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Steps Every Animal Rescue Organization Needs to Do For Online Marketing Success

Every business and non-profit organization must have a website in today’s world. It’s the only way to get inexpensive and direct market exposure for your organization. For a non-profit, your website is your vehicle in telling viewers your story or mission statement, how to donate money, how to volunteer, how to support your efforts and any upcoming events.

Online marketing does not require a lot of money to get started. What it does require is time and commitment with perseverance thrown in. It’s something you have to do on a continual basis. Schedule a couple of hours each week to do your online marketing. If you don’t have the time, hire an expert. Your website can never be stagnating, it needs to continue to evolve and be updated.

Important Steps in Making Your Online Presence a Success.

1. Have a mobile friendly website: A year ago this wasn’t such a big deal. Today, that has all changed. Google (the 800lb Gorilla in the search engine arena) is putting more and more pressure on website owners to have their websites be mobile friendly. If not, you could see your search engine ranking drop – which isn’t good.
Tip: Have your website built in a WordPress “Responsive” theme. WordPress is available for free with most hosting companies. It does require someone with WordPress knowledge to set it up. I’ll write another article on which important features your WordPress site needs.
Tip: Not sure if your website is mobile friendly or not? Click here and run a test.


2. Create a Facebook Page: Be sure to setup a Business Facebook page. Be sure to post images, events and just about anything else you wish to share with your followers. Click here to learn more about Facebook Business Page
Tip: Be sure you add a Facebook Icon or a Follow US button on your website that clicks to your Business Facebook page.


3. Setup a Google Account: It’s free to do and Google offers a lot of services you definitely want to take advantage of. The following list are Google accounts you’ll want to setup. Not only will these accounts help with your search engine ranking, but will also give your organization more exposure on the Internet.
a. My Business: This is where you list your business information such as address, phone, description, pictures and hours you are open. My Business will also tag your location on Google Maps.
b. Google+ Business Account: Having a Google+ account is useful exposure to a wider audience. Like Facebook, you’ll want to post to this account on at least a weekly basis.
c. YouTube Account: Start making videos about your organization. Keep them short to less than 2 to 3 minutes. Create fun videos of what your organization does, events you have, animals you rescued or that are up for adoption. Once your videos are posted on YouTube, you can take the “Share” embed code and add it to your website.
Tip: Like Facebook, you’ll want to add your Google+ Icon to your website that links to your Google+ business page.


4. Setup a Yelp Account: A lot of users have a love/hate relationship with Yelp. I’ve heard from a number of clients that sometimes Yelp will not publish all favorable reviews on one’s account. Crazy, huh? The thing to keep in mind with Yelp is their site does rank well on Google for a number of keyword searches. So if someone is searching on the Internet, say for “Horse Rescue Oklahoma City” and if you’re a Horse Rescue in Oklahoma City and listed on Yelp, most likely your Yelp listing will show up on the first page of Google. Try doing some searches yourself on the keywords that folks would use to find your website.
Tip: Be sure your address is consistent on Yelp, Facebook, Google+ and on your website. For example, if your address is 123 Walk St Suite 5, San Diego, CA 92001, then be sure that exact address is what you post to everything. Don’t abbreviate the word “Suite” to “Ste” on one account and not the others. Keep your address consistent.


5. Get listed on as many animal rescue directories as possible: Like The Horse Network. The best approach is to do a search on the type of organization you run and add the words directory, listings, etc. See which ones are listed on the first 2 pages of Google and go to those websites to see how you can get your organization listed. This will help with your website’s search engine ranking.
Tip: Start off with the ones that allow FREE listings. See if your city or state has a directory website for businesses and organizations.


Final note: If you decide to hire someone to build your website, keep in mind that not all website designers are Search Engine Marketing Experts (SEO). It’s definitely worth your time and money to have an SEO expert work with you on getting more exposure on the Internet.

Remember, if folks can’t find your website on the Internet, it really doesn’t matter how cool or amazing your website design is.


About the Author:
Kathy Klossner is the owner of Waterdancer.com – a Search Engine Optimization and Web Design business; Waterdancerphotos.com – showcasing fine art photography; The-horse.org – a free directory listing for horse rescue and Wild Mustangs advocate groups; and Surfergirls.com – a surfing resource for women and girls. Besides her web designs and Internet marketing experience, Kathy is an avid outdoors woman, world traveler and photographer.