like with a link back to the blog you own.

So while nonprofits would rather not think about things like website uptime, the usability of their site, or engaging in social media, all of those items are becoming even more important, and an avoidance of dealing with some of those issues might result in you being booted off the Google index…something you shold avoid.

Tool to help you audit and fix your Google Analytics code

OK. This is coolest free tool I’ve found in at least the last six months, and I had to share. It helps audit the Google Analytics code on all of your pages to make sure you’ve installed it correctly.

Site Scan – check your Google Analtics Code

Totally cool. Enjoy!

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