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Suggestions for Attracting Online Visitors (and their Donations)

A large part of raising money online for your nonprofit is making sure potential donors can find your web site. Here are a few tips for attracting visitors:

  • Pay Per Click – Focus on keywords that people would think to type in when researching your nonprofit or your mission. You can then pay Google, MSN and Yahoo (and others, but those are the big three) to list your nonprofit when those words are searched for – the more you’re willing to pay, the higher your listing appears on the page. They provide tools to help you discover keywords that will bring in the most traffic.
  • Register Your Web Site – Ask your web designer to register your web site with search engines so they can index it and make it appear naturally in the free section (as opposed to Pay Per Click) when people search for you.
  • Search Engine Optimization – There are ways to improve your web site’s ranking (how high your web site appears when someone types in a keyword related to your nonprofit). There are many consultants, web designers and companies that will do this for you, plus you can do some of it on your own. Just search for “Search Engine Optimization tips”.
  • Be sure to include your web site address prominently in all communications, including:
    • Letterhead
    • Emails, e-newesletters, and alerts
    • Special event invitations & promotions
    • All printed materials
    • Solicitations (electronic and mail)
    • Advertising
    • Phone/voice mail
    • Anything you produce that will be seen by others
  • Ask all of your partners, constituents and others to link to your web site. Make sure to also ask them to include it on their personal web pages too (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.,) If you have a small logo, be sure to provide it (think of the Get Adobe Reader button and how successful that is). Bonus – Links to your web site also help improve your search engine optimization!
  • Advertise – Print ads, promotional flyers, banner ad sponsorships on relevant web sites
  • Send e-newsletters, action alerts, etc. with links to your web site.
  • Viral Marketing – Enable emails and web pages with “forward to a friend” capabilities. Our Constant Contact email service provides this functionality.
  • Educate staff, board members and others to promote your web site and the benefits of online giving.
  • Create word of mouth by offering “news visitors can use”, valuable resources about your mission, and other interesting content.
  • Take advantage of holidays or special events that tie into your organization with special materials on your site or special landing pages.
  • Incorporate activism into your web site by allowing visitors to send letters to government officials, sign petitions and arrange for group discussions.
  • Put your web site address in every email you send – email signatures are common among businesses professionals and a great way to reinforce your web address.