Next Thursday’s Nonprofit Marketing Guide webinar is on keywords and search engine optimization (SEO) for nonprofits and will feature guest speaker David Westbrook, an SEO expert with lots of nonprofit experience. If you just crinkled your nose and said, “Huh?” or if you are your office’s accidental techie and default webmaster, this webinar is for you. If think you’ve done everything right and your website still doesn’t come up when you put your keywords into search engines like Google and Yahoo!, this webinar is for you too.

I asked David for a sneak peek at some of the insights he’ll share next week and here’s a good one:

“When it comes to esthetics, search engines couldn’t be much more disinterested. This is because every image looks the same to a search engine. Imagine walking through the Louvre and where others see the Mona Lisa all you see is .img and further on where others see Madonna with the Green Cushion, you again see .img. This is the world of a search engine. On the other hand, search engines are voracious readers, and while they can’t interpret a word, they do know how often it appears and they are able to assign a level of importance to it depending on where it appears and what is surrounding it.”

David goes on to talk about the importance of the ALT tag:

“Every image should have what is known as an alt tag (technically an alt attribute). I am sometimes asked if this includes when menu items are images instead of text. As it turns out, they are especially important here. Their importance extends beyond search engines, as they are chiefly important to the blind who use screen readers that have no way of knowing a link exists if it is just an image without an alt tag.”

David will share lots of ways that nonprofits can improve their search engine rankings, whether you have complete control over the design of your website or you can only write articles for it.

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