Google Grants: Free Advertising for Non-Profit Organisations

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

If you are managing the marketing activities of a non-profit organisation or charitable institution, you are probably interested in paid search to increase the reach and donations for your organisation.

Since April 2003, Google has developped a donation program called Google Grants. The program awards free Google Adwords advertising to selected non profit organisations to promote their website, recruit volunteers and raise money.
Over the last 7 years the program has supported over 4,000 organisations in 15 countries ( including Australia) with an estimated $272.3M worth of advertising.

With up to $10,000 worth of advertising per month ($330 per day) with no time restrictions, joining the Google Grants program could have a positive impact on your organisation's goals. All this free budget, could be used to increase donations, promoting any new initiatives or recruiting volunteers.

In Australia, the program is open to any non profit organisations in the fields of Arts, Education, Health, Technology and Science.
To be eligible your organisation must be endorsed as charity organisation by the Commissioner of Taxation or prescribed as charitable institution in the Income Tax Assessement Regulations of 1997.
Obvioulsy some restrictions exist for political, religious, and membership based organisations as well as for organisations using Google Adsense on their websites.

To apply for the Google Grants program, you will need to meet the program requirments and then fill in an application form providing quite a lot of details on your organisation. The Google Grants Commitee will then review your application and get back to you.
From experience, the review period can take up to 6 months, so be patient because it is really worth it!

5 Useful SEO Tools

Thursday, 9 December 2010

seo tools
When choosing a SEO tool, it is important to know exactly what you really need. If you look around in Google, you will find a vast amount of tools performing a lot of functions, but very often you wont need half of them.

After reviewing and using some SEO packages (all in one), I realised that ,in most cases, I did not use all the functionalities, or some functionalities were quite weak so the investment was not always worth it. Instead of using one SEO package, I found more useful and often cheaper to use different tools.

The tools listed below are some of the ones, I use most.Obvioulsy it is a personal opinion and not an exahustive list.

OpenSite Explorer by SEOMOZ

OpenSite Explorer has recently been released by SEOMOZ. It is essentially a backlink analysis tool. OpenSite Explorer can be used for free, but it offers a lot more functionalities when you have a membership with SEOMOZ.

OpenSite Explorer is similar to Yahoo Site Explorer, but with a lot more features. You can analyse the backlinks of your site or any competitors websites and obtain information about the domains linking to them and the anchor text they use.
In my opinion, it is one of the best tool for link building research.

Advanced Web Ranking by Caphyon

Advanced Web Ranking
is essentially a ranking monitoring software. It does the painful job of measuring the results of your SEO activities. I have personally reviewed a few and this one have provided the most accurate results. Advanced Web Ranking allows to measure the progress of rankings over time and see the evolution over a period of time.
Advanced Web Ranking is not free (unfortunately). The standard version comes at $99, but I have found the Professional edition ($199) the best.

FireBug for Firefox

Firebug
is one of the most popular web development plugin for Firefox. While it is more a web development tool, I have found it very useful to inspect the HTML code of a page without having to go through the page source every time. The inspect function let you view the code directly on the webpage. You can therefore find any on-page optimisation weaknesses ( missing Heading tags).

Web Bug by Aman

Web Bug is a free software, which allows to view the server response for a web page. Obvioulsy this a kind of geeky tool with very limited use, but I do use it frequently when I perform website audits. Web Bug will be quite useful to highlight redirects and server response issues, which might affect the optimisation of a site.

SEO Quake for Firefox
SEO Quake is a nice Firefox extension, which summarise some SEO parameters ( PageRank, age of the site, etc...) while browsing on a site. While the data is limited, the toolbar is quite useful to quickly scan and evaluate the value of a website. Another useful plugin providing pretty much the fuctionality is SEO for Firefox, so feel free to compare and choose the one you prefer.

As I said earlier, this is a personal and non exhaustive list. I would be really interested to know the tools you really like and use on regular basis