Did you know that search is one of the only marketing channels where you can 100% determine ROI? Hopefully you received a copy of our Donor Strategist newsletter this week that talked about search marketing. If not, we forgive you; our SEM experts at IMPAQT have a white paper to explain it all: A Brave New Advertising World: The Future of Search Marketing . One of the featured articles, “The Future of Search Marketing” laid the visionary groundwork for where we’re going in the field of SEM. And while the commercial world is definitely investing the dollars and leading the way in this digital realm, nonprofits still need to get on board if they want to be successful in the future. We’ve got 5 reasons why. Read the first 3 now:
1. Your email list will thank you
We all want more traffic to our sites, right? Well, why? So they can see our pretty pictures and read our donor stories? Of course, that’s part of it – the engagement piece. But we also need donors. And online, a large part of that end revenue goal is fueled by getting their email address. Improving your search marketing efforts means just that – a bigger email list, a bigger pool to target, more gifts, and a bigger number on the online bottom line.
2. It’s the Holidays
It’s end of year - one of the most critical fundraising seasons. Many nonprofit organizations are building microsites around their holiday campaigns and inserting themed content throughout their various communication channels. What better time to optimize your search to drive users to your site? Our friends at IMPAQT did some research and found that some of the top trending keywords during November and December are “gift”, “top 10” and “gift ideas”. Being sure to include content with these popular search words will be crucial for driving traffic to your site this time of year. After all, as a nonprofit you’ve got plenty of gifts for people to buy, right? Once visitors get there, don’t forget to include a prominent call to action – must fundraise!
3. We’re digital girls (and guys) in a digital world
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the world is moving in an overwhelmingly digital direction. Search and other areas of digital are evolving and beginning to play in the sandbox together. As a fundraising organization, figuring out how your constituents connect with your cause in the digital world will help you to more effectively plan your communication efforts. Search can lay the groundwork for this type of understanding with your constituent base. Through search analytics, you’ll recognize what part of your mission people really care about and what sorts of topics people seek out information for. This way, you can target them with the right content at the right time, so your donations can roll in on time! Focusing on this part of your digital plan will improve your other digital efforts including social media and mobile – 2 of the most predicted nonprofit digital trends for 2012. If you’re not getting your feet wet and starting to integrate search now, you’re going to leave yourself behind.
Is your nonprofit effectively using SEM or SEO? Share with us your success stories and stay tuned for reasons #4 and #5 in part II.
Amber is a Strategy Manager and soon-to-be Digital Geek in Merkle’s nonprofit vertical. She chooses to Do What Matters because “it’d be too easy not to. Challenge is good.”