Does Search Engine Optimization Matter to Nonprofits?

  • by Shala Graham
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You don't hear a lot of nonprofit executives talking about search engine optimization in the way that businesses do, and for good reason: Without a strong profit motive to attract buyers to specific products, there just isn't a lot of reason to worry about it. In other words, it's more important to attract visitors to your nonprofit website because they care about your mission than it is to worry about the keywords they would find you with, since most people don't look for charities with search engines, anyway.

That isn't the same as saying that nonprofits should altogether ignore search engines, however. In fact, there are three distinct types of keywords (the words and phrases that searchers use on Google and other web portals) that every charitable group should pay specific attention to:

1. Their organization's name.

Believe it or not, it can be difficult for researchers to find you on the Internet, even if they know the name of your group. That's because there could be other similar-named organizations, or your nonprofit website isn't well-known to Google and the other major search engines. Either way, it's a good idea to have a web design and development team who knows the landscape to make sure your group's name figures prominently into your online marketing strategy.

2. Your nonprofit's location.

For similar reasons, your nonprofit could get confused with those in the same area, or even others that are far away. That's particularly true if you run a chapter or regional office. Having lots of location-based keywords on your nonprofit website can cut through confusion and make it easier for donors, media members, and others to locate your site.

3. The type of charity you are.

Although we have already mentioned that most people don't look for nonprofits to donate to on the major search engines, there are some instances where they might do so, especially in the wake of a major tragedy or news event. For that reason alone, you should pay a little bit of attention to the search engine keywords around your cause, since you could attract new donors with some small changes to your website.

If you wish you were getting more for your nonprofit from search engine optimization, online fundraising, and Internet marketing in general, contact the team at SW Creatives for a free consultation today.