3 Things to Know About SEO for Nonprofits

Effective search engine optimization is just as important for nonprofits as for other sectors. Here’s some advice to help you master it for yours.

Your cause is admirable. Whether through personal investment or a simple desire to help, you want to change the world for the better. To succeed, however, you’re going to need more than good intentions. You need to understand how to get the word out about your cause — how to draw in prospective donors and differentiate yourself from competing nonprofits in your sector. 

Search engine optimization is absolutely crucial in that regard. 

“People who care about a social issue or cause are very likely to use search engines to find relevant information about it,” reads a blog post by strategic design firm Forum One. “Having your site listed within the top results can increase visibility and drive in relevant, high-quality traffic.  Together, with the right content and calls-to-action on your web pages, search engine optimization (SEO)  is one of the best ways to spread your mission’s story.” 

Right. We’ve established the importance of SEO to your nonprofit. But how exactly can you implement it in a way that furthers your cause? 

Let’s talk about that — here are three things you need to know about SEO in the nonprofit sector. 

Content is King

In the early days of SEO, tactics such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, and link farming were a legitimate means of traffic generation. These days, they won’t get you anywhere. On the contrary, they’re far likelier to get your site hit with massive penalties. 

Google doesn’t care if a page is an exact match for a particular keyword or keyphrase. What it cares about is if that page matches both the phrase and the intent behind it. See, while keywords and the like are still important, content is what truly matters. 

So with that in mind, compelling content is and will always remain your best bet and bringing in donations and generating buzz. Craft content that meshes with what your audience wants to see, and you might be surprised at the impact it has. Examples include: 

  • Newsletters and posts that update donors about the progress of your initiatives
  • Information about your cause
  • Guidelines for how people can contribute if they don’t have money to donate
  • Educational resources around your cause

Local SEO Is a Powerful Tool

Unless you’re a major, international nonprofit, there’s a good chance that the vast majority of your donors are going to be from your city or region. For that reason, it’s imperative that you master local SEO. The good news is that this isn’t especially difficult.

You just need to make sure you’ve seen to the following:  

  • Create a Google My Business page for your charity with as much information as possible. 
  • Make sure you have Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) information on every single page of your site. It should be extremely easy for prospective donors to get in touch with you. 
  • Optimize your content with city or region-specific keywords and references. 

There’s No Substitute for Knowing Your Audience

Who are your donors? Why do they support your cause? What can you do to inspire them to donate? 

These are the three most important questions for any nonprofit to answer. Knowledge of your audience is the foundation of all marketing, from SEO to content creation to social outreach. You can craft the perfect narrative to get your donors on board and keep them invested if you understand what motivates them. 

Making The Right Choices

You want to change the world for the better. The first step is getting the word out about your cause. SEO is the best way to do that.

And now, you have some basic knowledge to get you started in that regard. 

Author: Terry Cane

Terry Cane is a technical writer for SEOHost.net, a reliable and supportive SEO hosting partner.