"We've been working to increase our online presence, particularly through social media and our blogs," says Angela Garcia, executive director of
, a Lawrenceville nonprofit that collects surplus medical supplies from U.S. hospitals and provides them to other countries in need, particularly following natural disasters.
One of the techniques they have been examining for gaining notice on the Internet is SEO -- search engine optimization, which involves understanding how Google and other search engines work so that searchers can find your Website and thus your services.
"As a niche industry, we're trying to get more market share, to get more hospitals to work with us," Garcia says. "If people can't find us easily throughout the country, that will impact our growth, and we will lose our opportunities to build relationships," especially at crucial times when they are trying to target their supplies to a particular disaster on the ground.
"I kept asking: How do you do this? How do you find a class to teach you SEO? We didn't question that we needed to do it" -- just whether they could afford it.
, the South Side social media and Internet experts. They're offering a free training program to local nonprofits (and for students looking for this skill that is highly desired by online-focused employers).
According to Andrew Garberson, the company's SEO coordinator, CTAC Pittsburgh, Amizade, The Homeless Fund, Global Solutions Pittsburgh and The Education Partnership are joining Global Links for the first class -- but there are three spots for organizations still open. Training starts in mid-February.
SEO, says Garcia, "is not something that's really taught -- you learn it hands on." She is gratified that LunaMetrics is providing the training to nonprofits. "This is very community-minded of the company," she says, "and very hands-on."
Writer: Marty Levine
Sources: Angela Garcia, Global Links; Andrew Garberson, LunaMetrics