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Identifying the Vulnerabilities Within Your Non-Profit

Identifying the Vulnerabilities Within Your Non-Profit

Whether you’re an established non-profit or just starting out, it’s incredibly important to keep an eye on any and all vulnerabilities. When you are aware of the vulnerabilities within your company, you can stay ahead of any future problems. Being business-aware can only lead to growth and security. It’s not fun or easy fixing problem after problem, but it is necessary if you want your non-profit to thrive. Not every non-profit is the same, but each one shares these nine vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability One: Yourself

Let’s face it: our biggest enemy is almost always ourselves. There is likely something within your own company’s practices that you can’t stand. For example, using Microsoft Word over Google Docs. Your team prefers to use Google Docs, but you avoid it like the plague because you haven’t used it before. It wouldn’t be hard to learn the process, but you simply can’t do it right now because you have other pressing matters. By setting some time aside and using Google Docs, you could streamline sharing documents and processes with your team. This applies to all aspects of your business. While your time is precious, you want to make sure you’re also setting aside time to improve your interactions with your team members.

Vulnerability Two: Your Board

If your board is anything like you, then they are incredibly passionate about your cause. That’s a great thing, but without proper communication, a lot of problems can quickly surface. If as the director you don’t properly and clearly define everyone’s roles within your non-profit, your board members may try to take on more of a leadership role then you may like. This can lead to them making decisions that may not align with the plans you have envisioned but have failed to communicate clearly. It’s a best practice to be very clear and communicate everything going on so that you all are on the same page.

Vulnerability Three: Your Employees

There are more potential vulnerabilities between you and your employees than you may realize. Not just silent issues like allegations of wrongful termination or payroll discrepancies, but your intellectual property can also be at risk, as well as your income source, such as your customers and/or donors. That’s why it’s important to have non-competition contracts and contracts that protect all aspects of your business. Let’s also look at this in another dynamic: the duties of your employees. If you don’t properly define what you expect from your employees, then how can you expect anything other than subpar results? This further reinforces the idea that communication is key in all aspects of your non-profit.

Vulnerability Four: Your Competition

The competition will always be an issue you face. Nothing you do will make this problem go away. It boils down to three questions you need to ask yourself: are you keeping an eye on them, are you watching the trends, and what your competitors are doing?

A great example could be comparing Blockbuster to Netflix. If Blockbuster had adapted to what Netflix was doing, they could still be growing; instead, they have one location left. With their lack of response, Netflix grew and became what Blockbuster could have been. Now you most likely aren’t competing with a company as formidable as Netflix, but it’s still important to keep your cards close to your chest and an eye on your competitors.

Vulnerability Five: The Economy

When the economy collapses, so does revenue. There is no better time than now to discuss this vulnerability. COVID-19 has changed the way we collect revenue and go about doing our work. It most likely has impacted the number of donations you receive, especially if those donors depend on the oil industry. We are facing an oil collapse like never seen before; just this month oil prices dropped below zero in a historic low dwarfing the 1986 oil collapse. Such events like these can really throw a wrench in your plans. That’s why it’s so important to understand your donors. After all, their income is your revenue. You also want to make sure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket so that when an industry your donor is in sees a decline, you have donors in other thriving industries to offset that loss.

Vulnerability Six: Big Brother

The last thing you ever want to hear is “someone saying they’re with the government is here” so let’s make sure that doesn’t happen, and that if it does, all your t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted! It’s important to know how the government can harm your non-profit. Regulations and funding can cause critical vulnerabilities, so make sure you stay on top of your compliance with big brother.

Vulnerability Seven: Your Customers

You may not have thought about this being a potential vulnerability, but believe it. For example, a group of customers could grow angry with an aspect of your business and try to bring legal action against you. That’s why it’s so important to stay in governmental compliance. It also wouldn’t hurt to make sure you have proper legal protections in place.

Vulnerability Eight: Your Vendors

Next up on this list of vulnerabilities are your vendors. Let’s imagine you donate shoes to children all over the world and, in order to get these shoes, you work with multiple vendors. If one or more can’t provide what you need on time, this can seriously slow down the donation process and create many headaches. It’s important that you and your vendors enter into a legally binding contract so that they can be held responsible for any breaches of contract, maintaining your reputation for reliability.

Vulnerability Nine: Your Reputation

Reputation is everything. Without that, your word is meaningless; in the worst case scenario, you can end up being blacklisted in your community. A great example of the importance of reputation management are online reviews. Word of mouth can make or break you. That’s why it’s important to have a process in place to get those reviews. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have people that love what you do, so it’s important to ask them to support you through giving your non-profit a review and providing testimony on how you had a positive impact in their life. In addition, when you receive negative reviews, always try to reply to them within a 48 hours period. This shows both your donors and potential customers that you take negative reviews seriously and do your due diligence to fix the problem.

Now You Know

Now that you know nine of the most common non-profit vulnerabilities, you can brainstorm new policies with your board. If you were already ahead of the game when it came to these issues, then kudos, you’re doing great! RankMonsters and the team at Davis Business Law hopes that this has helped you see aspects of your non-profit that can be improved and has given you ideas on what should be implemented during the creation of your non-profit organization. One thing that you will never regret is having proper legal counsel and representation by a non-profit attorney. Davis Business Law has a more in depth blog to help you learn more about the vulnerabilities within your non-profit.

Advantages of Google Ad Grants

Advantages of Google Ad Grants

A Google Ad Campaign allows your organization to increase its online visibility through targeted keyword advertising. Your website will be highly visible in search engines for keywords related to your services and online goals. Getting your advertising in front of your target market online will drive traffic to your website.

Google Ad Grants allows your organization to take advantage of Google’s search advertising network without disbursing tens of thousands of dollars in ad costs. RankMonsters can help your organization manage your Ad Grant, ensuring your organization stays within Google’s guidelines and maximizes its daily and monthly budget.

How Does the Grant Work?

Google Ad Grants gives 501(c)(3) organizations access to $10,000 per month, or approximately $329 per day, in in-kind advertising credit to use on the Google Ad Platform. The grant is part of Google for Nonprofits, a set of offerings open to qualifying nonprofit organizations.

There are a few additional specifics to how the Grant program works:

  • You can only advertise using text ads on the Search Network.
  • Your account and website must have conversion tracking set up, and must use the automated “Maximize Conversions” bid system when applying for the Ad Grant.
  • Your campaigns must use keyword-based targeting.
  • You must manage your account according to Google’s Ad Grant Account Management Policy.

Qualifications

To be eligible for the Google for Nonprofits program, your organization must:

  • Currently hold 501(c)(3) status.
  • Be registered with TechSoup.
  • Acknowledge and agree to the application’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.

Please note that the following organizations are not eligible:

  • Governmental entities and organizations.
  • Hospitals and health care organizations.
  • Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions, and universities (however, philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible).

For more information about organization eligibility and guidelines, you can visit the Google for Nonprofits Eligibility page.

How Do I Get Started?

To get started with Google for Nonprofits, you can do one of the following:

Visit the Google for Nonprofits enrollment page and follow the instructions provided. You will need to follow Google’s qualification and eligibility guidelines and ensure your account is set up correctly before you activate any products through Google.

Alternatively, you can complete this form on our website to get started. We will need the following information for your Google for Nonprofit Membership Application:

  • EIN Number.
  • TechSoup validation token – If you do not have a TechSoup account or are not sure, we will walk you through creating one or gaining access to it.
  • Information about your organization and your goals for Internet Marketing (for instance, who your organization is trying to target or reach and why).
  • Your website login information in order to set up conversion tracking.
  • Access to your Google Analytics account to set up goals that align with the conversions on your website, as well as to link the Google Adwords Ad Grant account. We will walk you through adding us to your account. If you do not have one, we will set one up for your organization.
  • Access to your Google Business Account if you are a local nonprofit that would like your ads to show your location extensions. 

Why RankMonsters?

RankMonsters is a full-service Internet Marketing Company that specializes in administering Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits. We are passionate about working with charitable organizations and helping them succeed online.

The RankMonsters team has years of experience applying for and managing nonprofit-focused marketing campaigns. We can help you avoid getting denied or rejected and we can appeal suspensions or rejections from the past. We have studied the requirements and guidelines for the programs carefully and can ensure your accounts are set up the right way.

We are also proud to be a member of the Google Ad Grants Certified Professional Community. As one of the 41 certified agencies worldwide, you can be sure our work is high-quality and recognized by Google.

Maximize Your Exposure

The Google Ad Grant allows your ads to show up at the top of search results for your main keywords. With this program you can increase your online exposure and appear in front of your target audience any time they are searching for your services.

Advertise Services & Products

The Google Ad Grant lets you advertise your nonprofit’s services and products to searchers online. Using the Ad Grant, you can reach a much wider audience of motivated searchers with advertisements targeted to the keywords they are looking for.

Connect with Donors

The Google Ad Grant allows you to reach out to potential donors and volunteers online. With this program you can target ads specifically to donors looking for nonprofits to assist or to volunteers looking for an organization to work alongside.

Advertise Events

Google Ads makes it easy to advertise events and special occasions without expending extra funds. The Ad Grant even allows you to target your ads to people seeking events or activities in your location to help increase attendance and reach more people.

Increase Brand Awareness

Using the Google Ad Grant, your ads can appear in searches broadly related to your services. This can allow you to increase awareness of your organization and brand among the general public, or to build interest in one part of your organization’s offerings.

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Receive Valuable Data

When you use Google Ads, you receive valuable data about the people searching for your keywords and clicking on your advertisements. This data makes it easier to target future ads, and it also provides valuable insight into your online audience.

There has never been a more crucial time for a nonprofit to maximize its online presence in the savviest, most cost effective way possible. Share your nonprofit with the world and impact your mission by utilizing Google Ad Grants.

RankMonsters will help your nonprofit apply for and obtain Google Ad Grants. We are a proud member of the Google Ad Grants Certified Professional Community, and we have extensive experience in maximizing the opportunities provided by this program. 

Website Analytics Benchmarks

Website Analytics Benchmarks

When you’re diving into the sea of data that Google Analytics collects for your website, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or not understand what all of the metrics are telling you. So today, we’re going to take a look at some of the more commonly used metrics, such as bounce rate, time on site, pageviews, and conversions, and what the generally accepted benchmarks are for each, based on information provided by Google and by various SEO experts in the field today.

What is Bounce Rate?

Google defines a “bounce” as a single-page session on your website. That is, when a visitor follows a link to your website and leaves the website without visiting other pages. Your website’s bounce rate is simply the number of all single-page sessions (bounces) divided by the total number of all sessions on your website.

When viewing bounce rates, it’s important to keep your website’s goal in mind. If your goal is to sell a product or to get visitors to explore your website, then a high bounce rate is a major warning sign. However, if your website is geared to provide all the necessary information on a single page, a high bounce rate is a good sign.  It means they didn’t have to search your website or go to other pages to find what they needed; everything was in one place and your website is performing exactly as you want it to.

Bounce Rate Standards

Bounce rates don’t currently have an across the board standard, as each website has a different goal, and each goal has a different bounce rate. Also, Contact Us pages and blogs will typically have high bounce rates, as visitors are looking solely to interact with that page alone. Under the lens of a worldwide “average” bounce rate benchmark, anything over 50% is considered high and worth taking a look at, and anything between 20-50% is considered low. Anything under 20% is likely an error. Again, these are worldwide standards. If a website is over 50% bounce rate, it doesn’t mean the website is performing poorly. You simply need to then look at the purpose of the website and if the bounce rate reflects it well. If anything, bounce rate is best used to give you information on visitors and their experience on your site.

Bounce Rate Benchmarks (per Google Analytics)

  • Landing pages with one call to action: 70-90%
  • Content Websites: 40-60%
  • Lead Generation: 30-50%
  • Blogs: 70-98%

The following are some helpful graphs that provide a closer look at bounce rate benchmarks by device, industry, channel, and device type (all graphs are courtesy of CXL).

 

Time on Site Benchmarks

Anything under 20 seconds is a major red flag, as that’s barely enough time for a visitor to look at the webpage, much less read its content. 40-50 seconds is a great start, as it means you have their attention. In general, anything over 2 minutes is the accepted standard for websites.

Pageview Benchmarks

Pageviews are much like bounce rates; there is no universal benchmark. Again, if your website is information based, a single pageview could mean your website is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do: provide everything in one place. For the sake of discussion, however, let’s look at the e-commerce industry standards:

  • 1.58 sessions/user
  • 5 avg. pages/session
  • 3 mins avg. session duration
  • 41.26% bounce rate

So what does this tell us? For e-commerce, having a high number of pages/session is good, as they want people to browse their products. Having a session/user number that is higher than 1 is good, as it means they are returning to the site at least once. A 3 min avg. session duration is also good, as that’s a very good time for a user to spend on a website (remember, 40-50 seconds good and 2+ minutes is the benchmark). Lastly, a 41.26% bounce rate means over half of their visitors are going beyond their landing page and interacting with the site, which is exactly what you want to see.

Conversion Rate Benchmarks

The average conversion rate in AdWords across all industries is 3.17% on the search network and 0.46% on the display network. For the health & medical industry (i.e. pregnancy centers), the 2018 averages were as follows:

  • 3.27% CTR for search ads
  • 0.59% CTR for the Google Display Network
  • 3.36% avg. conversion rate for search ads
  • 0.82% avg. conversion rate for the Google Display Network

Other Useful Information

  • In 2016, 42% of companies had hired a content strategist executive.
  • As of 2017, content marketing (i.e. blogs) gets 3x more leads than paid search advertising.

We hope this has been a helpful overview of some of Google Analytics’ most commonly used metrics and that you have gained a deeper understanding of what these metrics can tell you about not only the performance of your website, but also the visitor experience and engagement with your content.

RankMonsters is a Google Ad Grant Certified Professional Agency

RankMonsters is a Google Ad Grant Certified Professional Agency

Our team at RankMonsters is proud to announce that we’re now listed as Google Ad Grant Certified Professionals. As one of the first agencies to be included in this program, we’re very excited to continue our work with both the Ad Grants team at Google and with nonprofits around North America and beyond.

 

According to Google, the goal of the Certified Professionals Community is to “enhance the Ad Grants experience for professionals and Grantees alike.” Google recognizes that there are many challenges for nonprofits when it comes to understanding the Google Ads platform and managing the Ad Grant. Through this initiative, nonprofits will be able to find trustworthy agencies and partners to help apply for and manage their Ad Grants.

When you partner with RankMonsters to manage your Google Ad Grant, you get an experienced and engaged partner to help with every aspect of your Grant account. We’ve worked with nonprofits across the US and Canada of every type and size, from single-person organizations to large museums and libraries.

Here are a few of the benefits you can see when you work with RankMonsters to manage your Google Ad Grant:

  • Fast Approval – If you don’t have the Grant yet, our team can help you get approved quickly and without unnecessary delays.
  • Free Applications – We will help your nonprofit apply for the Google Ad Grant for no charge and with no obligation to use our management services.
  • Experienced Management – Our team has years of experience managing both standard Google Ads campaigns and Ad Grant accounts. We can recognize issues before they become problems, and help respond to and solve them fast.
  • Full Reporting – Every month you get a complete and detailed report of your campaign’s performance and progress.
  • No Strings – Our goal is to help your nonprofit fulfill its mission. Because of that, all of our services are straightforward and can be cancelled any time.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to apply for or manage your Google Ad Grant, simply fill out the form on our website or give us a call at (405) 605-8218 today. We’re ready to help your organization take the next steps toward online success!

Google Makes the Switch To HTTPS Mandatory

Google Makes the Switch To HTTPS Mandatory

Take a quick look at your website’s URL. Do you see a little green lock and the word “Secure” next to it? If you do, congratulations – you’re on the right side of technology history. But if you don’t see that lock, you need to be aware of Google’s latest mandatory change. Starting in July 2018, Google will begin marking all sites that aren’t using HTTPS as “Not Secure.” Additionally, you could start to be penalized in organic rankings. So what do you need to do?

A Quick Primer on HTTP and HTTPS

For many years, HTTP – or HyperText Transfer Protocol – was the default way information was transmitted across the web. HTTP allows computers to talk to each other and share information in a standardized way. Any time you enter an address in your web browser, click on a link, or submit your password to a website, you’re actually making an HTTP request to another computer somewhere in the world. The content of your request, and the response you get from the other computer, determines what comes up on your screen.

The problem with this system is that it wasn’t built with the modern Internet in mind. Today, people do all kind of sensitive and personal things online. This includes transferring money, writing confidential emails, managing medical information and more. But HTTP doesn’t keep any of this information private. It’s possible to extract sensitive data like passwords, credit card details, and other personal info when you communicate with a website over HTTP.

This is the problem HTTPS solves. HTTPS – HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure – uses encryption to scramble information transmitted between computers over the Internet. When a website uses HTTPS, you can feel safe entering your password, financial details, or other personal information. Everything is protected at all points between your computer and the one you’re communicating with.

Google is pushing for more sites to use HTTPS to protect both standard users and websites. Additionally, HTTPS benefits you by allowing you to use new features on your website, like allowing users to take and send pictures directly or requesting a user’s location.

How Can I Get HTTPS on My Website?

To have your website marked as Secure, the first step is to purchase and install an SSL certificiate. SSL certificates are available from a wide range of vendors and authorities. However, finding a trustworthy one and installing it on your site can be complicated. You might not have much experience managing your website’s hosting and services. In this case we recommend reaching out to your webmaster or hosting provider for help.

After you have the certificate, you’ll also need to redirect your old, non-HTTPS website to your new secure site. You can use 301 Redirects on your site to automatically send visitors to secure pages. Setting up 301 redirects isn’t too complicated, but it can be time-consuming, especially on larger sites. Again, a good webmaster can help you handle this task and ensure your site is set up correctly.

Alternatively, you can work with a dedicated partner like RankMonsters. At our agency, we provide website hosting, SSL certificate setup, and website optimization packages for all types of businesses and organizations. This includes setting up HTTPS, making sure all your pages are redirected, and keeping your site up-to-date and optimized. We can help your site manage the transition from HTTP to HTTPS smoothly and professionally. Plus, we’re always happy to answer questions and to help you get results.

If you want to learn more about helping your website perform better, contact RankMonsters today at (405) 605-8218. Or, you can fill out our form to request more information. We’re looking forward to helping you succeed online, so contact us today!

Google for Nonprofits Membership

Google for Nonprofits Membership

Nonprofit organizations have access to many special tools and opportunities, but one of the biggest is Google for Nonprofits. This Google program gives your organization access to several unique offerings. With a Google for Nonprofits membership your organization can apply for an Adwords Grant, use G Suite for Nonprofits and more. Learn more about the different programs and opportunities available as part of your Google for Nonprofits membership, then let us help you sign up and put those tools to good use.

Google for Nonprofits

Google for Nonprofits Tools and Offerings

When you enroll your organization in Google for Nonprofits, you get access to several special offerings straight from Google. Here are a few of the opportunities that are open to you through Google for Nonprofits.

G Suite for Nonprofits

G Suite is Google’s site management tool for websites. It allows you to set up email, share documents, and keep track of appointments to help your organization run more smoothly. G Suite for Nonprofits available for free as part of your Google for Nonprofits membership.

Google Ad Grants

The Google Ad Grant gives participating organizations access to up to $10,000 in in-kind advertising credit on Google Adwords. This allows you to advertise your organization and services on Google to perform outreach, solicit donations and connect with clients.

YouTube Nonprofit Program

The YouTube Nonprofit Program gives nonprofits access to special tools and production capabilities for YouTube videos and advertising, including the ability to solicit donations directly through your videos and access special video production spaces at no cost.

Google One Today

Google One Today is Google’s fundraising and donation platform for nonprofits. One Today allows you to receive donations without transaction fees, send receipts automatically, and share your campaigns through email, social media, and in the One Today app.

Google Earth Outreach

Google Earth Outreach allows your organization to access special nonprofit tools for Google Earth, including access to the Premium Google Maps API and up to one million free maps credits for publicly accessible websites.

Google for Nonprofits, and the programs offered as part of a Google for Nonprofits membership, are free programs offered by Google to eligible nonprofit organizations. RankMonsters works to help nonprofits manage and maximize these programs to improve their results.

Qualifications
To be eligible for the Google for Nonprofits program, your organization must:

  • Currently be a registered nonprofit holding 501(c)(3) status
  • Be registered with TechSoup
  • Acknowledge and agree to the application’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.
    • Not discriminating on any unlawful basis in either hiring/employment practices or in the administration of programs and services.
    • Not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring/employment practices.
    • Agreement that the donation will not negatively impact Google’s current or future ability to do business with your organization.
    • Agreement that the donation will not be used to corruptly influence any government official to obtain or retain business or any improper advantage.

Please note that the following organizations are not eligible:

  • Governmental entities and organizations.
  • Hospitals and health care organizations.
  • Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions, and universities (however, philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible).

For more information about organization eligibility and guidelines, you can visit the Google for Nonprofits Eligibility page.

How Can I Get Started?
To get started with Google for Nonprofits, you can do one of the following:

Visit the Google for Nonprofits enrollment page and follow the instructions provided. You will need to follow Google’s qualification and eligibility guidelines and ensure your account is set up correctly before you activate any products through Google.

Alternatively, you can complete this form on our website to get started. We will need the following information for your Google for Nonprofit Membership Application:

  • EIN Number
  • TechSoup validation token – If you do not have a TechSoup account or are not sure, we will walk you through creating one or gaining access to it.
  • Information about your organization and your goals for Internet Marketing (for instance, who your organization is trying to target or reach and why).

RankMonsters does not charge a fee to apply for the Google for Nonprofits Membership on your behalf, but we do charge a monthly management fee if you choose to enroll in one of our nonprofit management programs. If you would like to learn more about the available packages and programs we offer, take a look at our services page.

Why RankMonsters?
RankMonsters is a full-service Internet Marketing Company that specializes in administering the Google Adwords Grant for nonprofit clients. We are passionate about working with charitable organizations and helping them succeed online.

The RankMonsters team has years of experience applying for and managing nonprofit-focused marketing campaigns. We can help you avoid getting denied or rejected, and we can appeal suspensions or rejections from the past. We have studied the requirements and guidelines for the programs carefully and can ensure your accounts are set up the right way.

If you’re ready to get started, visit our services page today to choose the level of service and interaction that is right for you. You can also call us at (405) 605-8218 to learn more or ask questions, or visit us on Facebook to see recent stories and updates!