Quarter after quarter, I run website analytics reports for my clients and see the same thing:
The blue slice represents all the visitors that find your organization via a search engine.
This slice also represents people who are probably meeting your organization for the very first time.
The former fundraiser in me gets stars in her eyes when she thinks about search engine visitors: PROSPECTS!
Whether you need more donors, more volunteers, more activists or more board members, your organization needs to attract more search engine visitors to your website.
There’s an entire industry devoted to the goal of attracting more search engine visitors to your website: Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
While some companies can achieve this goal by devoting a budget category to SEO, as a nonprofit website manager, you have to be more creative.
Here’s the good news.
Good search engine optimization doesn’t require a big budget.
With a bit of planning and strategy, you can earn a lot of free, genuine SEO. Scroll down for my list of suggestions.
This isn’t a comprehensive list. But if you’re trying to get a lot of result with a little bit of effort, here’s how you start:
1. Be Consistent
Search engines love your original content: blog posts, news updates, profiles, anything that you create from scratch and that only exists on your website.
It can be difficult to find the time to create original content. But you must do it.
Consistently posting original content to your nonprofit’s website will have the biggest, most positive impact on your search engine optimization.
Whether you post once a week, once a month or once a quarter, any original content that you can create and post to your website will be a positive contribution to search engine optimization.
The more often you can post, the better results you will see.
It really it that simple.
2. Get Other Sites to Link to Yours
Search engines want their users to be deliriously happy with the results, so they pay special attention to website that have “authority”.
The more authority your website has, the more likely your website will appear as a search result.
One of the easiest ways that you can build up your website’s authority is by having other websites link to your content.
As a nonprofit, start by requesting links from .gov, .edu, other .org sites, news sites and even Wikipedia. These types of sites have a little extra authority that they pass on to your site with a link.
(Side benefit: All of my analysis of the data in Google Analytics shows that referral visitors tend to spend more time on your website! Need help getting started with Google Analytics? Take my free mini-course!)
3. Use Smart Descriptions
What information on the search results page helps you to choose a site?
Potential visitors are wooed by your page’s title and description.
Most nonprofits write great page titles, but very few pay attention to the description.
The page description is your only opportunity to convince a potential website visitor that they should click to visit your site.
Rewrite the page description for your most important pages and use it to convince visitors to click.
If you need help with tasks like this (and more) for your WordPress website, check out my Quarterly Updates service!
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