SEO for nonprofits: The ultimate guide to nonprofits SEO

SEO for nonprofits is a technique that every nonprofit organization that wants more traffic cannot afford to overlook in this recent day.

Statistics have shown that over 72% of the world population searches online first for their answers before trying anything else.

This explains that every organization must strive to become more noticeable in the ever-evolving digital marketing world.

For non-profits, this allows them to rank their websites higher, and thus make it easier to reach more potential donors and volunteers.

And when journeying to become relevant and visible on the search engine result, SEO must work alongside your strategies.

In this article, we’ll share SEO tactics you can use to increase search engine rankings.

We’ll cover:

  • What is SEO and what’s SEO nonprofit
  • Reasons nonprofits should leverage SEO
  • Top SEO tips for nonprofits

Are you eager to learn how to do this?

Let’s plunge into it.

What’s SEO and what is SEO for nonprofits?

The word SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a set of organic methods employed to strategically position a certain web page to be seen on every search engine results that relate to the services you are offering.

As a nonprofits organization, for example, someone who wants to donate can go online and browse for related organizations around.

The results displayed for this search are a function of an effective SEO strategy.

The primary goal of SEO to increase the organization’s visibility in organic search results and drive more traffic to your website.

So in short SEO strategies allows you to:

  • Feature on the search results when being searched for.
  • Drive more traffic to your website leading to more volunteers, donors, and revenues
  • Develop a brand in the online world.
  • Connect with anyone, anywhere around the world seeking your services.

Reasons nonprofits should leverage SEO

One major reason non profits don’t invest their time and energy into search engine optimization is probably because they don’t know why they should do so.

Here are a few reasons you consider SEO:

Easy access in the locality

As stated earlier, you and I both know that whenever we have problems that burden us, Google seems to be the place we face.

Someone looking for dog rescue in Florida will most likely type “dog rescue Florida” into the search engine box.

The result displayed shows the power of SEO. SEO allows your website to be displayed when sought for locally.

Build Awareness

where else should we build our brands, if not in the online space? If for instance, you serve kids who need educational support, you can start blogging and building content on child education.

By doing this, you will make a name for yourself online and build trust with people.

Now, what makes your blog content visible to potential readers is SEO.

To allow donors to find you

There is no sure way potential donors can find you when you’re invisible online.

Charity Navigator reported that online giving increased by 23% while monthly online giving scaled up by 40%.

Top SEO tips for nonprofits

Here are a few tips to consider for building your nonprofit organization:

Focus on local SEO

Research conducted has proven that many nonprofit organizations thrive on the donations given by their local communities.

While you focus to get these volunteers and donors nationally, you can’t afford not to start training from your local environment.

Local searches are aimed at pointing individuals to the specific location of a particular organization.

Someone who entered “Child foundation near me” is most likely going to receive results that are optimized for the local environment.

Local search results are accompanied by maps, business names, websites, addresses, and others all pointing in a specific direction.

To optimize for local search you’ll probably want to:

  • Come up with relevant keywords: There’s no other way of becoming shortlisted in the search results if you are not already targeting the keywords your potential volunteers are using to find you.

Not targeting those keywords is equivalent to having a company that is not accessible to potential customers. Search engines are designed to ransack web pages any time someone enters a word into the search box.

The search engine spiders will examine the context, meaning, and the positioning of your web pages to check if it matches what searchers are looking for.

In other words, the website should contain the keywords relevant to what the person is looking for. Keyword research is a vital part of SEO.

To have an understanding of what the people are typing into the search box, you can use a keyword tool such as SEMrush, Ubersuggest, and Google Adwords keyword planner tool.

  • Create a Google My Business listing: This is another critical step towards showing up for local searches. It’s what gives you an entrance to ranking locally.
  • Name, address, and phone number: When providing your details, don’t try to use different names or phone numbers, instead you want to make sure that you are consistent all through your local profiles (Google, Yelp, Bing).
  • Use keywords in your images: Search engines don’t understand pictures, so for effective optimization use the image alt attribute to tell the search engine what the picture is about. You can also change the file name to suit relevant keywords.
  • Be sure your business is listed in the local directories: Make sure your nonprofit is always itemized in the local directories and business listing, so people can find you.
  • Gather reviews: In the online space, reviews are key. Search engines use reviews to measure the authority and integrity of your organization. Reach out to donors and volunteers and ask them to give you reviews on their experience with your organization.

Create high-quality content

In the world of SEO, content is not king, it’s the kingdom. Content marketing in recent years has been one major tool in SEO for building trust.

Just like the example we gave earlier, you need to start building content around the focus of your organization.

Doing this will automatically give you an edge over your competitors and divert more people to your website than ever before. Your nonprofit website should contain content that can get the readers hooked.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Create engaging and high-quality posts: Don’t just write because I asked you to, make sure you are publishing content that is actionable, useful, and engaging.

Dive deeper into your content. Show your readers how, why, who et al.

If you’re not sure how to get started, get an agency such as Embarque to do the work for you.

Our team is equipped with a list of writers who prides themselves in writing high-quality SEO-friendly content for nonprofits. Not only that, but we also support causes that are important for us.

  • Use keywords: Using keywords on your homepage is not enough, make sure you are targeting keywords in your posts. Use keywords in the title, meta description, subheadings, conclusion, etc.
  • Give people reasons to connect with your foundation: Sharing your story about how you got started, what you went through, and how you overcame can help you connect emotionally with your readers. So make sure to include them when writing your content.
  • Use more videos: people love when they see you talk to them in person. It makes them connect more deeply with you. More so, YouTube is the second largest search engine and is owned by Google.

Uploading your videos on YouTube and using them on your websites will automatically give Google some confidence in you and hence your website may be featured in the search results.

Employ social media

SEO and social media are two powerful tools that cannot be broken any day, any hour. Social media is a key element in your SEO strategy that you can’t neglect.

There are several ways you can use social media to drive more traffic to your website or cause people to support your organization, here are some of them:

  • Do you have an event at hand? You can run an inspiring campaign on social media to garner the attention of the public and get more donors and volunteers.
  • Post upcoming events and initiatives, then ask people to volunteer or donate towards it. You can also share posts on previous events.
  • You can add links to your social media posts leading them back to your websites so you can get them to take action by either signing up or donating.

In SEO, link building is a very crucial part that determines whether or not you’ll be shortlisted on the search result.

Google tries to get everyone to work together by using link building as a tool. Every link is considered a vote.

So the number of links you have determines the number of people who vouch for your integrity. Links help you build authority.

This can be one of those difficult tasks that disqualify most websites trying to feature in the search results. It’s not to be considered impossible, however.

For nonprofits organizations, there are several different ways to go about this, here’s a few ways:

  • You can implore news websites to put in your website link every time it appears in local news.
  • Request links from corporate partners and others. For instance, if you’ve launched an initiative involving them, you can seize that opportunity to ask them to link back to you.
  • Guest blogging is also a great way to get industry top websites to link back to your websites. It’s all about posting quality and valuable blog posts on their websites. The reward will be links that point back to your website.

Mobile-friendly website

We can’t emphasize this enough, your website must be well optimized to be accessed through mobile devices. This one major Google ranking factor.

Make sure your website can be contained on handy devices such as iPad, iPhone, tablets, android devices.

Run your website on different devices to make sure it complies with this factor.

Optimize your page speed.

Research has shown that people leave a website if it fails to load within 2- 3 seconds.

So you want to make sure your website doesn’t stay longer than this before it loads.

Be sure to delete any irrelevant documents, images that could slow down the load time of your website.

For your images, there are several applications you can use to reduce the sizes while still maintaining the quality.

Google trends can be a great tool in your nonprofit SEO techniques.

One thing it does is to help you find out the popularity of a particular searched term.

During the Christmas period for instance, if you try to create content around “Christmas” and you’re not sure whether to go for “Christmas gifts” _or “_Christmas present”, Google trends can help you figure out the one that’s currently trending.

Final note

SEO is an investment that allows you to make money even while you sleep. However, it is not an overnight success technique, it could take time before you start seeing the results and dividends of your investments.

Content is also a key factor in your SEO for nonprofit strategy.

At Embarque, we are dedicated to helping you develop a content strategy to help your organization become more visible online.

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