- Written by Josh Shankowsky
- Category: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Does site rank and organic search results from SEO searches really matter for nonprofits? Yes! That is, as long as you want people to know about your organization. And yes, nonprofit organizations do need to make a profit to stay in business. Without a viable website, traction and traffic, and people understanding your cause, how do you remain afloat? Although it's not the first thing nonprofits think of, the right tactics for not for profit SEO, will greatly help improve your website rank, for the proper terms. So, where do you begin when it comes to increasing site rank?
You have to optimize content on your website with the right keywords. If you're a nonprofit that helps animals, you obviously need to highlight your services
- Pet care
- Animal adoption
- Dogs, cats, etc
People who are searching for a nonprofit animal shelter, sitter, or other pet service provider, will search specific keywords, these are a few of the many you're going to want to target in that niche. If those words aren't on your site pages, titles, service description, or mission statement, where do you expect your site to rank?
Today, content is still king, and that doesn't seem to be going away. Therefore, you need to create rich, engaging content, which is relevant and adds value to your target niche as a nonprofit. Google scans websites for proper keywords and local SEO use; make sure your site's on point.
Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
Harping back on the point of keywords, make sure they're in title tags, H1, H2, and H3 tags, and in your meta description. If people don't see the words animal, shelter (or whatever other keywords are linked to your nonprofit) in the meta description, it isn't going to rank highly on Google. In fact, it might not even rank on the top page of Google. Want an in-depth guide to title tags? Click here
Off Page SEO Matters Too
Most businesses and nonprofits think that only what they're doing matters if it is on their website. This isn't true. Backlinks, guest blogs, review sites, and Google My Business pages, are some examples of off page SEO. It's important that what's said and read about your site in these places, is accurate and adds value as well. It isn't as important as on-page SEO, but it matters, and can lead to Google penalizing your ranking, if the off page content is bad enough. Infact offpage SEO is the number one factor when it comes to getting your content ranked.
Locality is Important
Local SEO is very important today. Think of people searching for a business. They're going to add city, state, local landmarks, and other content related to the local area in their Google search. If your nonprofit doesn't incorporate local SEO, it's greatly going to hinder your online ranking. People are searching on mobile devices and want to know where you're located. If it's not on your site, and not incorporated into your SEO practices, you need to rethink that strategy.
Incorporate URL Keywords
The same goes for your URL. It not only has to be easy to remember so people can visit frequently, it has to link to the keywords that surround your nonprofit organization and its mission (for example - www.pethelp.com/shelters). In this URL you can see the terms pet, shelter, care, and it immediately elicits animals and care to searchers. You want something easy to remember and memorable, and you want your URL to incorporate a relevant keyword related to your nonprofit.
Create Quality Content, Regularly
You need to create content regularly for Google to rank your nonprofit website. If you're not creating engaging content that adds value to your site, it's not good enough. Blogs, off page guest posts, Youtube videos, visuals and inforgraphics, are all great to incorporate onto your site. The more content you produce, that's benefiting your target audience, the better it will work to help increase organic rank for your nonprofit.
Use Social Media
Social media should definitely be a part of your SEO strategy today. Add videos to Youtube about upcoming pet adoptions (for your pet/animal nonprofit). Add new photos of a facility you're building on Instagram. Ask customers to take a poll on Facebook. Tweet new content, or information about new animals that are in shelter for adoption on Twitter (or anything relevant to your nonprofit organization).
Social media allows for engagement, and today, social media greatly impacts your rank for Google organic searches. Make sure you're engaging, and incorporate links for your social media channels, directly onto your website, as this will increase internal linking, and more visits to your sites/platforms.
Remain Abreast on New Trends
In the world of SEO algorithms are changing daily. Today, https (vs http) is important. Encrypting your site for security, having a mobile first index, and AMP (accelerated mobile pages) is of high importance. But, tomorrow these might not be as important as proper keyword targeting. As a nonprofit, you either have to build a strategy that allows you to change your SEO and content, or have to work with an SEO company that will research trends and changes, to ensure you're site is highly visible, at all times, to searchers.
Consider User Experience
Think about yourself as a searcher for a minute. When you search Google, you are looking for something in particular. You'll include terms like 'near me" or add a local search term. When you ultimately choose a site to visit, you want it to look neat and organized. You want to find content you're looking for quickly, rather than having to click on 20 links to get there. It's also important that the page loads quickly, if it takes more than 2 seconds, you know you're leaving. And, you want a mobile site that's seamless and looks great, since you're likely going to perform searches on your smartphone and devices regularly.
Now, think of your nonprofit organization. You need to deliver on the same fronts to your searcher. You have to create a gratifying user experience, great content, a nice looking site, and one which is mobile friendly and locally optimized. Make it easy for searchers, and Google will help promote your site as a top ranking nonprofit within that niche.
These are some of the many practices (in no particular order), you'll want to employ when building an SEO strategy as a nonprofit organization. These not for profit SEO tactics will not only help increase visibility for more keywords within your niche, but also help increase overall rank for multiple searches through Google's organic results pages.
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