Here are two free Google services we are using, and why you should use them too.
Another social network? I’m trying to figure out Twitter, why would I want to add more work?
Google search rankings
The order in which your rare disease patient association appears when someone searches Google for disease keywords depends on many factors. We won’t get in to the PageRank mathematical formula here, but put simply, having a Google+ account that links to your patient group website, and carbon copies your Facebook posts will help your search ranking and mean a higher appearance in search results. Being high in search rankings is important so that people who receive a new diagnosis, and turn to Google to understand their rare disease will find out about the support services, information, and conferences you offer. It is not necessary for you to invest hours more in time spent gathering information for your Google+ page. It works the same as Facebook. Take the links, text, videos and photos you would post on Facebook and duplicate them on Google+. Search engine optimization is tricky, but using this simple strategy, you will be increasing your page rank and influence as a patient support association.
Also, when someone searches for your patient organization, the Google+ page appears in the search results and helps ensure people click through to find your site.
It looks like this:
Sometimes to get free things, you just have to ask. We heard about Google Grants from our friends at the AKU Society, and decided to apply on behalf of EURORDIS. Depending on where you live, Google gives certain tools and services away for free to qualifying non profits. It’s not that hard to apply and see how you could benefit here. We received thousands of dollars of free Google Ad words and use it to promote disease specific communities on RareConnect. Google Ad Grants empowers nonprofit organizations, through $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google.com. Just like with Google+, creating a Google Ad campaign will mean people looking for disease information with find your organization. Make sure you stand out from the crowd.