13 Tips for More Traffic


For nonprofits and charities, each penny counts. And so does each supply of site visitors to their web sites, together with natural site visitors from search engines like google and yahoo like Google. So what can these organizations do to extend the inflow of holiday makers (and hopefully donors) arriving by that channel? After all, the reply is to step up their search engine marketing recreation.

On this article, we’ll cowl some definitions, free instruments, and 13 search engine marketing ideas. You don’t must be an search engine marketing veteran to use the following tips. Nor do you must be within the enterprise of producing tons of content material like Wikipedia to get individuals by your door. Prepared? Right here we go:


What’s search engine marketing for nonprofits?

SEO (search engine marketing) for nonprofits and charities is the method of optimizing web sites to extend visibility on search engine outcomes pages (SERPs) when individuals search for data associated to that group’s trigger, e.g., volunteering, fundraising, occasions, training, and many others.


Primary instruments (that are free)

To implement the information featured on this article, you’ll want a few free instruments. However don’t hurry to get them now. You are able to do it later when you select the information that you just need to use.

  • Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments – AWT is our free device that means that you can enhance your web site’s search engine marketing efficiency and get extra site visitors from search. AWT can present you data like all identified key phrases your web site ranks for, present all backlinks, and carry out technical audits mechanically, amongst different issues.
  • A key phrase analysis device – Some free ones are Ahrefs’ free key phrase generator, Keyword Surfer, or Google Keyword Planner.
  • Google with search operators – In case you haven’t had the event to make use of these, search operators permit for customizing search outcomes. For instance, you’ll be able to inform Google to solely present mentions of your group on a specific web site.

Now that we all know what instruments to make use of, let’s have a look at 13 actionable ideas that may enhance site visitors.


1. Maintain your web site consumer pleasant and in good search engine marketing well being

First issues first. Let’s discuss your web site’s technical fundamentals. They could want just a little work. However should you don’t get them so as first, you threat undermining your search engine marketing efforts within the lengthy run.

I’m speaking about issues like points with crawling and indexing, lacking meta tags, gradual loading occasions, and practices that end in unhealthy consumer experiences (e.g., pop-ups). It occurs to everybody, companies and nonprofits alike.

So earlier than you implement another search engine marketing ideas, do these 5 issues:

  1. Use Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments to observe your web site’s search engine marketing well being – This device will often monitor your web site for over 100 search engine marketing well being points. All you must do is repair the problems that AWT brings to your consideration.
  2. Do away with pop-ups – Or not less than most of your pop-ups. These embody sign-up varieties, exit varieties, and many others. Do the identical for any banners that shift the structure.
  3. Make certain your web site’s structure is obvious, constant, and usable
  4. Optimize your web site for cellular gadgets – Over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. On high of that, Google indexes and ranks content material primarily based on cellular variations of the web sites (mobile-first indexing).
  5. Optimize your web site for Core Net Vitals

Professional tip

For checking a number of webpages’ velocity at scale, you should use Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments too. Aside from exhibiting metrics like Time to First Byte (TTFB), it additionally helps Core Net Vitals.

Pie charts showing data on metrics like TTFB, CWV, etc

The numbers in blue subsequent to the metrics will direct you to actual pages inside a sure class. This manner, you’ll know which pages want consideration.

Beneficial studying: The Newbie’s Information to Technical search engine marketing


2.  Get listed in directories and articles about nonprofit organizations

Key phrases associated to nonprofits and charities will be extraordinarily aggressive.

In occasions like these, your finest likelihood to be someway included in that high 10 is to get listed on the pages that rank.

So if there’s a listing of charities rating within the high 10, which may be your finest likelihood to get a bit of that search demand.

SERP overview for "non profit organization"

Discover any nonprofit organizations right here? Precisely. A lot of the search outcomes for the question “non revenue group” are lists and directories of organizations. As proven above, they’re tremendous arduous to outrank.

Furthermore, which may be your finest shot at credibility. On this case, if the search intent means that individuals are on the lookout for a listing of nonprofit organizations, a “nonpartisan” result’s seemingly extra credible.

However there’s extra to that tactic. Sure, you’ll get visibility and site visitors. But when the positioning that’s going to characteristic you additionally hyperlinks to your web site, that can be a brand new backlink for you. And every further web site that chooses to do issues equally will, in fact, provide you with one other backlink.

Why do you want backlinks? As a result of backlinks are nonetheless one of many strongest rating elements. Usually, the extra backlinks a web page will get, the upper it ranks and the extra site visitors it will get (research).

It is possible for you to to see all hyperlinks pointing to your web site utilizing Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments.


3. Search for unlinked mentions of your group (and switch them into hyperlinks)

Nonprofits and charities generally use PR. Therefore, they get numerous protection from the media and companions. Curiously sufficient, that tactic can carry search engine marketing advantages too if the group’s mentions are turned to hyperlinks. After all, that’s not all the time the case:

Forbes article showing unlinked mentions of WWF

You could find mentions of your group utilizing Google with the assistance of search operators. That’s precisely how I discovered the instance above.

Google SERP for WWF mentions on Forbes with search operators applied

After all, you’ll be able to search all the listed web for any mentions of your group in any type.

Google SERP for "wwf" or "world wildlife fund" with search operators applied

The above question goes like this: wwf OR “world wildlife fund” ‑web site:wwf.* ‑web site:worldwildlife.* This principally means “present me pages that embody ‘wwf’ or ‘world wildlife fund’ however exclude any web site that begins with ‘wwf’ or ‘worldwildlife.’”

Discovering mentions is step one within the course of. You continue to must filter these outcomes for unlinked mentions. We cowl all the technique of discovering unlinked mentions for any web site on this tutorial.

As soon as you discover your hyperlink alternatives, you must attain out to the authors or web site house owners and easily ask them to hyperlink to you.

Naturally, one of the simplest ways to get linked mentions is to ask for them upfront. A small “element” like this may simply get neglected within the warmth of a PR marketing campaign. Thus, it’s a good suggestion to incorporate a point out of that in your normal working procedures.


4. Reply journalists’ requests

Media protection is the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. Naturally, it will increase model consciousness and shapes PR. And if that protection is on-line, it could additionally assist enhance rankings on search engines like google and yahoo.

For this tip, I need to give attention to a well known search engine marketing tactic: answering journalist requests on websites like HARO, ResponseSource, ProfNet, or SourceBottle. Moreover, you’ll be able to scan Twitter for hashtags like #journorequest.

The concept is straightforward:

  1. Join one of many companies talked about above. Don’t overlook to subscribe to the kind of requests you need to get.
  2. Reply requests that relate to matters you’re an knowledgeable on as quickly as doable.
  3. If a journalist chooses your pitch, you’ll be quoted of their textual content and can likely get a hyperlink to your group.

Why is that this tactic efficient for search engine marketing? As a result of hyperlinks from the media will normally be a few of the most authoritative backlinks you’ll be able to construct to your web site.

Site Explorer overview showing Forbes has high UR and DR

Whereas companies like HARO make the connection between journalists and sources simpler, there’s one other facet of that coin: Journalists get numerous pitches. It may be fairly arduous to interrupt by. To extend your possibilities of being picked by journos, we’ve obtained simply the fitting information: Easy methods to Construct Backlinks and Get Press Utilizing HARO [Case Study].


5. Do visitor running a blog to earn hyperlinks

This tip is one other approach to construct backlinks and get extra visibility whilst you’re at it.

Visitor running a blog is about contributing visitor articles on third-party web sites (not solely blogs). And it’s everywhere in the web. Right here’s an instance visitor article from the American Nurses Association:

Excerpt of American Nurses Association article; picture of healthcare worker in PPE

Whether or not you’re going to pitch articles for hyperlinks or for the power to get in entrance of anyone else’s viewers, that’s totally as much as you. Visitor running a blog is nice for each. Nonetheless you need to method it, simply keep in mind one factor: goal for high-quality web sites.

Discovering visitor running a blog alternatives will be as straightforward as plugging into Google “[your topic] ‘write for us’” or “[your topic] ‘visitor put up.’” However if you wish to go professional and discover these alternatives at scale (plus successfully filter them), see how we do it on this tutorial.


6. Go after instructional key phrases associated to your trigger

Right here’s an awesome illustration of this tip. It’s referred to as “Top 10 Facts About Pandas,” and it’s an article from WWF.

That is the way it seems on the entrance facet of issues:

Excerpt of WWF article on 10 facts about pandas; picture of panda resting on a rock with lush greenery as a backdrop

Ten attention-grabbing information, 10 completely cute footage, and a name to motion: undertake a panda.

And right here’s what’s occurring below the hood—tons of natural site visitors every month:

With this text about pandas, WWF focused an academic key phrase to leverage the search potential of this subject—that is what drives all that natural site visitors you see above. Discover the “name to motion” button on the high? From 10 information about pandas to adopting a panda, these are intelligent methods of accelerating consciousness about defending this species.

And by the way in which, the opposite button results in extra pages like this. So what we are able to see right here is not only a one-off search engine marketing stunt. It’s a complete technique.

A good portion of instructional key phrases is written as questions, making the key phrases simpler to seek out. Google even suggests these in virtually each search through the PAA field:

The “Individuals additionally ask” field for the question “local weather change.”

You need to use a key phrase device to get these questions’ search engine marketing metrics and browse them simply:


7. Go after statistical key phrases associated to your charity (and replace often)

Statistical key phrases suggest using statistical information to finest serve the intent behind the search.

Why must you go after these key phrases? Two causes. First, if there’s search demand for them, they will generate natural site visitors to your web site and make extra individuals conscious of your trigger. Secondly, they’re nice “hyperlink earners.”

For instance, the key phrase “human rights points 2020” is one thing that’s finest answered by offering the precise statistics for this drawback. And a few nonprofits do that:

Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the report rating #1. This report from Human Rights Watch (one of many many studies within the sequence) generates over 2.5K month-to-month visits and about 2K backlinks.

The slope of site visitors you’ll be able to see within the graph above is as a result of the report already grew to become outdated in Q1 of 2021.

This brings us to a different level: The essential factor to recollect about content material concentrating on statistical key phrases (together with studies) is to maintain the content material updated.

Do a small check. Google “human rights points 2020.” Then “human rights points 2021.” Now evaluate the outcomes. I feel you’ll simply spot the identical web sites with the identical type of content material that’s up to date based on the yr.


8. Invite specialists to write down for you

There are particular matters which are finest lined by specialists. It’s true in life and true in search engine marketing too. We’re speaking in regards to the so-called YMYL (Your Cash or Your Life) matters. In line with Google’s Quality Raters Guidelines, these matters are:

  • Information and present occasions.
  • Civics, authorities, and legislation.
  • Finance.
  • Buying.
  • Well being and security.
  • Teams of individuals (details about or claims associated to teams of individuals, together with however not restricted to these grouped on the idea of race or ethnic origin, faith, incapacity, age, nationality, veteran standing, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identification).
  • Different matters associated to massive selections or essential points of individuals’s lives which may be thought-about YMYL. These embody health and vitamin, housing data, selecting a university, discovering a job, and many others.

For those who’re creating informational or instructional content material associated to one among these matters, chances are you’ll need to take into account demonstrating E‑A-T to enhance your rankings on SERPs.

E‑A‑T stands for experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Identical as YMYL, this idea comes from Google’s Search High quality Raters Tips, a doc utilized by human high quality raters to evaluate the standard of Google’s search outcomes.

To place it merely, it’s finest if that sort of content material is updated, is correct, quotes reliable sources, and is written or not less than reviewed by an knowledgeable on the subject (and knowledge on that knowledgeable is clear and clearly displayed on the web page).

As an example, right here’s an instance from Human Rights Watch. This can be a information article about Afghan girls’s rights activists:

Excerpt of Human Rights Watch article on women's rights in Afghanistan; picture of women holding protest signs about oppression

After we click on on the writer’s bio, we are able to clearly see that the article was written by somebody who is extremely educated in regards to the subject:

Picture of expert guest poster, Patricia Gossman, who is an associate director

And right here’s an instance of how one can display E‑A-T: having a reviewer assess your content material. Discover that there’s additionally a date exhibiting when the evaluate took place:

Excerpt of article on abdominal pain; text shows article was reviewed by a doctor

Beneficial studying: What Is EAT? Why It’s Necessary for search engine marketing


9. Translate your content material to different languages (for international nonprofits)

World charities want international visibility. Natural site visitors coming from a number of nations can drastically contribute to that objective. Therefore, it’s essential to implement some good practices of worldwide search engine marketing.

The very first thing to notice is that rating excessive in a single nation doesn’t essentially suggest getting the identical and even related ends in different nations. It is because Google localizes its search outcomes primarily based on the nation and language of the question.

Let’s check out the outcomes of translating Oxfam’s article about pure disasters. For the English model, the highest 5 nations by way of key phrases and site visitors are nations the place search queries in English are native or quite common:

And this is identical chart for the article’s Spanish model. We see Spanish-speaking nations dominating the highest 5.

Traffic share by country; list of countries with corresponding data (traffic, share, keywords)

On the similar time, the USA, which ranks #2 for the English model, right here ranks #10 with solely 76 key phrases (and all in Spanish).

Right here’s one other attention-grabbing reality. Will probably be simpler to rank for key phrases in some nations than in others. So should you suppose a key phrase can be too arduous to focus on in a single language, strive one other language (offered your group operates in these nations).

List of keyword ideas for "famine" in U.S.

The phrase “famine” within the U.S. has a KD rating of 60. This additionally means you’ll want backlinks from ~129 web sites to rank within the high 10 for this key phrase.

List of keyword ideas for "famine" in France

The phrase “famine” in France has a KD rating of three. We estimate that you just’ll want backlinks from ~4 web sites to rank within the high 10 for this key phrase.

Moreover translating content material, listed here are some issues you are able to do to enhance your worldwide search rankings:

  • Take into account a localized URL construction and use a Content material Supply Community (CDN)
  • Get hyperlinks from native sources to your localized content material
  • Hyperlink to native sources out of your localized content material
  • Understand that Google isn’t the preferred search engine in some nations

One can find extra particulars and ideas for worldwide search engine marketing in our guides:

Professional tip

If you wish to simply view depersonalized search outcomes for various nations and completely different languages, strive Ahrefs’ free search engine marketing Toolbar.

Each domestically working nonprofits and international nonprofits can use native search engine marketing to enhance their rankings on search engines like google and yahoo. Right here’s how they will profit from that.

When individuals search for your group with a key phrase containing a particular location, your group’s department can present up within the native map pack. Right here’s an instance for the question “unicef new york”:

Google map pack for keyword "unicef new york"

So an individual trying to find this question can use these outcomes to simply find UNICEF’s branches on this area. However since UNICEF additionally has a page with data for individuals within the group’s work on this a part of the U.S., searchers also can click on on these outcomes:

Excerpt of Google SERP showing UNICEF branches

One other method native search engine marketing helps to level individuals in your route is search outcomes personalised by location, e.g., “non revenue organizations close to me”:

Google map pack for keyword "non profit organizations near me"

On this map pack, we’ve outcomes that don’t present up on the primary web page of blue hyperlink search outcomes. Which means that by being featured within the map pack, these nonprofit organizations obtained an opportunity to leap over the opposite pages (irrespective of how properly they had been optimized for Google).

So in case your group has branches in numerous cities, listed here are the essential issues you are able to do to leverage native search engine marketing:

  • Get a Google Enterprise Profile and encourage some evaluations of your native branches
  • Create domestically optimized touchdown pages
  • Get hyperlinks from native sources (and hyperlink to native sources too)

For those who’d wish to be taught extra on this subject, head over to our guides:


11. Get a Google Data Panel

This can be a Google Data Panel:

Google Knowledge Panel for search term "Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity"

You could find panels like this in lots of searches, not just for organizations or companies. The information panel relies on data in Google’s Data Graph, a information base of entities and the relationships between them. On this case, the entity is the nonprofit group, Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

Data panels matter for search engine marketing (and for advertising and marketing typically) for a few causes:

  • Having a information graph means that you can “personal” extra SERP actual property. As you’ll be able to see, it’s actually arduous to miss these panels; these panels give your group’s model extra visibility.
  • Other than visibility, you’ll be able to profit from extra credibility. If individuals need to look your group up on-line as a result of they need to volunteer or donate, having Google present this characteristic is nearly like saying, “Sure, this group is legit.”

Data panels are one thing that nonprofits and charities ought to undoubtedly go for. However I have to warn you straight away. Out of all the information talked about right here, it’s in all probability the toughest factor to do. So to extend your possibilities, see this information.


12. Optimize for branded search

Branded search is any type of question that incorporates phrases and phrases related together with your model, merchandise, or companies.

Right here is an instance of a web page that’s partly optimized for branded search. For those who Google the question “wwf brand” (the well-known panda brand of WWF), you can see this page:

Excerpt of "WWF Logo is the Panda" article

Discover something unusual right here? Properly, there’s no downloadable brand. If there was a brand on this web page that guests might use, they wouldn’t have to return to the SERP and get the emblem from one other web site. Wasted alternative.

Why is that this web page solely partly optimized for branded search? As a result of it ranks #1 for the question “wwf brand.” Nevertheless it doesn’t totally serve the search intent behind the question, and that’s to get a file with WWF’s brand.

The takeaway is kind of easy right here:

  • Uncover the branded key phrases individuals search for to seek out details about your group
  • Create content material that targets these key phrases whereas serving the search intent

You could find your branded key phrases utilizing Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments (or Google Search Console). Simply open the Natural key phrases report and filter the outcomes utilizing your group’s identify.

Organic Keywords report results

In excessive instances, you received’t rank for a few of your branded key phrases. To search out such cases, you have to to make use of a key phrase analysis device, reminiscent of those I discussed at the start of the article.


13. Don’t overlook to interlink your content material

So let’s say you have already got nice content material that draws some high-quality hyperlinks. As it is best to already know, these hyperlinks undoubtedly assist that content material rank increased on SERPs. However do you know those self same hyperlinks will help different items of content material rank as properly?

I’m speaking about hyperlink fairness, i.e., the “authority” that’s handed when one web page hyperlinks to a different.

You’ll be able to cross hyperlink authority from one web page to a different should you hyperlink them, offered the hyperlinks are related. These sorts of hyperlinks are referred to as inner hyperlinks as a result of they level to different pages in the identical area.

For instance, right here is an article from Oxfam about how the pandemic pushed extra individuals into famine-like situations. Discover the way it hyperlinks to a related report on the subject:

Excerpt of Oxfam article

The easiest way so as to add related inner hyperlinks is to do this as you write. You’ll be able to simply search by your current content material for articles that concentrate on sure key phrases and hyperlink them to related (essential!) articles. Or you are able to do it extra strategically by designing a content material hub.

However if you wish to discover related inner hyperlink alternatives to your current content material, you’ll be able to automate the method utilizing Ahrefs Webmaster Instruments. Simply join, crawl your web site with Web site Audit, and go to the Hyperlink alternatives report. This can present you related inner linking alternatives throughout your web site.

Link opportunities report results

Beneficial studying: Inner Hyperlinks for search engine marketing: An Actionable Information

Last ideas

These 13 ideas are in no way an search engine marketing course. Nor are they a full checklist of issues nonprofits and charities can do for search engine marketing. For those who’re an search engine marketing newbie or simply need to revise your fundamentals, I extremely advocate Ahrefs’ full information to search engine marketing. I’m certain that you just’ll give you some extra search engine marketing concepts after studying it.

I’d wish to conclude with a tip that’s partly about search engine marketing. If the competitors on the SERPs will get too powerful, nonprofits can use Google Ad Grants ($10K/mo) to leap over different search outcomes.

Example of Google ad in SERP

On high of that, Google Advertisements is a tried and tested way to get backlinks for some varieties of content material.

Received questions or feedback? Ping me on Twitter.