pexels-photo-67112There are nearly 4 billion searches conducted on the Internet every single day. In 95% of those searches, most of us click only the links that appear on the first page of Google’s search results. Almost a third click solely on the first link on the first result page.

That’s why it’s so important for your nonprofit to rank well. If your nonprofit doesn’t appear on the first page of the search results, you are, for all practical purposes, invisible. That means that all your hard work and effort on your NFP’s blog has gone to waste, and you’re missing out on opportunities to engage with your supporters and raise awareness about your cause!

Do you know where your nonprofit’s website ranks in Google’s search results? The following tips can help you improve your nonprofit’s Google ranking and attract more support for your nonprofit’s work.

Original Content Still Rules

If you want your supporters to enjoy visiting your site, you must create content that is interesting and relevant to them. Original, useful content isn’t just preferred by your site’s visitors, however. It’s also what Google’s algorithm favours when ranking websites.

Spam, poorly written content, or content that’s overly similar to what’s already on the Internet is a big turn off to your fans and Google. Technical issues, such as failing to use the proper redirect rules in your website’s coding can lead to the creation of multiple versions of the same page for your site. Since each of those pages has the same content, your site ends up flagged and penalised by Google’s search engines.

Take the time to create and post engaging, unique content to your site to grow your audience. Invest in hiring someone with the technical expertise to optimise your site and individual pages. If your budget won’t allow you to outsource this, and you don’t have a lot of programming experience, use a platform such as WordPress that comes with plenty of plugins to help you create a well-designed site that is easy to navigate.

Research Keywords and Use Best Practices

It isn’t enough to create content that your supporters will enjoy consuming. Your individual articles, videos and other content must rank well to be found in a Google search so that your supporters can find them! This is why researching keywords and trends before you create and post content is so vital to your ranking.

Finding trending keywords is a fairly straightforward process. You can use Google’s keyword tool, but you can also use Google trends to help you spot emerging topics that are rising in popularity to point you towards new keywords that are on the cusp of breaking out. For ease, Twitter tracks trending topics on its homepage, while Keyhole is a tool that allows users to follow trending hashtags on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Popular hashtags often contain one or more keywords that can help you improve your search rank when you use them in your content.

Once you’ve identified a list of keywords and topics to create content about, you will still need to apply SEO best practices to use them effectively. This means that you should use the keyword in the title of your articles, as well as in the name of your videos and images. It should also appear in your title tag, meta tag, description, and H1 tags. You should use the keyword again in your posts, but you should be careful not to repeat it too frequently, or Google’s algorithm may penalise both the post and website. For best results, use the keyword close to the beginning of your article, and then about once every 250 words, but no more frequently than every 100 words.

Fix Your Broken Links

Your site’s internal and external links also affect your PageRank in Google. Use a web crawling tool to periodically review your site for broken links. Fix them to make your site more useful and enjoyable to visit. When creating content, try to ensure that you are only linking to reputable sites when you post. Linking to spammy sites has a “guilt by association” effect and will cause your site to be penalised by Google.

Use Google alert to receive a notification any time that your nonprofit is mentioned elsewhere on the web. Visit the site, and then contact its administrator to ask that they link directly back to your NFP’s website to gain more valuable external links to your site.

Optimise for Mobile

Google uses the mobile version of your nonprofit’s website for indexing and ranking purposes. If you haven’t already done so, you need to optimise your website so that it’s easy to navigate and use on both desktop and mobile platforms. This means that your site’s layout should be designed so that users can find what they need easily. You should also use a search engine sitemap, so Google can see how your site is organised.

Pages should load quickly. In addition to including high-resolution photos, you may wish to compress the images that you use on your site, and optimise them for mobile as well so that they aren’t so large that they slow pages from loading, increasing lag time.

While keyword research and optimising your site do take some time and effort, the rewards of increased rank and traffic make all this hard work well worth it for your NFP!