In a world where there are so many sources for information how can a Non-profit stand out from the crowd and get a lot of exposure for their cause with a minimum amount of effort? By using something you’ve probably heard about - search engine optimization [SEO]. Don’t worry, SEO is not rocket science, it’s pretty much common sense, and it can be easily implemented on a website. If you have a site already then you can use these tips to make some alterations that can significantly change how your pages are assessed by the search engines, so that your key pages [the one’s that will bring in the contributions/donations/volunteers etc.] show up high on their listings. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Okay, here we go:
1. Theme your website.
This might sound obvious but step back and think big picture: By breaking down your main theme into smaller themes, or categories, you not only make it easy for visitors to find information but search engines can easily work out what your site is about, which is always a good thing. So, if your cause is a dog rescue, the categories could be the process of a rescue, the dogs available for rescue, donations and education. Now break down each category into at least five chunks, with each chunk being a page on your site. The theme is strengthened by creating links between each of the pages in a category because links are really important to search engines. Tip number two explains why.
2. Use links the smart way.
Search engines see links as votes for pages. The more votes a page has the higher it ranks in search listings. To see the power of linking simply type "click here" into Google. Go on, do it. What was the number one listing? Interestingly enough it is Adobe Reader. Why? Because the default text used for Adobe Reader is often "click here to download..." with "click here" being the link, not "Adobe Reader." Are you beginning to see the power of your links here? I hope so. Not only should the links coming to your site be relevant to the content of the page they link to, but the links within your site should be relevant too. If your page is about spay and neuter then a link to it should read "spay and neuter
" not "...for more information
on spay and neuter..."
3. Titles rule.
This is a biggie. Make sure that your title is short and succinct, catchy and has your keyword in it. This post is about SEO, so guess what word appears in the title? The closer you get it to the beginning the better, but the main thing you need to take away from content creation is make it sound right - if your keyword doesn't work as the first word don't worry. This is also true for the main copy on a page. Write great content for people and you will win every time. Write that great content in a way that search engines like, without compromising your visitors' experience, and your win is even greater!
4. Repeat your keywords.
If your page is about 'spay and neuter' it is a good idea to repeat that word a few times in the page copy. Add it to the first paragraph and even bold it, if that looks okay. And remember the importance of tip #2 with regard to your keywords.
The reason Socialize Your Cause uses Wordpress and wants your cause to use it is simple: Wordpress rocks when it comes to SEO. Search engines love it because the code is sound and with a bazillion plugins the platform can be customized to hum like a finely tuned engine.
Now that you've learned the five tips to maximize your Non-profit's website you have plenty of information to take your web presence to the next level. Start with number five, over a static HTML site
because there are specific SEO plugins that will take a standard Wordpress site and turn it into a search engine magnet. Don't you think it's time your website was one of those?