Better Cause Marketing with SEO

Before you read this post you and I have to agree on some basic things.

  1. You should be doing cause marketing. (And not knowing what cause marketing is isn't an excuse.)
  2. If you're doing cause marketing, you should be discussing and promoting your program online via a website or blog. It's good for you, for your corporate partners and for business development.

Now that we're agreed on these two key points, here's my pitch for using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to achieve better cause marketing results.

But first: what is SEO? Wikipedia has a clear and simple definition:

Search engine optimization is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site or a web page (such as a blog) from search engines via unpaid search results [as opposed to paid ads].

We should all be focusing on SEO because people rely on search engines, mainly Google, to find the things they need. It's that simple.

Looking for details on the side effects of the latest prescription the doctor gave you? Google it. Need an address? Try Google. Looking for a company's web site? Don't bother typing it in. Just Google it.

Lately, I've been trying to read as much as possible on SEO and I've found a great teacher in Jason Falls. Last week I stumbled on his post A SEO Experiment: Targeting One Keyword.

In it, Jason sought to own one search term: “Social Media Monitoring Services.”  Targeting these primary keywords he did just that, and goes on to explain how he accomplished it. I suggest you read the post, especially if you're like me and don't know a lot about SEO. It's very helpful.

My takeaway from it is that if I can better target primary keywords in my posts I can own more search terms and potentially drive more traffic to my site. The ultimate goal, of course, is to better promote my nonprofit's cause marketing program, the topic I spend most of my time posting on at Selfish Giving.

If I can do this as well as Jason did, think about the potential for me, my nonprofit and my corporate partners. If my site tops more searches that means more companies may seek out my services. I may sign up more nonprofits for my Six Figure Cause Marketing program, which benefits my nonprofit. More reporters may call to write stories about my program or my corporate partners. In general, when I'm #1 on Google my credibility and opportunities soar.

Now think about those very same benefits and how you, your organization and your partners could reap the rewards. That's powerful stuff.

So I decided to replicate Jason's experiment and try to win my own search term. Like Jason's, my term--"Low Budget Cause Marketing"--wasn't a particularly competitive one. He and I were both riding the long tail of search. But I was convinced by my research that this is a term people are searching on and one I want to own.

Prior to publishing the post, here are the search results for "Low Budget Cause Marketing" on Google.


After writing the post on Headway Themes, which John Haydon tells me is one of the best themes out there for SEO, I ran it through Scribe SEO, which Jason and others have praised, to optimize the content.

Forty-five minutes later my post 5 Tips for Low-Budget Cause Marketing was the #1 search result on Google!


A few hours later it dropped to the third entry--still respectable--and added an additional entry at the #5 spot. But this changes from hour to hour. Check out where I am ranked right now.


It's not enough for your nonprofit to just be doing cause marketing. You should promote your program online and optimize your visibility for search engines.

I recommend a Wordpress blog with a Headway theme and Scribe SEO to accomplish your goals.

Don't hesitate to leave me a comment if you have any questions. You know how to reach me. But if you forget, just type Joe Waters into Google. While my name is a fairly common one, this Joe Waters is the #1 result.