SEO for Nonprofits – Actionable Tips + Strategies

A green background and a search bar in the middle illustrating SEO tips for nonprofits

February 17, 2024

You have heard many times that you should optimise all the content of your non-profit to drive traffic. When you have limited resources, just making blog posts feels like a miracle, let alone creating an SEO strategy. We know how you feel!

The writing team at Eventgroove is small, and there’s lots to do. However, without taking that crucial SEO step, you are kind of shouting into the void. Yes, your non-profit’s social accounts do a great job driving support—but why not make your org’s entire online presence count?

SEO can be a long play since the process of getting indexed by search engines can take weeks to months. But it’s worth it. When you optimise your content, it acts as a kind of sleeper agent working to bring more awareness and support your way.

In this article, we’ll cover:

 

A Word on Content and AI

Search for SEO tips and you’ll read a lot about creating good content that people will want to read. This is definitely a factor and something to consider when you use AI to write for you.

While it can be hugely helpful, AI doesn’t do an amazing job writing for the searcher’s intent or your audience. If someone lands on your blog post looking for an answer your keywords, title, and headers all claim to support and yet they don’t get what they need from the actual content, they likely will exit. Over time, a high exit rate signals to search engines that your content is not helpful to visitors, which can negatively affect your ranking.

This leads us to our first point about helpful content and SEO.

Human-Centred SEO for Nonprofits in 2024

Good (optimised) content has a better chance of working for you and getting your non-profit found online. In 2024, it’ll be even more about providing actual value to the reader.

From an article on 2024’s SEO trends by Rosey Bowring:

“Angie Nikoleychuk, Content Marketing Manager at Search Engine Journal says that we can partially blame AI for the sudden surge of low-effort and low-value content online. AI has allowed brands to pump out lifeless (yet still SEO optimised) content in quick succession with minimal human input. Nikoleychuk predicts that search engines will release more spam and useful content updates in 2024 to try and weed out low-value content.”

So, what kind of content is that, exactly? More than likely, it’s the kind of helpful, interesting stuff you’re already writing. But, just in case, here’s a couple pointers.

  • Tailor content and keyword research to your audience: For instance, Eventgroove enables non-profits to run online raffles easily. To make sure people searching for that find our article, How to combine an in-person and online raffle, we used common queries like ‘selling raffle tickets online’ and ‘how to do an online raffle.’ So, if your non-profit works in environmental conservation, use a keyword research tool to identify common questions like ‘how to support local environmental initiatives.’ Then, create the type of content that guides users through steps they can take, such as participating in local clean-up events your organisation offers. Or, you can optimise existing content you have with your keywords in mind.
  • Highlight authentic stories: Share real-life examples of the impact your non-profit has made. Stories of individuals or communities that have benefited from your work can be powerful in connecting with your audience.

4 Straightforward SEO Strategies for Nonprofits

Number 1

Image optimisation

Images tell your nonprofit’s story and evoke emotion. They can also boost your SEO. When a search engine like Google crawls your site, it sees words and code—not the image. But you can change that. You can tell Google or whomever what the image is about, which in turn will help your content get found. So, the next time you write an article, make it your mission to do the following.

 

  • Name your images: A generic name like “IMG_1234.jpg” means nothing to search engines. Give them names that reflect the content and your keywords. For example, IMG_1234.jpg could be “children-learning-to-grow-food-community-garden-seattle.jpg.” This name helps search engines understand and index your images more effectively, helping you to rank highly. Please, please do not stuff your images with random keywords. Only use keywords relevant to the content of your post or site, as in the example.
  • Do not ignore image alt text and accessibility: The little alt text box you see when you insert an image into your post is not to be ignored. It serves the purpose of both SEO and accessibility. For example, alt text like “Kids joyfully nurturing vegetables in a Seattle community garden, fostering healthy food access for all” not only provides context to search engines but also makes the image accessible to visually impaired users through screen readers. Effective alt text should be concise yet descriptive (around 120 characters), but remember that its primary purpose is to help the vision impaired understand your content.
Nonprofit SEO tips - a screenshot illustrating where to out Image alt text and why it's important to be accessible.
Number 2

Anchor text

While you might hear “Ahoy!” every time you read the phrase “anchor text,” it has nothing to do with the sea. Anchor text is the clickable words in a hyperlink, and it’s vital for both user experience and SEO.

  • Use Descriptive Anchor Text: Use anchor text that clearly indicates the content of the link. For example, replace “click here” with specific descriptions like “affordable housing initiatives in Seattle.” This not only aids user navigation but also helps search engines understand the context of your links. When creating a link, your HTML might look like this: <a href=”https://example.com/housing-initiatives”>Explore our comprehensive guide on affordable housing initiatives in Seattle</a>. This anchor text is descriptive, providing both users and search engines with clear information about the content of the linked page.
  • Avoid Over-Optimization: While it’s good to include relevant keywords, ensure your anchor text sounds natural and avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Make It Diverse and Contextual: Vary your anchor text across different links and ensure it is relevant to the linked content.
Number 3

Nonprofit keywords

Focus less on short phrases and more on long-tailed keywords. Defined by Semrush as “highly specific search queries that tend to have relatively low search volumes,” long-tailed keywords don’t sound like a great plan. Don’t you want high-ranking nonprofit keywords?

Yes and no. Long-tailed keywords address search intent, which leads to someone taking action. Additionally, long-tailed keywords will be increasingly helpful to any organization. As people grow more and more accustomed to turning to their favorite chatbot for answers, the way people write their search queries is going to be more conversational.

For example, “dog rescue” is a keyword, but every dog rescue everywhere is going for that one. In addition, the person searching could be in Arizona, while your rescue is in Seattle. Your keyword needs to answer the person’s informational intent and bring them to what they’re looking for, which is you!

For a Seattle-based dog rescue, “volunteer opportunities for animal shelters in Seattle with kids” is a better keyword than “volunteer opportunities for animal shelters.” As you can see, the longer keyword addresses your target audience precisely, leading to better engagement and conversion. Plus, since it includes the phrase “volunteer opportunities for animal shelters,” you’re throwing your hat into the ring for that term, too.

If you’re not sure where to start with researching SEO keywords for nonprofits to figure out what long-tailed phrases could work for you, ask ChatGPT or your favorite AI chatbot. You can prompt it with something like, “Please list long-tailed keywords for my Seattle animal rescue.”

Nonprofit SEO tips - a screenshot illustrating where to out Image alt text and why it's important to be accessible.
Number 4

Page titles and meta descriptions

Compelling page titles and meta descriptions with relevant keywords directly influence how search engines like Google present your pages to searchers. This, in turn, impacts click-through rate (CTR). A high CTR and ‘dwell time’ (that is how long someone spends reading said page) signals to search engines that your content is relevant and valuable. Over time, that can improve your organic ranking.
  • Page Titles: These are the clickable headlines you see in search results. Take a moment to make them engaging and include primary keywords. Keep your titles under 60 characters, or use a tool like this title tag and meta description length tool on To The Web to see how your title looks in search.
  • Meta Descriptions: A well-crafted meta description of around 155-160 characters featuring relevant keywords can entice users to click on your link, indirectly benefiting your SEO through improved click-through rates. Semrush’s What is a Meta Description and How to Write One does a deep dive into all things meta descriptions and title tags.
Bonus Nonprofit SEO Resources

We hope these SEO tips prove useful and easy to execute! By optimising your nonprofit’s content, you’ll reach more potential new donors, helping you to do more good.

Ready to get raise more for your cause? Our all-in-one fundraising solution simplifies running and managing your fundraisers, leaving you time to focus on your mission. Eventgroove is equipped with all the tools you need, including easy-to-build fundraising pages, livestreaming, peer-to-peer functionality for all your campaigns, built-in marketing tools, and more. Plus, if ever you need help, our is happy to assist. Sign up for your free fundraising account.

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