6 Things Non-profits Ought to Know About Search Engine Optimization

Every Non-profit can gain easy recognition for their cause by eliciting the help of search engines – but search engines are strange entities of mystery so you have to know what they want and give it to them before they will show you their love. If you make your site more attractive to search engines you will be rewarded with higher rankings – so let’s cover some must-dos and get some attention!

To get more visitors to your website a Non-profit must:

Match search terms with your content

This is the biggest downfall and faux pas of many a website: great text and graphics, a beautiful site, but no one is actually searching on the internet for anything in it! You can optimize your site till the cows come home but if no one is searching for your keywords then no one will come. There are lots of great free tools [WordtrackerSEO BookGoogle's Search Based Keyword Tool are a few] that you can put your keywords into and see if anyone searches for them, and if so how often. If a low or zero number per month searches for your keywords come up with some new ones - fast.
Write for humans
Although search bots can’t read they are pretty smart. If you stuff your text with keywords they know it. This used to work several years ago but now is definitely not looked kindly upon. Write your content in a way humans will enjoy but also leave some flags up for the search engines by strategically placing your keywords. Which leads on to...

Put keywords in the right places

The right places for your keywords are in your domain, the folders [categories if using Wordpress] and then in the title, or name, of the page. A good example of the use of keyword phrase ‘animal rescue’ would be: http://charlotteanimalrescue.com/animal-rescue/rescue-dogs-FAQ.html
Laser focus your keywords
You will have great success if you concentrate on 5-20 or so keywords/phrases for your site. It’s better to have some content density around some keywords and rank better for fewer than rank low for many. Again, use the free keyword tools to find terms that have good search numbers and focus on them most.

Change it up

Each page on your website needs to have its own unique title that’s about 65 characters in length tops. Short and sweet titles are better, and longer ones are going to get cut off in your search engine listing anyway. Your keywords must be in the title and the closer to the beginning it best.

The same rules apply for your meta description [what is shown under the page title in the search engine listing,] except you should use no more than 160 characters, including spaces. Think of the description as a very short sales pitch for your web page. You have to ‘sell’ your page to make it stand out from all the other listings. Include a call to action like: Help the Charlotte Animal Shelter – we need volunteers. If you love animals and can volunteer call 704.555.5555 today.

Get stylish
There are HTML tags you can use to make your headings stand out for your visitors and make the search engines pay extra notice. Bolding works but use the H1 and H2 tags at your disposal to add some oomph to your content and make sure your keywords are in your headings.

Now you know these six simple tips to get your Non-profit found on the search engines, apply them, sit back and wait for some major attention from the search engines!