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SEO 9 min read

SEO for Non-Profits: How to Boost Your Organization’s Visibility

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Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

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Expert reviewed by Jigmit Gwari

SEO Product Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 29 Sep 2023

As the owner of a not-for-profit organization, you want to boost your organization’s online visibility while maximizing your savings. Are these two goals possible to achieve at the same time? With the right SEO non-profit strategy, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” 

Do Non-Profits Need SEO?

You aren’t a business trying to sell a product or service, so you may wonder if spending time optimizing your website for SEO is necessary. 

Organic traffic plays a vital role in attracting more donors to your organization. People who search for non-profits in their area are likely looking to support a cause. If your organization pops up at the top of the search results, you could gain more support, volunteers, and donations.

There are many strategies to consider, and determining what will work best for your unique goals may seem intimidating. Fortunately, a few tried-and-true techniques can help boost your non-profit’s SEO. Let’s break them down.

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1. Design a User-Friendly Website

A well-designed, user-friendly website offers a solid foundation for driving traffic to your non-profit. Ensure your site is optimized to stay in Google’s good graces. For example, your website should have:

  • A clear, consistent layout
  • Few or no pop-ups or banners
  • Keyword-rich metadata
  • A mobile-friendly design
  • Quick loading times

Simplicity goes a long way, so keep things straight and to the point. Users will appreciate a clear, concise message and an easy-to-navigate website. If a site visitor wants to contact your organization or donate, they should be able to do so in just a few clicks.

2. Use Target Keywords

Incorporating keywords relevant to your mission throughout your non-profit’s website can boost your SEO. Keywords attract users searching for those topics on Google and other search engines. Your website’s content can answer their queries and lead to more support and donations.

For example, suppose that you run a pet rescue in South Florida. A popular local Google search is “pet rescue Miami,” so you should try to include that phrase throughout your website. That way, Google will crawl through your pages, see that you meet that query, and promote your website to users who search for that key phrase.

However, your content should sound as natural as possible, so avoid using too many keywords just for the sake of having them in your copy. On that note, you should also avoid:

  • Being too repetitive
  • Using keywords that don’t make sense in the context of the page
  • Inserting blocks of identical words

Try spending some time on keyword research to determine which phrases will impact your SEO. Some budget-friendly resources are available to help you get this done, or you can partner with a reputable marketing company that has an expert SEO for non-profit team. 

Time is money, and keyword research can take a while. Outsourcing this task may be a more financially sound option.

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3. Write Compelling Content

High-quality content goes a long way in boosting SEO. Google rewards businesses and not-for-profits that provide information users are searching for. Some content best practices to keep in mind include:

Targeting Your Specific Audience

What demographic is your organization trying to reach? Ensure your content addresses specific questions that potential donors may be searching for. Describe what makes your cause stand out, and throw in captivating images, videos, and more throughout your content to set it apart.

Don’t Forget About Previous Content

Before you go all in on new content, revisit the current copy on your organization’s website. This content is fantastic to work with because it’s already written! Determine how existing content can be improved and optimized so it ranks higher. 

You can also view the data and analytics on this copy to see how it’s been performing, gaining insight into how effective your current SEO for non-profit strategies are.

Try Different Types of Content

Blog posts are great, but don’t be afraid to get creative with the type of content you’re offering. The more variety you offer, the more ways you can draw in potential donors and supporters. Examples of different types of content include:

  • White papers
  • E-books
  • Presentations
  • News content
  • Webinars

By keeping things fresh, you can keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. You can even tap into your current pool of donors and supporters to ask what kind of content they’d want to read.

4. Use On-Page Elements

On-page elements help Google understand your content and how to rank it. Examples of on-page elements you can optimize to improve your SEO ranking include:

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Headings
  • Alt text
  • Internal linking
  • Anchor text

Google considers these on-page elements when ranking content, so make sure you’re using each one effectively.

5. Build Backlinks

A backlink is a link created when one website links to another. For example, a popular local news site might write an article about your non-profit and link to your site within the article. Backlinks boost your SEO and establish your organization as an authority for your specific cause.

A great way to earn backlinks is to reach out to publications and news sites. Tell them when you host a fundraiser and ask whether they’d be willing to promote it, or simply ask to be included in upcoming articles and event calendars. You can also build backlinks by writing a guest blog on a third-party website.

6. Rank High for Local SEO

Local SEO is a vital ranking factor for businesses and non-profits alike. Claim your Google Business Profile and fill in as many details about your organization as possible. An optimized listing will include contact information, your location, high-quality photos, reviews, FAQs, and more.

An up-to-date profile helps establish your organization as an authority in your niche. That’s because you can answer user questions and respond to reviews. Interacting with users and being a reliable source of information will help take your organization to the next level.

7. Get Listed in Non-Profit and Charity Directories

When you search for “non-profit organizations,” various directories come up. These directories are hard to outrank, so if you can’t beat them, join them! If your organization isn’t on a directory’s list, submit it for consideration. Being on these lists helps boost your credibility, and you get a valuable backlink out of it, too — a true win-win.

8. Be Social

You can’t underestimate the power of social media. Encourage supporters to share your organization on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Also, share your non-profit’s social media pages wherever possible. Having a place to interact with your supporters and donors can encourage others to contribute.

Promote user engagement by allowing users to comment on blog posts and discuss your mission with each other. Hop in yourself and interact with your users as much as possible to promote engagement and boost your website’s SEO.

9. Keep Up With the Trends

New non-profit SEO trends are appearing all the time. It’s essential to keep on top of them to remain in Google’s good graces. Stay informed on ranking factors, mobile optimization, website security, structured data, and core web vitals. 

Do your research and update your website as necessary. This research may sound tedious, but it can keep your site ranking high and the organic traffic rolling in.

10. Track Your Website’s Performance

As you try new SEO non-profit strategies, check your analytics to determine how they’re impacting website traffic. You can use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your site’s performance. 

You can also partner with a reputable marketing agency like Galactic Fed to boost your organization’s SEO and track its performance every step of the way. This data can guide your SEO strategy and boost your non-profit’s online visibility.

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Non-Profit SEO Made Easy

You put a lot of work into designing a beautiful website for your non-profit, and it deserves as much online traffic as possible. No matter what your vision is for your organization, the right SEO strategies can bring your goals to life. 

By improving user experience on your website, optimizing your content, taking advantage of local SEO, and getting social, you can garner more support for your cause without breaking the budget. 

Finding the perfect SEO non-profit strategies may take some trial and error, but once you find the right formula, you’ll begin to see the benefits. Increased online visibility and, therefore, more support and donations will make it well worth your time and effort.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed