Search engine optimization, or SEO, involves making changes to a website’s design or content in order to attract more organic search traffic. Strategic and consistent use of SEO builds your website’s credibility and authority, giving the website a better chance of ranking high in search results. More organic search traffic means that a nonprofit’s mission, stories, and goals will be on display for more potential donors, volunteers, and advocates.
Why Strong SEO for Nonprofits is Essential
With over 90% of the search engine market value, Google has enormous potential to connect nonprofits to current and future supporters. It’s no surprise with the massive amount of searches that Google receives, it has become a very competitive space. Nearly 30% of Google users will click on the first organic search result that comes up, compared with just 2.5% of users that may click on the tenth post. Very few users will ever continue onto the second page of results. The fight to rank in the top posts leads websites to use paid services like Google Ads, which allow websites to pay to put ads on their content in exchange for better rankings.
4 Tips to Boost Your Nonprofit’s SEO
Most nonprofits and charities likely do not have endless funds to pour into their SEO strategy. The good news is a solid SEO strategy doesn’t have to involve paid ads. Choosing the correct keywords, building high-quality content, building backlinks, and optimizing for user experience all can help to drive more free, organic traffic to your cause.
Keywords allow you to strategically direct your content to a motivated audience that wants to know more about your organization’s cause. There are many tools available that can help you choose the best keywords to use to create content. Various factors are involved when determining whether or not to use a keyword, but two of the most important are search volume and competition. Search volume gives a good indication of how many people are currently searching for a keyword, and a competition or difficulty score will tell you how much content around that keyword already exists.
When planning content, create a list of potential keywords then run them through free sites like Serpstat to determine search volume and competition level. Once you have a list of good keywords that have the potential to rank, you can use them to create content for your website pages and blog. Blog articles can be built around individual keywords or you can go back in and add keywords to previously written articles. Keywords should also be used in titles, headings, and subheadings when appropriate. If you are having trouble coming up with potential keywords, try putting another keyword into keywordtool.io, which will generate a list of related keywords or phrases.
2. Create Quality Content
Every day Google is getting smarter at determining how well a website’s content is able to answer users’ questions and concerns. While keywords provide a roadmap that content can be built around, it’s important that the content is useful, accurate, and informative. When planning new blogs, have a look at similar posts that are currently ranking well on Google. In your article, try to fill in any content gaps that these articles may have missed. If possible, it’s always a good rule of thumb to write an article with a larger word count than the current highest-ranking articles.
3. Use Backlinks to Boost SEO
The correct keywords will guide you to write sought-after content. Providing thorough and engaging articles based on these keywords will help your organization’s articles rank high in search results. Once content begins to rank, supporters, advocates, journalists, and related organizations can link directly to your nonprofit’s articles on their own websites and in their blogs.
Backlinks can help to expand an organization’s name, mission, and goals to new audiences and increase the chances of connecting with motivated donors or supporters. They also boost your credibility within google’s algorithm. Over time, building up high-quality backlinks from trusted websites with authority will help drive traffic to your organization’s content as well. To help create more opportunities for backlinks, nonprofits can offer to write guest blogs for similar organizations or related websites, as well as invite guest writers to write for their blogs.
4. Optimize Your Website
A website should be easy and straightforward to navigate. A site map can help lead visitors to find engaging, accurate, and thorough content. The content provided should accurately reflect the keywords chosen. It can also be of great benefit to consider optimizing a website for different types of devices. Mobile optimization is especially important these days, as so many people use their phones to work, communicate, and connect. Factors such as website speed also impact your website’s ability to rank well.
Grow Your Organization’s Reach with Strategic SEO
SEO strategy is multi-faceted and always evolving. There are ways to optimize searchability for an organization’s website, social media, email, and whatever other outlets they use to provide content to supporters. If done correctly, optimizing SEO for separate channels can have a compounding effect since vital keywords will be shared throughout an organization’s media and marketing materials. Over time these small practices can lead to new relationships with donors and volunteers as well as stronger bonds with current supporters.