Charities, like any organization can and should engage in online marketing activities, especially, since in most cases it’s much easier for them to attain results with smaller investment.

Take Twitter, for example- a charity can generate a strong following much faster than a commercial company just by virtue of people being more emotional and interested about a good cause than they are about an iPad (in most cases at least).

ipad game

Who needs pandas anyway? It’s not like they can connect to Wi-Fi..

Every charity should ask themselves ‘Are we gaining the maximum benefit from online presence?’ For many charities the answer would be a definite ‘no’ and that’s a pity, because now, more than ever, there’re more low cost tools and resources at a charity’s  disposal than ever. Here are some of them:

Website Design

Why pay large amounts of money for a custom design, if all that you need is for the website to look modern and up to date. Choosing a template and giving that to a web developer with some notes on what you want changed will save lots of money and time. Here are some design template sites:

  • www.templatemonster.com
    TemplateMonster is one of the largest web template sites out there.
  • www.websitetemplates.org
    Decent collection of quality templates
  • www.websitetemplates.com
    Not the best, but certainly worth a look at

Social Media

Social media is an essential part of being a charity online and managing all those followers can be quite a daunting task, so here are some tools to help you along the way:

  • www.tweetdeck.com
    The most popular tool for Twitter and Facebook. Also – it’s customisable, includes tweet scheduling & it’s free
  • www.socialoomph.com
    A web based application to manage your social campaign. There’s a basic free subscription and a professional version with advanced features, like tweet scheduling.
  • www.tweetgrid.com
    Keep track of Twitter mentions, trends & searches in up to 9 windows. Web based & Free.

SEO Knowledge

The coveted SEO knowledge to rank on Google is usually expensive if you’re buying it fresh from somebody. There are some places where you can get good advice for free though:

  • www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
    Yes – an SEO guide by Google. Takes you through the basics and best practices to keep your site problem free.
  • www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo
    SEOmoz is one of the leading online communities when it comes to educating about SEO and their beginners guide is very useful to have read.
  • passiondigital.wordpress.com
    The best ever resource to get your SEO on 😉

Research Tools

Researching stuff about your (or your competitor’s) website is essential if you want to keep ahead in the game.

  • www.wordstream.com/keywords
    A good place to start your keyword research
  • www.sitesolutions.com/Tools/Analysis.aspx
    Upside: gives a quick impression on what’s your on-site situation. The downside: the solutions proposed are about 5 years dated.
  • www.auditmypc.com/xml-sitemap.asp
    A more in-depth look at your website’s structure and possible problems
  • siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com
    Check your indexing and inbound links on Yahoo (and more importantly your competitors!)

Google

Google has piles of stuff that can be used for research, marketing and management- I could do a long post just listing all the various tools, nevermind describing all of them..

Google products

Not even close to 1/3 of products

Here’s a taster:

  • www.google.com/analytics/
    The most popular site usage tracking platform. Highly recommended.
  • www.google.com/trends
    Check what’s popular and compare what’s more popular – good for keyword research
  • www.google.co.uk/grants
    A grant program by Google that gives a budget to be spent on advertising on Google – any UK charity must-have!
  • www.google.co.uk/apps/intl/en/nonprofit/index.html
    Apps for charities by Google – can make your daily life easier.
  • www.google.com/webmasters/tools
    Google Webmaster Tools – keep track and manage aspects of your website being indexed on Google
  • www.googlelabs.com
    The newest Google apps and gadgets are listed here – just an interesting place to explore and maybe find exactly what you need.

Of course, most these tools are not only usable by charities, but also by commercial organizations and local businesses to enhance their internet marketing campaigns.

If you find this a bit too out of your experience, no worries – Passion Digital is here to help with all your online charity marketing needs.

[schema type=”person” name=”Mike Grindy” jobtitle=”Commercial Director” url=”https://passion.digital/about-us” email=”mike@passiondigital.co.uk” ]

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