Mon Yough Community Services: SEO on a Shoestring
Mon Yough Community Services is a nonprofit organization near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It
embodies some of the common challenges of nonprofits: lack of funding, lack of resources, and an
organization that embraces “low tech.” MYCS’website, developed and hosted by a company offer-
ing pro bono services to nonprofits, hasn’t had a major update in seven years. If you ask Gina
Boros,MIS manager, what kind of effort they put into SEO,she’ll just laugh.
At first blush, it seems there’s no reason to market MYCS on the Web.This is an organization whose
target population is the homeless and mentally ill. Its most successful marketing efforts are in the
form of bus stop advertisements, not the Internet.Pittsburgh’s nonprofit service agencies are a
tight-knit group, and the referrals that come are almost always word of mouth.
But, when you delve a bit deeper, it becomes clear that marketing its site on the Web would be far
from pointless. MYCS constantly seeks new volunteers and interns to keep its therapy programs
running smoothly, and website owners love linking to these kinds of opportunities.MYCS throws
fundraising events: the more people attending,the more funds raised. If they’re using flyers and
newspaper ads to promote these,why not the website? And it turns out that there are some case
managers in the region who haven’t heard of MYCS.The search engines might give a little boost.
Perhaps the hardest part of Gina’s job is that she knows how much she
do—she has a mas-
ter’s degree in multimedia development—if her organization just had the funding and resources.
Her hosting service has a stats program, and she could check it if she had time,but who has time?
She’s one of three people maintaining 400 machines. She knows its branding could be more cohe-
sive,but MYCS doesn’t have a marketing department. As it is, Gina says,“I can give you maybe four
examples of people who actually found us through our website”.
Gina’s got a plan: She’s going to find some grad students, maybe from her old multimedia pro-
gram, and get a new website built with labor from free internships.After that, she’ll have a web-
site worth promoting and a team on board to get moving with SEO. Good luck, Gina!
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