In a post for Huffington Post’s IMPACT What’s Working, Laura Packard explores how nonprofits can use search engine optimization to ensure their website shows up in the first pages of results and as close to the top as possible. Laura Packard is a digital strategist and new media consultant at PowerThru Consulting, an internet consulting firm for progressive nonprofits and campaigns. She has consulted and trained for progressive organizations and political campaigns around the country.
How to Use Search Engine Optimization For Your Nonprofit
By Laura Packard | Huffington Post | 9/24/15
It’s critical that your official website shows up in the first page of results, in the top few choices above the fold if possible. How do you make that magic happen? Here’s some search engine optimization tips that will help you land at the top of the heap. Search engines use several factors to determine the ranking of results, but these are the main factors you can control:
- Use keywords in your URL(s)
- Use keywords on your pages (both the page title and in headers, as well as content)
- Get as many quality links to your site as possible
- Tell Google about your site, so that it is completely indexed
Google takes into account your site speed in determining your ranking, and also whether the site is mobile optimized (i.e. Mobilegeddon happened in April, where Google started paying attention to this). If you want to keep your supporters happy and engaged, make sure your site loads fast and looks great on mobile devices. If you want to do well in search, that applies just as much. If your site is slow, setting up caching may help. Or it may be time to look at a full website redesign, especially if your site is not achieving your goals and/or is not mobile optimized.
Making Sure Google Notices Your Nonprofit
The article covers the many factors that determine where your organization appears on Google search results, from what keywords to use on your page and in your website URL, to how fast your web page opens.
One of the ways your org can improve how Google ranks your results is by using AdWords to bid on keywords associated with your website and mission and Google Ad Grants, which are available only to 501 c(3) nonprofits can help you get started.
Mobile Matters For Nonprofits Who Want To Get Found Online
Another way that nonprofits can improve their chances of getting found online is to ensure their website and donation & other online forms are mobile optimized to reach and engage supporters, volunteers, and donors whether they are using a computer, tablet, or in many cases, exclusively their mobile phones to connect with their cause.
Customized, mobile responsive online forms can be easily set up from your MobileCause account in just minutes to sign up volunteers, send out surveys, gather signatures for a petition, and or course, collect donations for your cause. Your mobile-friendly fundraising forms can also be added to your org’s Facebook page to easily collect contributions from your fans on social media.
Mobile matters so use only responsive online forms, which can help your org increase submissions by 38%, save thousands of dollars in administrative costs and may make a big difference in how easily you can get found online.