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The Complete Guide to SEO for Nonprofits

For a non-profit, it is essential to maximize every traffic avenue to make sure that you’re putting your message out in front of the most number of people. Additionally, you want to ensure that you’re getting traffic from the most cost-effective sources. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to put your content in front of thousands of new users every month. The process allows you to get traffic from search engines by improving your ranking. 

According to a recent study by BrightLocal, over 98% of people search online for information. This means that you have to properly optimize your presence to put your message in front of a large audience. 

However, it can be challenging to figure out the best steps to improve your search ranking on platforms like Google and Bing. That is why we’ve created this guide to help you understand everything you need to know about SEO for your nonprofit. 

Importance of SEO for Nonprofits 

Proper SEO optimization allows you to improve your search engine visibility and put your message in front of an entirely new audience. By following the right guidelines, you can optimize your website content and ensure that you end up on top of search queries. 

SEO is an ideal marketing tool for nonprofits because it allows you to market your charity to a large audience without breaking the bank. With effective optimization, you can even get better performance than paid marketing campaigns. 

While investments in SEO might take some time to pay off, you can continue to reap the rewards for years once the initial ranking is done. SEO generally takes time because of factors like keyword difficulty, competitor activity, domain age, and trust. 

Once you’ve put in the initial effort, you’ll be able to amplify the message of your brand to a much larger audience without needing to constantly pay for expensive ads. 

How Does Nonprofit SEO Work? 

There are a number of factors that play a role in your search engine ranking. You need to think about different forms of SEO when you’re trying to rank your website on leading search engines. 

Here are some of the major types:

  • Technical Optimization – This optimization evaluates your website performance, content delivery, and overall user experience. Remember that search engines want to promote websites that deliver the information that users are looking for. Metrics like loading speed, page size, and security are extremely important in technical optimization. 
  • On-Page SEO – This optimization primarily focuses on ensuring that the content itself is written in the right format. You need to pay attention to factors like readability, content structure, keyword density, and ease of understanding to improve your On-Page SEO. Additionally, link structure is also important.
  • Off-Page Optimization – This optimization refers to the steps you take outside of your own website to improve your search engine ranking. Key steps include things like external links, trustworthiness, authority, and popularity. 

To properly optimize your Nonprofit website, you need to balance all these factors and try to address all the key metrics. 

Key Steps for Nonprofit SEO Optimization

If you’re overwhelmed with all the steps you need to follow to rank your nonprofit, we’ve got you covered. 

Here are the key steps you can follow to get started: 

Using Keyword Research to Create Content Strategy 

If you want to attract the right users, you need to have a clear understanding of what they’re searching for. Search engine rankings are determined by algorithms that try to figure out which source answers user questions in the best way. 

To get started with that process, you need to figure out what users are searching for. You also need to consider the users’ search intent and figure out alternative variations of what users might input into the search engine to get results. These are also called related keywords. The best way to find keywords for your nonprofit is to use a platform like Ahrefs

Creating Highly Relevant Content 

Once you’ve figured out what users are looking for, the next step is to start creating content based on those keywords. While it is great to optimize your content with the right keywords, you also need to ensure that your content is relevant to what the users are actually searching for. 

The best benchmark to measure your content is to compare it with Google’s EEAT framework. The acronym stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These factors are used by search engines to determine which content would be the right fit for what users are searching for. 

You also need to pay extra attention to ensure that your content is authoritative and trustworthy so search engines can avoid inaccurate and misleading information. 

Here are some factors you need to keep in mind: 

  • Update older content to make sure it contains relevant information for users. 
  • Ensuring that the content includes factually correct information. 
  • Featuring opinions from other established experts that are trusted by search engines. 

Aside from these features, you also need to follow established On-Page practices. This includes focusing on a main keyword, adding meta information, and adding the right headline structure. You also need to properly link your content to other relevant content. 

Optimizing Your Content For Smartphones 

According to a recent study by Oberlo, the wide majority of internet users use their smartphones instead of desktop computers. This means that most people searching for information on smartphones will be using their smartphones. 

This makes it extremely important for you to optimize your content for smartphones. Google and other search engines now deploy phone bots to ensure that your website is smartphone-friendly. Mobile-friendliness is a key ranking signal for both Google and Bing when users are searching for information on smartphone devices. If your content is smartphone-friendly, you will outrank sites that are not optimized. 

If you want to check your site’s optimization, you can use Google’s Free Smartphone Test

Getting the Right Links 

Building an effective link structure is essential when you’re trying to build a brand. Nonprofits generally struggle to raise funds because their content doesn’t get the right eyeballs from organic visitors. 

Link-building addresses that challenge by creating authoritative content that other websites will want to link back to. A great way to do that is to have regular reports and surveys on areas you want to educate your customers. 

You can also speed up this process by reaching out to partners and sponsors to see if they will link back to you in their content. This is an effective way to drive traffic toward specialized landing pages. 

The Bottom Line 

When you’re thinking of an SEO strategy for your nonprofit, you don’t need to limit yourself to a template. There are various creative ways to create authoritative search engine content that will educate potential donors and help you attract supporters for your cause. 

However, if you’re just starting out with your optimization, following these steps can be a great starting point to start ranking on leading search engines. You can also create a checklist of the most important steps and use free tools like Yoast or SEMRush to measure your progress.

Additionally, it is important to remember that proper SEO is all about regular content creation. You need to keep your website updated with optimized content on relevant topics and answer trending questions relevant to your cause. This will help you improve your Nonprofit SEO and get more eyeballs. 

Creating an impactful SEO strategy can exponentially improve your business performance by giving you tons of organic traffic. Investing in a long-term strategy can also improve the reputation of your nonprofit and help you attract the addition of thousands of new users every month. 

However, to achieve those results, you need to implement a long-term SEO approach that includes factors like keyword research, content planning, content creation, and long-term optimization. Proper SEO is not a one-time task, you need to put in constant time and effort to reach the top rankings on leading search engines. 

If you’re looking to improve your search engine ranking and attract a bigger audience for your nonprofit, Sunan is the ideal partner. We evaluate your target market and deliver an end-to-end SEO strategy that helps you grow. Our experience team includes marketers, content planners, and content creators who work together to expand your reach. 

Thinking about getting started with SEO for your nonprofit?
Reach out to us for a free SEO audit today. 

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