For nonprofits and charities, every penny counts. And so does every source of traffic to their websites, including organic traffic from search engines like Google. So what can these organizations do to increase the influx of visitors (and hopefully donors) arriving through that channel? Of course, the answer is to step up their SEO game.
In this article, we’ll cover some definitions, free tools, and 13 SEO tips. You don’t need to be an SEO veteran to apply these tips. Nor do you need to be in the business of generating tons of content like Wikipedia to get people through your door. Ready? Here we go:
What is SEO for nonprofits?
Keep website user friendly and in good SEO health
Get listed in relevant directories and articles
Look for unlinked mentions of your organization
Answer journalists’ requests
Do guest blogging to earn links
Go after educational keywords
Go after statistical keywords
Invite experts to write for you
Translate content to other languages
Leverage local SEO
Get a Google Knowledge Panel
Optimize for branded search
Don’t forget to interlink your content
What is SEO for nonprofits?
Search engine optimization (SEO) for nonprofits and charities is the process of optimizing websites to increase visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) when people look for information related to that organization’s cause, e.g., volunteering, fundraising, events, education, etc.
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Basic tools (which are free)
To implement the tips featured in this article, you’ll need a couple of free tools. But don’t hurry to get them now. You can do it later once you choose the tips that you want to use.
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools – AWT is our free tool that allows you to improve your website’s SEO performance and get more traffic from search. AWT can show you information like all known keywords your site ranks for, show all backlinks, and perform technical audits automatically, among other things.
A keyword research tool – Some free ones are Ahrefs’ free keyword generator, Keyword Surfer, or Google Keyword Planner.
Google with search operators – In case you haven’t had the occasion to use those, search operators allow for customizing search results. For example, you can tell Google to only show mentions of your organization on a particular website.
Now that we know what tools to use, let’s look at 13 actionable tips that can boost traffic.
1. Keep your website user friendly and in good SEO health
First things first. Let’s talk about your website’s technical fundamentals. They may need a little work. But if you don’t get them in order first, you risk undermining your SEO efforts in the long run.
I’m talking about things like issues with crawling and indexing, missing meta tags, slow loading times, and practices that result in bad user experiences (e.g., pop-ups). It happens to everyone, businesses and nonprofits alike.
So before you implement any other SEO tips, do these five things:
Use Ahrefs Webmaster Tools to monitor your website’s SEO health – This tool will regularly monitor your website for over 100 SEO health issues. All you need to do is fix the issues that AWT brings to your attention.
Get rid of pop-ups – Or at least most of your pop-ups. These include sign-up forms, exit forms, etc. Do the same for any banners that shift the layout.
Make sure your website’s layout is clear, consistent, and usable
Optimize your website for mobile devices – Over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. On top of that, Google indexes and ranks content based on mobile versions of the websites (mobile-first indexing).