Are you frustrated by the lack of visitors to your nonprofit’s website? You may need to improve your website’s search engine optimization.
About a third of the visitors to my clients’ nonprofit websites come from search engines. (And most of those visitors come from one specific search engine – The Google.)
Here are my seven best tips to help you improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). Use these tips to connect with visitors who are searching for content like what you have on your website.
Search engine optimization is a big topic, but these seven tips will help you use your time smartly and get the best results.
1. Create a keyword list that matters
Refer to your keyword list when you’re creating content and when you’re implementing tips 2 through 7.
What should be on your keyword list? Choose topics that relate to your core services, events and/or campaigns. Try to be specific by adding information about populations served, location and/or seasonality.
For example, a keyword phrase of “homeless services” is kinda meh. “Homeless mental health services Chicago” is an awesome keyword phrase because of the specific elements of location and type of service.
Refer to your keyword list whenever you create new articles, pages, reports or even images for your website. Keep tweaking your keyword list to reflect your organization’s changing goals and your supporters changing interests.
2. Use keywords in your page titles
Instead of “Our Services”, consider a page title like “Services for Homeless Veterans”. Instead of “Donate”, consider “Your donation provides health care for homeless veterans”.
3. Create human-friendly URLs for your web pages
URLs that include keywords are great for people and search engines. You want a URL like http://ournonprofit.org/services-homeless-veterans not a URL like http://ournonprofit.org/1243545.
Make sure any new pages you create have human-friendly URLs. If you can’t go back and change all the URLs of your existing pages, then just change the URLs for: the About page, the Services page, the Contact page.
(You might have to reach out to your web person to implement this change. It will be worth the effort. You can also reach out to me to see if you can get the ball rolling on a website that you can manage more easily.)
4. Use header tags throughout your page’s content
Use h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6 throughout the content of any page to highlight important points and send more information to search engines.
I’ve used h2 throughout this article to highlight each of the seven tips. It helps you to scan the article and it helps Google highlight the keywords within each of the tip titles.
(Don’t use h1. It’s usually already in use by the page title, and if you use it too many times, you’ll alert Google’s spidey sense.)
5. Get more value out of link text
Never never ever use “click here” as the link text. Ever.
Always use keywords in your link text. Even if you’re just linking over to the “about” page, use link text that includes keywords: “About our mission of serving homeless veterans”.
6. Insert keywords into alt tags
When you add images to your website, include a descriptive message in the “alt” tag field. Your descriptive message will help visitors and Google understand what’s in the image.
Most of your website editing toolbars have a field for “alt tag”, “alternative text” or “description”. (Not “title”, that’s another kind of tag.)
Use the “alt tag” field to describe what’s in the image and use keywords. Instead of “man”, set an alt tag like “homeless male veteran in Chicago”.
7. Share your content on social media
Search engines looooove incoming links from social media sites. Be sure to share your articles and website content on your organization’s social media sites, such as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.
Bonus points if you ask supporters to share your articles from their social media accounts. The more incoming links, the better your search engine optimization.
P.S. This summer…
I’m launching a great new resource that will help you attract more website visitors and turn them into supporters. Make sure you’re subscribed to my email updates to get your invitation to the free launch webinar! You can subscribe right now, just use the form below this article.