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10 tips to help non-profits improve their SEO

Posted By Volunteer Toronto, December 15, 2017
 Ask Kelly Banner

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes | Written by Mary Walton, volunteer blogger 


As a non-profit, you've got to be easily found in order for people to access your services, support your cause or even to volunteer with you. When you're operating on shoestring budget or if you don't have the manpower for complicated marketing or outreach campaigns, improving your search engine optimization, or SEO, can help you immensely. Here are ten tips that will get you front and centre online.

 

1. Determine your target market

First of all, you need to know who you want to reach. Who are the people who would benefit from your work, and who would be willing to contribute their time or money to the cause? Now's the time to do your research and understand what your audience wants. Defining your audience and their needs is your first step, write this down so you can reflect this in all of your marketing and communications efforts.

2. Research keywords

Keywords are a vital part of your SEO strategy, and should be considered when you’re writing content for your website. When selecting keywords to use, think about what searches you want your organization to be found under. Be specific, include keywords as they would be searched and use them often to serve your website up in search results. For example, maybe you want to write about 'fundraising ideas'. You should use keywords like 'school fundraising ideas', or 'charity fundraising ideas' in your content.

3. Organize your content with headings

"Headings are useful in any piece of content you write," says SEO expert Daniel Peterson from UKWritings. Search engines will scan webpages looking for headings, and titles of pages or blogs are even more valuable when looking to improve SEO. Include keywords in your headings and don’t be afraid to have subheadings. Peterson also adds, "They help break up your work, and give scanners the ability to find what they want, quickly."

4. Don't forget about your local reach

It’s important that the community where your non-profit operates knows about your services and impact. A good way you can ensure they find you online is through creating a Google+ listing and claiming your organization’s profile. Google will then be able to easily provide your address and other important contact information to those searching locally.

5. Use anchor text

Anchor text is the content that's hyperlinked to another site or resource that you want to show your reader. If you use this well, you'll get more traffic as you'll show up in more search results. You can also use hyperlinks to direct people through resources on your own website, perhaps to the next blog that might be of interest. Use anchor text that's short, descriptive and accurate, clearly detailing what the reader is clicking into. For example, if you’re looking to find volunteer opportunities in Toronto, try searching the 600+ opportunities on our website.

6. Describe your images

Ensure that you're writing accurate captions for images on your website. These will show up in image searches, so if they're described correctly you'll be sure to have more traffic coming in.

7. Add a call-to-action (CTA)

A CTA is a direct action that you're asking your readers to take. For example, you may want to write 'Donate now' at the end of your content, or 'Click here to volunteer.' The commands should be short and to the point, asking the reader to take the next step.

8. Find out if you're eligible for a Google Adwords grant

Many non-profits qualify for a grant from Google Adwords, making it easier for you to advertise in Google searches and improve your visibility. Look into getting a grant as it can make a big difference, adding up to $120,000 of advertising value to your organization.

9. Optimize your site's speed

Websites will be ranked higher if readers stay on the page, as they'll have found something useful to them. If they keep leaving though, it may be that they're leaving before the page has loaded. Test to see how long it takes important pages on your site to load and make changes, like using smaller images, to improve the loading speed.

10. Secure your site with HTTPS

You'll want to look as professional as possible, and keep your visitors secure when they visit your website. Now's the time to secure your site with HTTPS, and look into other security measures. This is essential if you take donations online.

If you’re not currently running a HTTP connection for your website, you’ll need to purchase an SSL certificate for this level of protection. You should be able to order one from your hosting provider. Once installed, this will add the HTTPS setting to your URL which means that your content and payment transactions are protected from users with malicious intent.

Google recognizes that HTTPS is important and therefore, if your website has it, you’ll also have a much higher SEO ranking because you are proactively protecting your users and their personal and financial information.

 

These ten tips will help you optimize your SEO and bring traffic to your website. Give them a try and you may just see your hits soar!

 

Mary Walton is a writer at Australian Assignment Help service and helps with content management at OXEssays. Mary consults people on how to improve writing style and give successful presentations. She also proofreads content at Revieweal, an educational website.

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Tags:  non-profits 

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