Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 19 seconds

kaleidico-754517-unsplashEven established nonprofits can fall for the ‘build it and they will come’ attitude about their website. However, you can’t change the world if you can’t be found. The world wide web is a big place and just because your organization has a website doesn’t automatically mean you’re easy to find when someone Googles you.


That means you have to actively drive traffic to your website. The easiest way to get traffic to your website is to appear high on the list of search result. But, how exactly do you appear high on the search results?

Well, you could pay to appear high in the search results. But a) that can be very expensive and b) those paid clicks aren’t always the highest quality traffic. And, that is what your organization wants is high quality traffic.

So if you aren’t paying to appear high in the search results how do you get there? By using search engine optimization aka SEO.

Search engine optimization works in tandem with your content. First you have content; which is relevant and useful to your target audience. This content can be articles, blog posts, or just the information pages on your website.

That content contains keywords, or words that your target audience would search for on Google to find your content (which means they find you). It is important that your organization uses keywords that people would use to find your content. If you use keywords that no one uses, your content won’t show up in search engine results. Too generic and you end up ranking too low to be found. However, if you use long tail or nuanced keywords like ‘animal shelter milwaukee’ you will appear higher in the results.

Now let’s talk about your content. You need a lot of it, but again it needs to be quality content, so it is a good idea to take a few minutes to plan out a content calendar. Start with evergreen articles that are keyword rich and then work on having seasonal content that you can deploy in advance to draw clicks as people begin to search for information on that topic.

Make sure that your website and content are mobile friendly. Google favors sites that have mobile friendly content.

Keywords are always evolving. You will need to research and monitor your keywords to make sure that they are still effective. That is where Google analytics or other website analytics come in handy. Use them to stay on top of what keywords are working for you.

Once you get a visitors to your site make sure they hang around. Have a website that is quick loading, and easy to navigate. Make it easy for your visitors to share your content across social media.
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