Posted by Jay Wilkinson

If you’re over 30, you probably remember how the self-appointed experts on the new “internet superhighway” chirped on and on about how every business and nonprofit needed to get their website address on everything.

Guess what? Turns out they were right. You can’t build a nonprofit website and expect people to show just because. You have to promote it. One of the easiest ways to do that is to follow this rule of thumb: Wherever your logo appears, your website’s URL should be there as well.

Promotion is crucial to the success of your nonprofit website—you have to make people aware that it exists and why they should care. You can build the most professional and engaging website on the internet, but if nobody knows it exists, it’s going to sit there and be brilliant alone. Your audience needs to know exactly where to find you and how to engage and interact with you online.

So don’t sit around waiting for the crowds. Get promoting.

The best place to start is exactly what the early web experts recommended—get your domain name out there. Everywhere. If you have letterhead, business cards or other printed materials, be sure your domain name is included. It should also appear in your email signature, your e-newsletters or any other electronic communication.

If you have collateral material that you’re handing out at events—brochures and conference swag or other things of that nature—get your URL on it. Drive a car or van with a vehicle wrap? Advertise your web address. Again, if your logo appears there, your domain name should as well.

It’s necessary to build a viable web presence, but don’t expect people to just find you out of the blue. Yes, they might be able to locate your site through Google, Bing or other search engines—but that involves good SEO practices and is a conversation for another time. First and foremost, get your domain name out there, create awareness and promote your brand. Then, and only then, will people begin to come.