Search engine optimization (SEO) is the most effective way of growing an organization, whether it's a Fortune 500 company or a startup charity.
But the SEO strategies that work for a corporation are different from the ones that will help a charity.
So how can you make an SEO strategy that'll work for your nonprofit when so much of SEO focuses on business-related goals?
At WebFX, we know nonprofit SEO requires a little bit more thought and attention than your standard business strategy. That's why we created this list of the top five most important tips for nonprofits looking to grow with SEO.
If you want to learn more about using SEO for your nonprofit, give us a call at 888-601-5359!
With any SEO strategy, it's essential that you figure out which keywords to target to bring people to your site.
For example, if your nonprofit works with blood donations to hospitals, it'd be helpful to target a keyword like “donate blood in [your city].”
Because of that, you may also think that it's a good idea to target a keyword like “donate blood.”
In reality, that's not the case.
That's because nonprofit SEO is focused on earning as many conversions for your organization as possible. Instead of focusing your efforts on attracting people who just want general information about donating blood, for example, you need to reach people who are ready to give a pint away.
To do that, you need to target high-intent keywords. These are keywords that reflect intent on the part of the searcher to take a specific action.
High-intent keywords often include your brand name, geographic locations, scheduling questions, appointment questions, and more.
They're not always searched often — maybe as little as once or twice per month — but they get qualified visitors to your site.
These "qualified" visitors are the people who are most likely to help your organization grow and reach your goals.
Sometimes, that means they just want to make a financial donation to show support. They may also want to volunteer, or maybe they want to help boost awareness of your organization.
Regardless of what you want to achieve with your nonprofit, it's important that you determine the keywords that best reflect someone's intent to support you.
That way, every time someone looks up those keywords, you're almost certain to get new support.
One of the best parts about marketing a nonprofit is that you'll almost always have access to the latest information and stats about your cause. You may even be the organization that compiles that information, in which case this SEO tip is a goldmine for you!
Take all of that information that you've acquired and turn it into content on your website.
The best way to do that is with an infographic. Infographics are images that help readers visualize data and learn information in a more engaging way than text.
If you work for a blood donation clinic, that could be the number of blood donations per person in your city.
If you work for a homeless shelter, you could talk about the number of individuals you've helped over the years.
For just about every example of a nonprofit, you can find some form of data that'll demonstrate your cause while encouraging others to support you.
All it takes is a little time brainstorming how you can best quantify your cause. Once you do that, you can crunch the numbers and organize them into an easy-to-understand visual for your site visitors to read.
Conveniently, this strategy synergizes well with the next tip on our list.
Bill Craig WebFX President
Once you've created valuable content on your site, you have to help other people find it.
That means optimizing the content you've created with high-value keywords, HTML tags, and more.
First, ensure that the content you create includes the high-traffic keywords that we discussed in Point 1. That'll tell Google to show your page in search results for those keywords, even if you're not the #1 result right away.
Next, fill out the different HTML tags that Google looks at to determine relevance for each keyword.
These tags include:
The <title> tag is the name of your page that'll show up in Google search results. This tag needs to include the keyword you're targeting so both Google and users know what to expect from your page.
The <meta> tag lets you fill out the gray text underneath the title of your page. This doesn't have a direct impact on rankings, but it does help users understand what they'll learn from visiting your page.
Last, the <img alt> tag lets you add a concise description of each image you use on a page. Search engines can't "see" images like people do, so they rely on text information to understand what's on your page. By telling them directly with the <img alt> tag, you can increase your search rankings with minimal effort.
There are a ton of other SEO factors that impact how you'll rank, but these are the most important for nonprofits.
After your content is on your site and optimized, it's time to promote your content among other website owners.
For nonprofits, this is pretty easy. You just have to send other website owners a link to your content and ask them to share it with a link to your original page as credit.
Most bloggers and reputation-conscious companies will post your content in the spirit of raising awareness for your brand. And for every link you get, your SEO power increases.
That means outreaching content like infographics pays triple for your brand.
First, it gets you a new link to help you rank better in search engines.
Second, it drives traffic to your website from a new source.
Third, it builds awareness of your cause and organization.
These three benefits make outreach one of the most important SEO-related strategies that a nonprofit can use.
Almost every website in the world has an interest in promoting nonprofits and good causes. If you reach out to them, they'll help promote your organization in more ways than you could expect!
Marketing is always changing, and that includes SEO. That means it's essential that you keep up with the latest trends and strategies — even if that means inventing them yourself.
Repeat the above steps as often as you can to get as much high-quality information out into the world as possible about your cause. Try something new each time and see how you can improve your results.
Incorporate social media, adopt an email strategy — the sky is the limit when you want to promote your nonprofit with SEO.
At WebFX, we have a full team of Internet marketers who work with nonprofits every day.
We understand that nonprofits require special attention and non-traditional forms of marketing.
Our team also knows that nonprofits don't just want to make sales like a business does — you want to earn grants, attract donations, earn volunteers, or sometimes simply raise awareness of your cause.
(And that's just for starters.)
Our nonprofit specialists have worked toward all of those goals before and then some.
If you want to grow your nonprofit, WebFX has your solutions. Contact us today to create an SEO strategy for your nonprofit!
Find out how WebFX can create an effective Internet marketing strategy for your website. Call 888-601-5359 or contact us online today for a free evaluation.