Is your team struggling to develop a search engine optimization strategy for your website? Do you know what it takes to help your website show up in Google search engine results? Does the question, “How would SEO help my organization?” linger in the back of your mind?
This is just a sample of the many questions nonprofits struggle to answer as they strive to navigate the ever-changing waters of search engine optimization (SEO).
Consider asking yourself this essential question: “What would you want to find if you were visiting a nonprofit’s website?”
According to Marc Koenig of Nonprofit Hub, “Google looks at all the stuff that shows that your website is useful: if they stay on your pages, if people are talking about you with social media and if your website answers the questions your constituents search for.”
Search engine optimization exists to help organizations websites get a higher ranking in search engine results and for users to find the information they are looking for faster and easier. Consider whether or not people are visiting your website because they are interested in donating or volunteering with your organization. Perhaps they want to learn more about your programs, the work your organization is doing to make a difference in your locality, region, or country.
If you can determine what visitors expect to find and what they spend too much time looking for when they visit your website, you can start optimizing your site to effectively address one major issue every website experiences—visitors who leave.
SEO can help your nonprofit increase visibility and awareness about its services, get people to support a cause and increase online donations. It is a time-consuming effort, but if you commit to the process of learning about search engine optimization best practices, you can add keywords, phrases, and content to your website that are relevant to your cause, but to the visitor who is looking to learn more about your cause online.
7 Tips to Add to Your SEO Checklist
- Create quality content that is easy to read, digestible, and engaging.
- Research and identify strong keywords to boost your content’s SEO score, you can use the Google keyword planner tool to help identify the strongest keywords for your website.
- Always organize your content with headings. According to Ellie Burke, “When keywords are used in headings it shows the search engine that the keywords are important within the greater content of the piece.”
- Use anchor texts which are words that are linked to another page, it’s similar to a hyperlink which is used to provide a reader with more information about what they are reading.
- Include Alt Text to Describe your Images because Google can’t interpret images on it’s own.
- Ask for backlinks, they are measured by Google’s page rank and “The more backlinks to your site has from credible websites, the more credible your pages will seem in the eyes of a search engine.”
- Create a Google+ profile – “In order to improve your local rankings, Community Boost recommends creating a Google+ profile and filling out the about section to give Google an idea of who you are and what you do.”
DO NOT forget about mobile optimization.
According to Search Engine Land, Google claims that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” Having a mobile-friendly website has now become more important than ever.
As of March 2016, Google announced that it is rolling out an update to mobile search results in May that “increases the effect” of its mobile-friendly ranking signal. The goal is to “help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly,” though the company didn’t share exactly how much of an impact it expects the change to have.
Using these tips, you should be able to get started on developing an SEO strategy for your nonprofit, but remember this is just the tip of the iceberg! If you are able to implement these changes into your nonprofit’s website this year, your team will have taken its first steps towards improving your visitors’ experience when they visit your website, improving the likelihood of your website appearing in search engine results, and improving HOW it appears in those results. So take the time to learn as much as you can about SEO, and if you need help you can always hire an expert to help guide you along the way.
- Media Cause | SEO for Nonprofits: 7 Reasons to Prioritize SEO
- Nonprofit Hb | Want to get Found on Google? The Reality of SEO for Nonprofits
- Whole Whale | SEO Success: Six Steps for Small Nonprofits
- Google AdWords Blog | Building for the next moment