Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Tracking and analyzing mobile traffic to your website

We commented earlier on the massive explosion of mobile internet use and how it is contributing to 2013 being the year of responsive web design – responsive web design being a powerful and flexible way to make your site mobile-friendly.

How do you know if your site traffic justifies the investment in making your website mobile-friendly? If you’ve got Google Analytics tracking traffic, you’ve got ready-made reporting waiting for you. Read more »


Google Checkout to be retired in November…now what?

On Monday, Google announced that it will retire Google Checkout in November 2013.

Google Checkout
What does that mean for organizations using Google Checkout to accept online payments? As Google notes: Read more »


Setting up Authorship for your website with Google+: What to expect and how long it takes

We posted a great little tidbit the other day regarding the authorship service available to Google+ Profile owners and how it can help increase traffic to your site.

By following Google’s instructions for verifying authorship of content on a website, search results will display your Google+ Profile headshot and a link to other content you’ve written, increasing the likelihood that your link will get clicked:


We followed the instructions provided by Google for our own blog and can report back the following: Read more »


The mysterious (not provided) keyword tracking in Google Analytics

In the past few months at PICnet, we’ve been focusing heavily on increasing our marketing efforts, particularly in our blog.  Just as we do for most top-level programs, we’ve set goals, take regular measurements, analyze the results in detail, the rinse and repeat.  Our tool of trade for building our metrics for success is Google Analytics, and it’s been serving us amazingly well.

As we’re seeing further increases in traffic, we’re interested in knowing what people were searching when they found our site.  Knowing that information allows us to better define our content strategies for the future, and give us a sense of what content is most interesting to those searching for answers online.

It seems, however, that the most popular search keyword, by huge margins, is “(not provided)”.  And when I say huge margins, I mean it’s 58x more popular a keyword than number two.  What is this “(not provided)” keyword in Google , and why are we getting so much traffic from it?

Google Analytics (not provided)

Read more »


What is SEO and what does it mean for your nonprofit?

Let me “start with the why”, as Simon Sinek proposes in his famous TED talk:

Why should you care about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Put simply, SEO can bring more visitors to your site. For nonprofits, more website visitors can mean more volunteer or member signups, more donations, and more evangelists for your organization and your cause.

Search Engines Love Content by Go Local

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) sounds intimidating and complicated, but when you boil it down, it is much easier to digest. SEO consists of the steps you take to make your website more relevant in search results for specific terms or keywords. You may also hear this described as “ranking” higher in search engine (i.e Google or Bing) results. For a more detailed explanation of SEO, check out this brilliant blog post that relates SEO to graffiti.

When you perform a search on the web, regardless of your preferred search engine, an algorithm of that search engine spits out results based on the words, or “keywords,” that you typed. These search engine algorithms are constantly changing and evolving, but the factors that decided the ranking of the results tend to be fairly constant (i.e. keywords, page titles, credible links to and from the page, etc.).

The good news is that by making small, incremental changes to your website and the way that you develop content for your site, you can improve your website’s rankings in search results for specific keywords. And again, that means more people visiting your site, which will hopefully result in more volunteers, members, donations, and evangelists for your nonprofit.

Stay tuned for more blog posts on SEO tactics to improve your site’s search rankings… for free. In the mean time, check out these free guides to get you started:

Photo Credit: Go Local Search on Flickr


What does the end of free Google Apps mean for non-profits?

Yesterday, Google announced the end of their free Google Apps for Business service. Starting immediately, all companies, no matter their size, will be required to pay $50 per user per year for Google’s email and productivity suite.

While the statement from Google says that educational institutes will continue to be provided the service free of change, and while existing clients won’t be affected, it seems unclear as to what this means for our non-profit sector.

Will non-profits continue to receive Google Apps for free via the Google grants? Might this significant change potentially spur fast innovation and tools that are open source?

Update: Google has written their nonprofit pricing model…

U.S. nonprofit organizations with over 3,000 users are now eligible for Google Apps for Business at a 40% discount ($30/user/year). If your organization has under 3,000 users, you can apply for the free Google Apps for Education through the Google for Nonprofits site.


Google teams up with PICnet client to fight human slavery

It always warms our hearts to see our organizations get the support they deserve.  Earlier today, a new link appeared on the homepage. “‘Tis the season. Google supports organizations that are changing the world.” homepage on Dec 14, 2011

The reason? The Google Foundation announced a $40 million grant allocation to non-profit organizations, including our Soapbox client, Polaris Project, to help tackle important challenges around the world. One of their key areas of focus, “fighting human trafficking and modern-day slavery,” is the cornerstone of the work done by our friends at the Polaris Project. Read more »


New & Improved Google Analytics

Google just released some major upgrades to Google Analytics that make it extremely valuable for anyone managing a website. So, if you haven’t logged into your account for a while, or if perhaps you never got around to signing up for one, now is the time to immerse yourself in Google Analytics.

Here are a few things that have changed:

  • Real Time Reporting: This means you no longer have to wait around to view how people interacted with your site in the past. Instead, you can see how people are using your site right now. With this feature you can more directly track how changes to your site are affecting the way people are interacting with it. For example, if you add a new homepage banner to your website about your Thanksgiving Food Drive in preparation for your drive being featured on a local radio station, go to GA while they are announcing the food drive and see if people are clicking on the banner during the radio segment. It will help you to learn whether or not the banner was an effective addition to your website. Read more »


Google on SEO: What’s good for users is good for search engines

From time to time, non-profits come to us wondering what they can do to improve their search engine standings. We recently came across a great video straight from the horse’s mouth, specifically Matt Cutts of Google, that serves as a great reminder of what is really the secret behind good search results—good websites! Watch this video to see what we mean, but here are a few spoilers: Read more »


Your Cause. Your Website: Free $$$ with Google Grants

Check out our latest Knowledge Base post about using Google Grants to your advantage for some free advertising and marketing for your website and cause – because we all could use a little help spreading the word, right?

Here’s a little preview:

We like free money. The 37 cents you find in between your couch cushions. The crisp, flat dollar bill you left as a bookmark in some random novel three years ago and are just now rediscovering. The friend who pays you back that ten spot from two months back you forgot you ever loaned him. Free money is good money…

Read more here.