Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques for Nonprofits

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the pillars of digital marketing. It is a set of techniques that increases organic web traffic by boosting the rankings of websites and web pages on search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO aims to improve the visibility of your website on SERPs like Google and Bing to increase the number of unpaid visits to your site.

Why do you need SEO for your nonprofit website?

SEO techniques help drive traffic to your website. A high organic traffic is key to high conversions – the more people visit, the greater chances you have to sign up more volunteers, get more donations and encourage more people to get involved with your social work.

SEO can benefit your nonprofit in various ways such as:

  • Establishing awareness about your nonprofit, advocacy and campaigns
  • Gaining more followers on social media
  • Expanding reach to more potential donors
  • Improving website user experience
  • Guaranteeing higher conversion rates
  • Lowering marketing costs
  • Encouraging locals to visit your physical office
  • Building social impact credibility
  • Ensuring mobile-friendliness of your website
  • Planning a long-term marketing strategy

Does your nonprofit need local SEO?

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If you want to promote your nonprofit in your city or area, you should adopt a local SEO game plan. Local SEO is the process of improving the search visibility of a business or organization in a locality. It optimizes websites and Google My Business profiles for location-based keywords such as “nonprofit New York”.

Local SEO has a locational component but organic SEO does not necessarily have. The former revolves around promoting a specific location while the latter is primarily about a website or a web page.

Nonprofits that want to build up their physical offices or entice local donors and volunteers should have a local SEO strategy. Those that choose to promote their website for donors and volunteers everywhere may opt for organic SEO. Your nonprofit can also go for both.

What are search engine optimization (SEO) tips that suit your nonprofit?

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SEO techniques include keyword research, backlinking and optimizing images. These tactics that brands and businesses incorporate in their digital marketing can also benefit nonprofits like yours.

Conduct keyword research: Keywords in your content, which are the main elements of SEO, make it possible for people to find your website via Google and other search engines. The terms and phrases are used by people when they are looking for the advocacy your nonprofit is established for. To identify your target keywords, you need to conduct keyword research. You may do it manually by visiting Google and entering the possible keywords people use to search for you. Remember to use an incognito window to ensure your search history will not affect your results.

You can also use keyword research tools such as:

  • Google Trends
  • Google Analytics Site Search
  • SEMRush
  • Keyword Planner

Create quality content: Digital marketing, including keywords, revolve around content. It is the articles, blog posts, videos, photos and other content that search engines use as basis in ranking websites and web pages. Quality content is a critical ranking factor for Google. If you want to achieve the coveted top spots in SERPs, you should produce relevant, valuable and consistent content only.

Acquire backlinks: Websites with quality backlinks rank high on SERPs. Backlinks are incoming links to a content or web page. They represent a “vote of confidence” from one website to another. Here are some link acquisition tips:

  • Find the best content of your nonprofit peers and create something better. Contact the website owners or bloggers that linked to the original post. Encourage them to link to your content.
  • Create educational resources for .edu backlinks. Reach out to different schools or websites to link to your content.
  • Contact influencers and ask if they are interested in linking to your content or website.
  • Interview volunteers and donors you have partnered with in the past and feature them in a blog post. They will naturally want to link to the content.

Improve page speed: Page speed, an important Google ranking factor, is the speed at which a web page loads on your website. By speeding up the load time of each page, you can lower the bounce rate on your website. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who abandon your website after viewing only one page. A study suggests that 53% of visits are abandoned if a site takes more than three seconds to load.

Build an intuitive website architecture: An intuitive web architecture makes it easy for people to navigate around your website. When they visit your web pages, they know exactly what to do. Build an intuitive website architecture by either using a design that does not require any learning or adding instructions and tips that are easy to follow. An intuitive design include:

  • A click on the logo directs the visitor to the homepage.
  • Contact information is available in the footer.
  • The important elements like the menu must be in the same location throughout the website.
  • The scrollbar should be visible if visitors scroll down.
  • Plain language that is easy to understand is used throughout the site.

One important thing you should remember about SEO for nonprofits is that the algorithm of search engines update regularly. Google may revise its list of ranking factors anytime. It is imperative that you stay in the loop of SEO trends. You may track Google algorithm updates and SEO trends with tools such as Advanced Web Rankings Google Algorithm Changes, Algoroo and SEMrush Sensor.

Need help incorporating SEO into your online communication strategy? Reach out to Creativelab today!