Feb 10 / Maddie Socha

How to Market Your Nonprofit for Free Using SEO

We all know how important an effective website can be for a nonprofit. When done correctly, a website can drive new donor leads, attract and manage volunteers and connect supporters with ways to participate with your organization.

One common problem we see many nonprofits have is that once their website is built, it can be difficult to know how to get potential audiences to view it. That’s where today’s topic comes in.
SEO is one of the best (and free) strategies to drive more traffic to your nonprofit website. While it involves a longer-term process than say, a social media post, it can be more effective to sustainable website growth in the long term. 

In this blog, we will explain exactly what SEO is, who would benefit from using it and how to get started on implementing this strategy in your own organization. 

This topic has a lot of moving pieces, so we won’t be able to discuss everything in one post. However, NotleyEDU is happy to offer a free SEO course for nonprofit professionals. If you want to learn step by step how to implement this valuable strategy into your org, this course is for you! 

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and essentially is a ranking system that search engines (like Google) use to decide how often they show your site to audiences.
Any time you search on Google, a page’s SEO determines whether a website is shown at the top of the page, or is buried farther down below higher-ranked pages. 
One of the ways that Google does this is by looking at the webpage’s keywords. These are short phrases that are included in the page’s content, and in the behind-the-scenes description (called metadata) of the page.
*In this image, the blue "NotleyEDU" is this page's SEO title. The "NotleyEDU is an...." text underneath is the metadescription.
You also can see how the keywords "Notley EDU" are bolded.
*If you don’t know how to edit page metadata for your page, these resources may help:

Why does SEO matter? 

The top 3 pages listed on a Google search receive on average over 75% of all clicks! This means that if your website does not rank in the top 3 spots for topics related to your nonprofit, you’re missing out on a lot of potential website visitors.

Is an SEO strategy right for my organization? 

SEO can be a great way to drive more visitors to your website for free. That being said, there are some drawbacks:
Pros:
  • Free!
  • Attract visitors that are interested in the topics or services you offer
  • More sustainable and long-term than a single social media post

Cons:
  • This strategy is best for the long-term, and takes time to implement and really start working
  • Without a thorough understanding of SEO, creating a strategy can seem intimidating at first

That being said, there are tons of resources available to help you get started with SEO, including our SEO for nonprofits course. This course will take you step-by-step through the process of implementing this strategy, and offer a variety of levels based on the time and goals you have at your nonprofit. The best part? This course is completely free for nonprofits. 
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