The value of SEO for nonprofits

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Pam Turos

Pam Turos

Pam Turos | Managing Editor

Once your organization gets into the habit of creating newsletters, blog posts and other website content on a regular basis, the next goal is to ensure that everything is written and tagged in a way that will help increase quality traffic to your site. The process of search engine optimization (SEO) is how you earn website traffic without paying for it and helps ensure that potential donors, volunteers, or clients will see your website at the top of their listings when they enter specific words into Google or another search engine.

For example, if your organization’s mission is to match volunteers and nonprofits together in Cleveland, Ohio, you might focus on the keywords “volunteering in Cleveland” or “Cleveland volunteer opportunities” — or if you wanted to increase the number of nonprofits that find you online as a place to look for volunteers, you might use the keywords “find volunteers in Cleveland” instead. The good thing about SEO is that it’s relatively easy to set up and you can change and edit the keywords over time, based on the results you achieve.

One key SEO consideration that we focus on with our clients at Good Cause Creative is a website’s user experience. This has to do with how easy it is for someone to get to the information they are looking for when they arrive at your website. Does the content on the site answer their questions?

Search engine “spiders” are continuously indexing all of the text on websites to determine the quality of a site’s content. Every site is ranked accordingly, and sites that have good content show up higher in search results. If you’re new to SEO, then an initial goal might be to have your site’s results show up on the first page of search results. Later, your goal might be to have your results in the top three for the keyword phrase.

Another simple fix that many organizations can do to improve is to ensure that you’re not missing the “unseen” or “behind the scenes” opportunities to tag your website with keywords. This includes tagging and naming of images. Since search engines (computers) can’t read the images themselves, they rely on image names, tags, and loading speed to determine the quality of content on your site. Naming an image “kate.jpg” and keeping it at original file size won’t do much good in terms of SEO. Instead, you might decrease image file sizes to optimize for online viewing and name your file “volunteer_cleveland_clinic_may_2020.”  The search engines will be more likely to find and consider that as part of quality content on your site.

Like all the strategies that we offer clients (and use ourselves), our goal is always to keep things simple and manageable for small teams. The world of  SEO  can be overwhelming, but thankfully, you don’t have to learn everything about SEO in order to make your website work better for you. We know you have about ten other tasks and competing priorities fighting for your attention. So, we hope you’ll avoid the temptation to “learn all the things” and begin with one simple habit you can start doing well and consistently until you don’t have to think about it anymore. Then, once you’ve mastered that, then you can decide on another goal.

At Good Cause Creative, it is our mission to empower people and organizations that make the world a better place. We do this by connecting nonprofit organizations with skilled independent contractors who can fill the talent gap and help our clients reach their most ambitious goals. Click here to schedule a call and learn more.

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