BY JULIE STURGEON
Association publishers don’t need a definition of search engine opti-
mization in 2009 — if you put your content on the web, you’re fully
aware that SEO drives the number of visit sessions from Google,
Yahoo! and MSN to your site. And these hits eventually evolve to
product sales, advertiser hits, and membership dues.
“Folks who are familiar with our publication know they can come to our site to
find those kinds of articles,” says Rene
Shonerd, director of IT at the National
Apartment Association in Arlington, Va.
“SEO increases your ranking, which
makes it more likely someone else will
find your articles, too.”
For many associations, how these
browsers work has been more of a mystery left to the IT department. Or at least
it was until the advertising models began
rapidly changing; suddenly, snagging
online eyeballs has become everyone’s job.
Tina Ma, web manager for the Reston,
Va.-based American Alliance for Health,
Physical Education, Recreation and
Dance, has always worked with the editorial department to help review content for
SEO. However, as the association plans to
roll out a reconstructed website in August
2009, she’s picking up the pace on these
workshops. “We’re constantly doing
improvements, but this is the opportunity
for us to get a clean, fresh start. Obviously,
SEO is very important to us,” she says.
“SEO is a buzzword right now,” Ma
adds. “I usually tell the staff, ‘Don’t forget
there are humans behind these hits.’”
Here is a list of the most prevailing SEO
myths and misunderstandings that associations like Tina Ma’s are addressing these
WEBSITE AND PRINT
SHARE THE SAME
If you want people coming back to your
site regularly, this won’t work—websites
need content daily.