Part of being a smart and effective marketing organization requires creating easy ways for people to find you even if it’s not you they are looking for. Most people search online to get information – not specifically for your organization but to find a solution to a need. Someone searching the web might be looking for a Jewish pre-school program or hospice services, or how and where to do volunteer work in your community, or simply to find a good Jewish organization to contribute to. While certainly lots of people will check out your organization’s web site – especially prior to giving to it – many people are looking online for a service or product not a web site destination. That is why key words are so important.
To see how well the Jewish community performs on the key word search, I did a little test. Here are the results from this very informal search of key words and the organizations that come up near or at the top of a Google search. No sponsored listings are included.
Google the word “donate” and the top sites that appear are the Make a Wish Foundation, Red Cross, American Cancer Society and Doctors Without Borders. Add the word “Jewish” in front of “donate” and you get (in descending order) Jewish National Fund, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, Levlalev, Jewish World Watch, Jewish Information and Referral Service and Jewish Thailand(!)….and not much more.
“Jewish needy” delivers Masbia, the Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters, the Columbus Jewish Foundation and JUF News. “Jewish education” brings up JESNA, PEGE, CAJE and BJE.
“Jewish volunteer” takes you to American Jewish World Service, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Jewish Coalition for Service, and The Associated among the top listings. Not a bad showing in the volunteer category.
A Google search of the key words “Jewish young” pulls up stuffjewishyoungadultslike.wordpress.com, followed by Jewish Miami, Young Jewish Left.org, Jewish Friends.org and CJP.org. For all the chatter about needing more young Jews involved in organizational life, this sampling is weaker than it should be.
Given the numbers of Jewish organizations online, I was surprised by the absence of many of the largest, most established organizations in almost every key word category tested. (I also tested Jewish philanthropy; Jewish education; Jewish community; nonprofit; and Jewish organizations.) What this very unscientific sampling suggests to me is that we have a very large untapped opportunity out there. All it would take to change the results is a little more time and effort spent identifying, planting and testing key words and maybe even shifting some dollars to place a key word buy.
Gail Hyman is a marketing and communications professional who currently focuses her practice, Gail Hyman Consulting, on assisting Jewish nonprofit organizations increase their ranks of supporters and better leverage their communications in the Web 2.0 environment. Gail is a regular contributor to eJewish Philanthropy.