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Why It’s So Important for Nonprofits To Understand the Basics of SEO

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Search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing... Hey, aren’t those ways for-profit businesses sell products and make money? 

Yup! But SEO and other digital marketing strategies are actually about attracting an audience. You might want that audience to buy a product or service. Or you might want them to donate or volunteer their time to support your mission, instead.

In a global world, digital fundraising for nonprofits can span states – even continents! And it’s more important than ever that an organization’s website is optimized and easy to find.

A fist comes up from the bottom of the frame with an index finger pressing a search button. It's important for organizations to understand SEO basics for nonprofits.

Why SEO Is Important for Nonprofits

The goal of SEO is to put your website into the path of the people searching for your mission or services. 

That’s it. It’s simple! 

At the end of the day, good SEO doesn’t involve magic, questionable tactics, or a huge budget. All it takes is an awareness of your target audience and a bit of intention when it comes to your website’s content. 

Here’s what it can do:

Promote Your Website Without Paying for Expensive Ads

Paid advertising can be a great strategy for nonprofits. But not everyone has the time or budget to spend figuring it out. 

SEO is a form of organic inbound marketing. This means you’re optimizing your website so Google will know what's on it. Google can then show it to people who are searching for what you offer. Integrating SEO strategies takes time, but it won’t be an extra line item on your budget. And unlike ads, it won't stop working once you’ve stopped paying for it.

Present Your Organization as a Knowledgeable Thought Leader

A big part of SEO is anticipating what your ideal supporters are searching for . That includes the questions they’re asking. 

By producing educational content like blogs, your organization can become the go-to in your issue area. It's an opportunity to make your case for support, amplify the voices of your community, and showcase your leadership’s expertise. 

Elevate Your Profile in Donors’ Eyes

Imagine someone hears about your organization offline but struggles to find your website. That could very well be the death knell for any donation they were thinking of making.

Implementing an SEO strategy can mean the difference between your website winding up buried on page six of Google’s search results... And popping up right away when someone searches for you. Even if they’ve only remembered part of your organization’s name!

Attract New Supporters Beyond Your Usual Crowd

The world wide web doesn’t restrict you to appearing only in local searches! With a thoughtful keyword strategy, your website can appear in any search (anywhere!) for the information or services you provide.

Keeping this in mind can help you design the content on your website to be compelling even for people who haven't heard of you before. They can then stick around, sign up for your newsletter, check out your social media, or decide to donate.

Amplify Your Work Locally

Of course, you don’t want to forget about your local friends! If you do community-based work, a local SEO strategy can help you build a solid reputation in your region.

This can help bring new supporters, spread your mission and vision, and even educate others in your area who may be unaware of your services and the issues you address. 

Learn More About SEO for Nonprofits

NPO Centric’s membership program offers in-depth resources and support for nonprofit leaders. Join today to access the SEO Basics for Nonprofits ebook series! >>