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Non-profit organisations may rely on search engine marketing.

Byline: ANI

Washington, December 9 (ANI): A new study suggests that non-profit organizations should rely on the same strategies to attract netizens to their websites as online marketers, so that they may raise awareness of their "brand" and its aims and convert Internet users into donors.

Dave McMahon and Charla Griffy-Brown of the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, say that non-profit organisations can exploit Search Engine Marketing (SEM)-which involves focusing on how well a website can attract high ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) of the main web search engines, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Live Search.

The researchers say that the non-profit webmaster should focus on pertinent keywords and relevant generic phrases and then edit website page titles, text and hidden meta text, as well as image tags to accommodate these keywords and phrases.

They says that the objective behind this activity would not be to manipulate the search engines illicitly, but to ensure that the non-profit's website provides the best answer to a given pertinent search query.

That, according to them, would eventually increase the number of visitors to the site.

The researchers suggest that, unlike conventional advertising and marketing campaigns that can costs thousands of dollars, SEM is well within the financial means of most non-profits even during an economic downturn.

By relying upon SEM strategies like page optimisation and building links with other related websites to improve search engine ranking, say the researchers, a non-profit will also be obliged to fine-tune its web presence according to its values and the feedback from its donors, and those who benefit from its existence.

The researchers say that the focus on truly relevant keywords and search terms, which potential donors and other interested parties find useful, will improve the service to its particular community that any non-profit might offer.

They also think that an SEM approach may help non-profit organisations answer the call to target potential donors more effectively, and differentiate themselves better from other institutions.

McMahon and Griffy-Brown admit that achieving a high ranking in the search engines is a relatively easy goal for a webmaster, but point out that while high rankings in search engines is admirable, high rankings for poor search terms will consistently deliver poor results.

"The compilation, selection, and evaluation of search engine keywords are vitally important to any search engine marketing campaign," they say.

Based on their observations, the researchers came to the conclusion that user questionnaires would help an organization find the most effective keywords for an SEM approach.

With a higher ranking for relevant keywords any non-profit would then be able to take best advantage of the highly personalized communication that is afforded by the web and specifically the advent of social media tools such as blogs, citizen journalism sites, online networks and communities, and shared bookmarking and news services.

An article on the study has been published in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Dec 9, 2008
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