Non-Profit SEO Corner: Starting Out

Did you know that in Niger, the world’s poorest nation, the lack of access to clean water causes blindness, disease and social inequity?

68% of people in rural Niger drink contaminated water.
1 in 4 children die before the age of 5.
85% of women in Niger are illiterate.

And all those issues can be helped by providing the simple life necessity of clean water.

On Saturday I started a project with a charity group to promote the cause of Wells Bring Hope online. Wells Bring Hope’s mission is to drill wells in Niger’s rural villages. It’s the communication team’s mission to make the organization’s current site and social media presence as effective as we can. The all-volunteer group is crafting a communications strategy, more or less, from the ground up. Like many SEOs and social media marketers starting a client project, we aren’t starting from scratch, but are working with the platforms already established, including:

  • Site on WordPress
  • Blog
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

The team I met with consists of the organization’s founder, an SEO and Web developer, a journalist, a project manager, a social media manager and me, the blogger.

Our communications goals are to:

  • Receive donations
  • Attract potential donors through engagement
  • Increase cause awareness

The multifaceted strategy consists of outreach through the following channels:

  • In-person communication through presentations, events, etc.
  • The website
  • Social networking websites
  • Media outreach
  • Online communities through guest blogs for organizations with like-minded interests
  • E-mail blasts and newsletters

Over the next couple weeks, my personal responsibilities for the project include:

  • Putting 301 redirects in place across the site in order to incorporate keywords in URLs.
  • Identifying audience personas.
  • Updating the blog with a new post weekly.
wells bring hope

Along with helping this vital cause, I’m excited by the prospect of SEO opportunities and the chance to broaden my social media marketing experience in a hands-on way. It’s time to bury my head in analytics, and test the tactics I’ve talked much about though actively performed far less.

It’s a telling coincidence that the IM Charity Party last week chose charity: water to support. The Internet marketing community is a generous and giving one, and inspiring in the way we give back with our talents and learn from the world around us. I plan to share the lessons I’ve learned from the world and this project through updates on our progress, obstacles we’re facing, solutions we’ve implemented, and the effectiveness of strategies we’ve put in place. I’m hoping that by sharing my failures, successes and the lessons learned in the process on non-profit online marketing, we can all take something away. Next time I’ll bring you benchmark KPIs for the various channels, and let you know what we’ve been doing in the interim. And with that, welcome to the Non-Profit SEO Corner.

P.S., in case you aren’t convinced “Non-Profit SEO Corner” is a catchy title — and I’m not — we’re taking name suggestions for this recurring feature! [I’m voting for SEO Saves the World. You should too. —Susan]

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

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