SEO has fast turned into one of the web’s buzz words.
It may be a word tossed around easily, but more and more businesses are taking it seriously today, especially non-profits who can leverage it to put more people in front of its story and cause.
If you run a small non-profit, paying attention to SEO can mean the difference between gaining donations and having empty coffers. I’ll take a look at one non-profit, Back On My Feet, and examine what they’ve done right and how they can improve in the search engine marketing arena. Hopefully, if you run a small business or non-profit, you can gather some knowledge from this quick case study.
Back On My Feet, as stated on the organization’s site, “promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.” I first learned of this great organization from a story about it on NBC.
What’s Done Right?
Search engine optimization and marketing should not focus on just things like meta tags, keywords and the like. So much of it is simply about doing the basic things and doing them well. Back On My Feet serves as a great example of this.
- A clean, clear and professional design. This organization has had its site designed by professionals – O3 – a web design firm located in Philadelphia. That translates – a site that’s likely to get linked to because it’s easy to navigate, fun to look at and conveys its message well. The site has a PageRank of five, which is solid.
- Use of social media. From the footer section, it’s apparent that Back On My Feet uses different social media platforms to promote itself. This translates into links, a valuable commodity in the world of SEO.
- A clear, uncomplicated title tag. Title tags, or what appears in the top of a browser, just above the web address, are important. It is one of the first things a search engine spiders see. The organization uses “Welcome to Back On My Feet | Home” This translates into good SEO because it has the organization’s name in there, which spiders will then see and put emphasis on.
What Can Be Improved?
However, Back On My Feet can improve in some areas as well. These include:
- The site may be professionally designed, but its code has a few errors, according to W3C’s Code Validation Service. Perfecting code can be tricky. It’s something I’m still working on here on my site, but it’s vital because it means search engines can process your site faster and they won’t be tripped up by a mistake in your code.
- The site makes solid use of the title tag, but fails to take advantage of other meta tags like description and keywords. The site uses the same string of words for all these tags. That means they miss a big chance when it comes to trying out keywords that might bring traffic to their site, like “running charity” or “homeless charity” or other similar terms. The title tag and description could be written with more power and usefulness, both for SEO and general description. How about something in the title tag like: Back On My Feet | Helping the Homeless through Running. And the description tag could read: Back on My Feet promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.
- I first discovered this great organization through a news story. I’d love to see a news section, linking to recent articles or mentions. This might help circulate links about the organization.
- Lastly, the organization actively uses social media and other web tools as a means of promotion and fun generation, but I’d like to see bigger social media icons on the home page. That might increase awareness of the platforms and encourage people to follow Back On My Feet.
This is by no means a perfect analysis, but it’s a quick start guide and points attention to areas other non-profits can focus on when creating a web presence. If you’re looking for more great information on SEO resources, I recommend these two sites:
Note: This post is a short assignment for my class in Interactive Media Management about search engine marketing.