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web site without proper search engine optimization

(SEO) is a lot like a billboard on a desert island. No one’s going to see it.

Many nonprofit organizations with limited resources suffer from the billboard in the desert. They have an obligatory web site, but have not performed any SEO to get it off the desert island and into the middle of Times Square.

Where is a cash-strapped non- profit to go? Traditional SEO ser- vices can be expensive, and find- ing a competent SEO consultant can prove daunting.

Trying to solve two problems at once, Lu- naMetrics launched a free SEO program for university students in Pittsburgh who would like to add SEO to their resume. Program participants


ty, none of them were positioned as local and all suffered from overuse of industry terms that are not common terms people would use in an Internet search.

The student consultants helped to optimize site title tags and helped with keyword research to rectify the issues.

“A little keyword research goes a long way,” said Garberson.

After straightening out index is- sues with many of the sites hav- ing duplicate content, the con- sultants provided a primer for a social media strategy to support

“A little keyword research goes a long way...”

paired with small local non-profit organiza- tions that do not have the personnel or resources for advanced online marketing.

“That means that the organiza- tions receive free SEO consult- ing, students get free SEO train- ing and LunaMetrics is able to give back to the community and Internet marketing industry,” said Andrew Garberson of Lu- naMetrics.

Over the course of a month, LunaMetrics trained about 20 local college students on SEO fundamentals and strategies. Students were then paired with local nonprofits, including Glob- al Links, Penn Future, Homeless Children’s Education Fund, and Community Technical Assis- tance Center.

According to Garberson, the nonprofits all suffered from sim- ilar SEO issues.

As organizations that rely on do- nations from the local communi-


- Andrew Garberson, SEO Department Coordinator at LunaMetrics

their respective sites. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts were established and/or strengthened as needed.

“We didn’t really know what SEO was. We had a vague idea,” said Angela Garcia, Deputy Director of Global Links. “It was no cost, so we thought why not? It’s been fun. We’re novices now, but we’re learning.”

In particular, Garcia said imple- menting a basic social media strategy has been invaluable for Global Links. “It really helped us to understand the right message for our audience,” said Garcia.

Garbeson is excited by the results of the pilot program. He believes LunaMetrics will put on another session in spring 2014.

“The program went very well,” said Garberson. “As a company, it’s good to get out in the com- munity.”


LunaMetrics launches free SEO training program to help students and nonprofits

By Jonathan Kersting, Associate Publisher

Underwritten by

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