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By Newley Purnell, Burness Communications
Savvy foundations and nonprofits understand that the Web is a crucial tool for communicating their work online.
The Web, nonprofit leaders know, is an invaluable medium. It enables them to inform and converse with a variety of audiences: grantees, grantmakers, journalists, policymakers, practitioners and the general public.
But many foundations and nonprofits aren’t doing enough. Simply constructing a good Web site — one that’s well designed and full of useful content — doesn’t mean the world will suddenly beat a path to your door. And what good, after all, is a top-notch Web site if no one knows about it?
Enter Web marketing — strategies that foundations and nonprofits can use to ensure that their Web sites aren’t lost among the millions of other sites on the Internet.
But how do you actually do Web marketing?
Solicit links from other Web sites
To receive traffic from other Web sites, adopt a comprehensive link solicitation strategy. Find good sites and simply ask them to provide outgoing links to your main page. Think about the audience for your Web site, and then think about the sites they might already visit. Those sites – the ones that are similar in nature to yours – are the ones from which links should be requested.
Use email strategically
Make sure that the people who are already visiting your site come back when you post new content. Don’t forget that the best way to get people to return to your site is to remind them to do so. Use an email newsletter to keep your visitors psychologically connected to your site. Send out reminders when you publish valuable new material.
Position your site in the major search engines
Since so many people use search engines to look for information, your site must be listed in the places they’re looking.
Focus primarily on submitting your site to the four or five most popular search engines and directories. A good place to start is Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL Search. There are hundreds of search engines out there, but the vast majority of people use just a few of them.
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Burness Communications, Inc. provides public relations support to nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Based outside of Washington, D.C., in Bethesda, Md., we provide our clients with media and government relations services, writing and publications development, strategic communications counsel, media training, and Web marketing.