I was just speaking to an executive at a university Annual Fund who told me that she wanted to use social media platforms to drive more traffic to her website. 

If you can relate to this desire, I need to stop you right there.  You need to understand something: you don’t want more traffic.  More traffic by itself has zero value.  You want: more donors, more volunteers, more customers, and more satisfied “readers” who visit your site regularly to read your new content.  If you optimize your website so that every year you get more donors, more volunteers, and more happy subscribers, you’ll win promotions, raises, praise and other good things.  If you optimize your website simply to generate generic traffic, pretty soon you’ll be asking yourself why you wasted your resources to do that.

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Will Marlow is a digital strategist/online marketing consultant.  He’s the co-creator of  AlumniFidelity, which is a Web 2.0 fundraising platform for colleges, nonprofits and secondary schools.   He’s working with clients such as UVA, the College of William & Mary, the University of Oklahoma, and Bowling Green State University and he loves nothing better than a thorny marketing challenge.  He would love to help you market your business on the Internet, boost the fundraising numbers for your school or nonprofit, or sellout your next big event.  Email him at