SEO For Non-Profits 5 Basic Tips

SEO stands for Search engine Optimization. Yet, if you are newer to the digital marketing world, the term SEO can seem to be a bit of a head-scratcher. To help you learn SEO for non-profits, here are 5 basic SEO tips you need to learn.

First, let’s go over what SEO is. In general terms, SEO has techniques and strategies in order for your site to be found and ranked on search engines like Google and Bing.  The end goal is to be at the top of search results for your chosen keywords or search subjects. For non-profits, the amount of work you need to put in largely depends on three factors, how searched your chosen keywords are, how much competition there is for those results and how authoritative those other companies and non-profits are that currently have the top spot.

There are two main parts to SEO, on-page and off  page. On page are the change you make to a site to get better search traffic and off page are things not directly done to the website to increase search rankings. There are many different (and hotly debated) advanced strategies in the wold of SEO that digital marketers will use to try and achieve this. Yet, if you start with the basics, you can usually get a good head start over those you’re trying to rank over.  Here are 5 basic SEO tips for non-profits.

Do a little research

Depending on your objective, you may want to research how searched and competitive your chosen keywords and subject is.  There are several free tools you can use to achieve this. Google ads have a Keyword Research tool that is free to use. You do NOT have to spend money on Google ads to use the tool.  Another great tool is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. These tools will give you monthly search volume and how easily it would be to rank for that keyword term.

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Choose your domain name and URLs carefully

Though it may not help as much as it used to, having your main keyword or even cause in your domain name does not hurt. In fact in many cases, we have seen top spots still going to domains and URLs that have their main keyword or cause in them.

Use your main keyword in the page title

Your page title is the next most important thing to search engines like Google. It tells the search engine what that page is about.  If your organization is about after-school programs, one of your pages should have a page title that has after-school programs.

If you are using WordPress, use a SEO Plugin

WordPress powers about a third of the internet, so it makes sense to cover this. If your Nonprofit has chosen to have a site powered by WordPress, there are several good plugins out there that will help you create on page SEO rather easily. The one I suggest for beginners is Yoast. Yoast has several really cool features that will help walk you through what you need to do on your site to help your on-page SEO.

Create a Google Search Console account and submit a sitemap to Google

This tip is aimed directly at Google, and that is because the majority of search traffic comes from there. Google Search Console ( AKA Google Webmaster Tools) is hub created by Google where you can submit your website to be crawled and indexed ( how Google reads your site) and get information about your site. For the moment, we are just going to focus on submitting a site map.

If your using a plugin like Yoast, your site map has been created for you. You can find its features. There are other sitemap plugins if the SEO plugin you are using does not have that feature. If you are not using WordPress, there are several sites that will help you create a site map.

Create an account on Google Search Console. Go through the steps to validate your domain. Once you have done that, click your domain on the sidebar and go to sitemaps.  Enter your sitemap_index.xml? and submit.

Following these 5 basic steps will help you get on your way to ranking on Search engines for your chosen keywords and causes.

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Chris Hughbanks
Chris Hughbanks

Chris is the owner of Hughbanks Design, a Houston web design and digital marketing company.