The search engine optimization (SEO) landscape is constantly evolving, and everyone has an opinion on how you can keep up. For nonprofit organizations, the endless SEO advice can be overwhelming when you are trying to juggle fundraising and advocacy.
While fundamentals like targeting keywords and user experience remain a focal point in search tactics, it is more important than ever to build an SEO strategy for your nonprofit to stand out on the internet. After all, 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine.
How can you drive more traffic and engagement to your nonprofit website with SEO services? Let’s take a look at a few key SEO tactics that will help you increase donors and spread awareness around your organization.
Why Is SEO So Important for Nonprofits?
SEO is the process of earning organic traffic from search engine result pages (SERP)—meaning, you aren’t paying for every ad or sponsored content click.
Through improving and promoting your website with SEO, you’re able to increase your search visitors and drive valuable conversions to your organization. The higher you rank in the SERP, the more likely your website will be clicked on. In fact, only 0.78% of searchers click on results from the second page or further.
With a comprehensive nonprofit SEO strategy, you can:
- ◘ Compete with bigger nonprofits without needing a large budget
- ◘ Build your brand reputation through valuable thought leadership
- ◘ Help guide potential donors to your website and build brand advocates
- ◘ Draw attention in your local community
- ◘ Drive further engagement to your other digital marketing channels
8 SEO Tips to Help Your Nonprofit Rank #1
While optimizing an SEO strategy takes time, patience, and effort, your nonprofit will experience a boost in overall engagement and ROI. Get started with the following tips:
Use the Right Target Keywords
Optimizing your website with keywords means using specific words and phrases throughout your content that are valuable to your target audience. Search engines will crawl your website for those particular keywords and determine if they are relevant to rank for a user query.
Discover the keywords that users are already searching for in your site through popular tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. For example, if you own a dog rescue nonprofit, common keywords may include ‘dog rescues near me’ or ‘dogs for adoption.’ Those terms will not only help guide your content and overall strategy but also give you a deeper understanding of your potential donors.
Develop Valuable Content
Once you’ve compiled a list of high-value keywords, you can develop thought-leadership content around those phrases. Search engines want to see that you’re providing users with valuable content that’s relevant to what they’re looking for. However, it’s important to remember that you’re writing for your target audience — not the search engine, so you’ll want to avoid keyword stuffing your content.
Whether you develop blog posts, videos, infographics, etc., authoritative content includes the following features:
- ◘ Digestible with simple language
- ◘ On-topic and organized
- ◘ Targeted towards a specific audience and intention
- ◘ Contributes to a larger conversation in your industry
Implement On-Page SEO Best Practices
On-page SEO tactics occur directly on your webpages and help Google crawl your website to find valuable content. It also influences how both search engines and users interpret and navigate through your website, which relates to your rankability. Some on-page SEO elements you need to adopt:
- ◘ Headings
- ◘ Meta descriptions
- ◘ Title tags
- ◘ Anchor text
- ◘ ALT text
Establish Off-Page SEO Tactics
Off-page SEO refers to the ranking signals that occur outside of your website. One of the most important elements of off-page SEO includes backlinks, which is when another website links to one of your webpages. When reputable websites link to your pages, you send trust signals back to the search engine that your website is credible.
As a nonprofit, you can earn links by reaching out to news and publications when you host events or launch new donor campaigns. Ask to be included on calendars or earn a write-up on the work you’re doing for the community.
Provide a Memorable User Experience
Providing website visitors with exceptional user experience (UX) is an essential part of SEO ranking. Search engines prefer organizations that give searchers the best experience, so they don’t get frustrated and bounce off your website or search result page. Beyond search engines, you also want users to enjoy your website and feel an emotional connection to your brand. With a positive experience, you’re more likely to earn donors and brand advocates.
User experience best practices include:
- Fast page speed and response time
- Intuitive navigation
- Discoverable content
Leverage Local Opportunities
Whether you’re a local or national nonprofit organization, leveraging local SEO opportunities is a crucial part of your overall strategy. This includes creating and claiming a Google My Business profile to ensure your organization ranks for branded keywords and localized qualifiers associated with your nonprofit.
In your Google My Business listing, including the accurate location, contact information, photos, reviews, and more to optimize your profile for potential donors. For example, when a user searches ‘local dog rescue,’ your listing will potentially drive direct traffic to your website.
Optimize for Featured Snippets
A featured snippet, also known as an answer box, is a brief answer to the user’s search query. These show up after the ads, but before ranked results, and include a title and URL back to the web page at the top of Google search results.
If you’re looking to rank for keywords like ‘how can I adopt a dog’ and drive more awareness around your nonprofit, consider the following elements in your content:
- Clear and concise language
- Targeted keywords
- Headers for easy scanning
Focus on Mobile Indexing
With over 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide and 52.6% of all web traffic coming from a mobile device, your nonprofit needs to focus on the mobile experience. Mobile-first indexing refers to Google considering the mobile version of your website as the primary view. While many nonprofits won’t have a mobile site, it’s essential to make sure your website is mobile responsive, so your rankings don’t take a hit.
Discover Nonprofit SEO Services
With ever-evolving search engine algorithms, you must stay on top of your nonprofit SEO strategy so you can take your nonprofit organization to the next level. The right optimizations in place can drive traffic to your website, increase your online reputation, and help you earn valuable donors to propel your mission further.
Ready to get started? Schedule a free SEO audit with Visual Rankings today.