Whether they like it or not, online businesses need SEO. That includes charitable organizations as well.
The goal of your SEO strategy is simple – increase website traffic, generate leads and convert them into clients. Implementing your SEO strategy, however, is a different story. It involves lots of variables that you need to manage as you navigate your way into the complex world of optimizing your site. Nonetheless, it is far from impossible to practice.
This post will break down SEO for you in its simplest and most basic terms to help you grow your charity website’s online presence and garner traffic for free.
Know your goals
You need to promote your charity website to people, which brings the need for SEO.
However, for this to take place, you must define your goals and what you wish to achieve from your campaign.
This reason is why you need to create measurable website goals. Examples are as follows:
- Increase online donations
- Newsletter signups
- Event attendance
- More awareness resources
To must clarify your goal first before you proceed to the next step, which is at the heart of every successful SEO strategy.
Keywords refer to the words and phrases around what people type in the search bar of Google. An example would be “orphanage Los Angeles. The best page for each search query appears on top followed by the next best page and so on.
These pages rank based on the patented algorithm Google uses to organize pages from descending order.
Finding the right keywords where your site should rank for, therefore, is of utmost importance.
Keyword research, for all intent and purpose, is an art. There are factors you need to mitigate and control in order to extract the best keywords for your site.
To help you get started, read this post. It details the exact process of keyword research using different tools to make your job easier. Once you found the keywords, in comes the optimization part which I will discuss next.
Optimize your website
Two important ways you can optimize your website are:
- Optimizing your site pages for your keywords
- Optimizing your site for speed
With keywords at hand, you want to assign each one for each of your relevant site pages.
As a rule of thumb, you need to mention the keyword numerous times on your blog post or landing page
The keyword is the way search spiders can understand the context of the page. In other words:
The more times you mention the keywords, the more the search spider will associate your page to that keyword.
However, it’s not as simple as stuffing your keywords throughout the text on your web pages. Keyword stuffing will be penalized by search engines because the spiders will read the content as being unnatural and not adding value to users. What you must do is add in your keywords naturally – keyword density should be around 2% to 5%.
As a result, you increase your chances of ranking high for that search phrase, this helping beneficiaries and supporters find your website!
You must also mention your keyword on the page’s title tag, URL, meta description, meta tags, image alt text, and image file paths. Again, use keywords with discretion and never over-optimize.
Improving site speed
You need to increase your site’s loading speed because Google penalizes sites that load slowly by ranking them lower on search results – it doesn’t matter if you have the best content. If people have to wait for your site to load for more than a few seconds, then it’s as good as useless! (Fact: 38% of visitors leave your website if it loads more than five seconds.)
There are different ways that you can hasten your charity site’s loading time.
Some require help from a web developer or programmer. Others just need your time and elbow grease so you can shave off seconds to make your site load faster.
To help you get started, read this excellent post from Venture Harbor.
Writing great content
This sounds basic, but vital to the success of your charity website’s SEO campaign.
Writing good content attracts readers because this makes your site trustworthy. This is necessary especially that you have a charity website.
We’ve discussed the importance of optimizing your content for your target keyword.
But here’s the thing: Quality content trumps all.
Even if you chose the right keywords for each of your site pages, it won’t mean a thing if you don’t create content that your audience wants to read.
Therefore, when developing content for your site, put yourself in the shoes of readers and sympathize with them. Create content that answers their needs and wants.
Below are rules of thumb when writing and creating website content:
- Avoid jargon and write in a concise and straightforward way. Don’t go around in circles explaining the same thing.
- Speak professionally but with a human touch. Write in a conversational tone so people can understand you better.
- Mix quality with quantity by posting good content regularly. Posting frequently helps improve your site’s reputation and authority.
- Have a content strategy. This allows you to plan ahead and makes sure you publish content that adds value to your target audience.
Grow your online authority
Google ranks websites according to authority. The higher your website authority is, the more searchable you become as your site appears on top of the search engine.
Creating good content helps, but it’s not enough. In other words: You need to go beyond your site.
Write guest posts or articles on sites related to your charity. This helps promote your site while improving its web authority. Publicize high-quality content with links leading to your site – backlinks.
This lets users and search engines know that your site is an authority in your respective field. This also makes your site look trustworthy because it appears across the internet. You can also promote it on social media or get press coverage.
By following the tips mentioned above, you’re able to generate more traffic to your charity site. Make sure you learn from your experiences – you don’t have to be an expert from the start, as long as you track your progress and modify your goals accordingly, your charity site should soon generate traffic from search engines.
More importantly, you must understand that SEO is a marathon, not a race. Results won’t come rolling in until months of consistent implementation. As long as you stick to the tips above, you can promote your organization to a wider audience online.