In theory, SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is simple: Deliberately getting people to your webpage by making sure it is easily found on search engines. Still, it sometimes gets a bad rep. Google’s algorithms, like much of the internet, are constantly changing. And I get it, keeping up can get complicated, time-consuming and frustrating very quickly.
Many nonprofits skip out on optimizing their page simply because they think that they don’t have the time or the resources, or that their audience will find them ‘automagically.’ But for nonprofits whose online presence plays an important part in fundraising and visibility, the value of SEO outweighs the struggles, and it can be less time consuming than you think.
Here are 3 quick tips to getting started on SEO:
(If you’ve got more time, check out our more comprehensive one-pager here.)
Find out where you stand:
The first step to bettering your organization’s rank on search engines is to figure out where you stand. At MediaDesk we call this piece “necessary narcissism.” Google yourself. Google other organizations that provide similar services. Then figure out where the discrepancies lie. Are funders, clients, or partners able to find you easily? If not . . .
Start using keywords (the right way):
Google no longer looks at tagged keywords in your site’s metadata, but that doesn’t mean keywords don’t count. Instead of using tagged keywords, Google’s bots crawl your page content and look for commonly used phrases to find out why and how you’re relevant. However, that doesn’t mean that you should start peppering your content with arbitrary keywords. Keywords should be words that you would naturally use when describing your organization. If Google finds that your content sounds robotic or spammy, the keywords will work against the page rather than for it. Instead, strategically pick natural and high-trafficked keywords. (For example, we used keywords “SEO,” “search engine optimization” and “nonprofits” for this blog.)
Then, make sure they are incorporated in these key places on your site:
- Page titles and descriptions
- Content (especially the first 100 words)
- Image titles and descriptions
Consider starting a blog:
I know. I said these tips were going to be quick and easy. But if you’ve done any searching at all into the world of SEO, you’ve probably come across the overused phrase “content is king.” And it’s overused for a reason. The most important thing to search engines is delivering great and relevant content to their searchers. Keeping your site updated with new content that people actually want to read is the most important thing that you can do for SEO, and a blog is often the simplest way to do it. We publish ours weekly (in fact you can read the others here), but if you only have time to write a blog every other week that’s a great start. And don’t forget that your staff, partners, and clients are likely great guest bloggers that can help ensure your “content is king” too.
For 7 more tips on honing your SEO strategy: Click here to download the SEO one-pager.