Nonprofits don’t normally liked to be compared to the business world. They do good deeds, they devote their whole life to a worthy cause, they are passionate about executing their mission. Oftentimes, they are the EXACT opposite of how a business behaves. When nonprofits come to me for my digital marketing consulting services, the first question I ask them is can people find you in Google? Most of the time, the answer is no. That’s a problem. That’s a big problem.
Google and the Nonprofit.
People don’t just use Google to find window washers, restaurants, personal injury attorneys, or digital marketing agencies. They use Google to give. They use Google to learn. They use Google to contribute to the greater good. Oftentimes, nonprofits simply don’t have that pair of eyeglasses on, and they aren’t thinking in terms of search or getting found. They need to be.
Your audience is searching. They are searching for things to get involved in. They are searching for information on poverty, or the homeless, or the hungry. They are searching about endangered species, the arts, the humanities, the symphony. They are looking for you. Can they find your nonprofit?
Lost & Found.
I was recently appointed to the board of Michelee Puppets, an honor which I take very seriously. I was appointed because they see the value of digital marketing for their nonprofit, and they are looking forward because they see the massive need for being found online.
Michelee came to On Target a few months back and we donated a digital marketing plan for their amazing nonprofit. As I was meeting with the board president and executive director today, she informed me how very pleased she was that their traffic has shot up, their content is being read, their rankings are moving from page 10 of Google (the best place to bury a dead body) to page 1, position 1 under some of her core keyphrases. On Target is literally helping to transform her nonprofit by putting it on the radar in Google. Now, when schools are seeking educational programming for their students, Michelee Puppets is among those options. More people are served, and more lives are touched because of a simple search.
5 SEO Quick Tips for Nonprofits.
1) Content, Content, Content: Your audience is hungry, Google is hungry. Feed your audience, get found in Google. Focus your content on the mission you serve. Write about the grateful people that you’ve served. Tell the stories about the mother you helped, the little one who needed guidance, the amazing contribution that a corporate sponsor just made. SPREAD THE LOVE and don’t stop. The more amazing, shareable content that your nonprofit creates, the more Google will reward you with better search rankings.
2) Get Social: Installing amazing and fresh content on your website is great, and should be happening often. But you’ve got to take your nonprofit farther than that to get your audience and Google’s attention. Creating rich content for social media and building a strong following will not only keep your prospects, donors, board members and volunteers engaged, it will show Google that your nonprofit is alive and vibrant. Be sure to reference your website URL from time to time and steer your audience to your blog, newsroom, donation page, mission statement, etc.
3) Optimize Your Nonprofit: The majority of nonprofit websites that I see are NOT optimized for search. They don’t reference the specific location that they serve, they don’t adjust title and description tags, they didn’t incorporate best SEO practices, they didn’t chose the right URL structure, etc., etc. Have a professional look over your site and perform a quick analysis. Oftentimes, the majority of the SEO issues are easily fixed, but 9 times out of 10, a nonprofit website was built by a donor or volunteer who just simply doesn’t have the SEO background, OR the nonprofit was simply not thinking about getting the website found via search engines from the inception.
4) Get Local: If your nonprofit serves a particular regions, i.e., Orlando, be sure to claim your Google Places page. Add some rich photos, add some testimonials about the lives you’ve changed, add your ‘business’ hours. This will ensure that your nonprofit shows up during a Google search as a ‘place’ near the searcher’s location. Google is a real estate game, and you’ve got to make certain that you obtain every possible free listing that you can in order to own the real estate.
5) Get Responsive: Does your nonprofit website conform to tablets or smartphones? Many do not and Google has recently (in April) announced that it will be ranking websites that are built to ‘respond’ to the many different Internet enabled devices out there higher than websites that were built to remain static and seen on a desktop / laptop. This is critical and will typically require some pretty large modifications to your website code and sometimes, look and feel.
The Bottom Line.
It’s critical to treat your nonprofit and its online presence like you would a business. Your nonprofit needs to get found, get shared, get talked about, and get noticed by the people who can help share and spread the good word about your organization. SEO is a huge and critical factor (and just the tip of the iceberg) when it comes to digital marketing and growing your organization.
If we can help your nonprofit with its SEO or digital marketing in any capacity, I encourage you to give my team a call at On Target Digital Marketing. In Orlando, call 407-830-4550, In the midwest and Atlanta, call 866-471-4748.
Thanks so much for reading and sharing,