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Simple Nonprofit SEO Strategy

A consistent nonprofit SEO strategy is a great way to get visibility to your organization without spending the limited marketing budget you have.  Implementing some basic SEO tactics doesn’t have to take all day – there are some quick-fixes to your online efforts that can have lasting effects. Just add a few good habits to your current marketing strategy to consistently grow your nonprofit organic presence.   

check your website health through lighthouse to strengthen your nonprofit SEO strategy

 Dashboard for the Lighthouse Extension

 Website health overview for page speed 

 There is no point in putting time and energy into an SEO strategy on a slow or broken website. The best way to make your website more rankable, your website needs to be fast and healthy. That can feel frustratingly vague, but there are tools out there to guide you through a website health check process. The Google Page speed checker link help will find and list the specific areas of improvement for your website. For even more insight into the needs of your website, the Lighthouse extension can elaborate more on any issues on your website and give you a pathway to website health.  

Common Website Speed Issues:

  • Extra-large images – this can be fixed by resizing your website images manually or using a plugin that automatically sizes your images appropriately like Image Crunch.
  • Excessive amounts of plugins – plugins come with javascript which can lead to slow load time. Take a little time to go through your active plugins and toss any that are not necessary.
  • Excessive amounts of media files. Yes – we love videos and images on websites as much as the next site visitor. But is every piece of design or content an image text overlay or a video? If those media files are seriously messing up your site speed, you may consider swapping out some of those for some good old-fashioned text.

Special Tip: Put a special focus on your mobile website – this is the version of your website Google uses to index and ultimately rank your content.  

Charity: waters stories and content is an important aspect of their nonprofit SEO strategy.
Charity: Water posts consistent stories on the individuals impacted by their cause.


Creating content consistently is an important part of a nonprofit SEO strategy that gives Google bots a reason to be constantly updating the ranking of your website. It also gives prospects more avenues to find and be moved by your stories, mission, experience, and cause.


Plan for the busy season by creating a content calendar to follow through the year. A content calendar doesn’t mean that you have to have everything for the year written in a few weeks, but it does help you rest easy knowing you don’t have to scramble for a plan when your schedule is overflowing with tasks. Plan out the general topics you want to highlight during certain times of the year or schedule out your interviews in advance.

Feel yourself getting in a content rut? Here are some ways to spike some variability in your posts.

  • Segment out the content topics with your different audience types in mind. This means you actively consider what your prospects, volunteers, and sponsors want to know about, and find topics that speak to each of your audience personas.
  • Read your nonprofit reviews. Understanding what people love (and don’t love) about your organization can shine a light on what people want to know more about, as well as any aspects of your organization that people don’t fully understand.
  • Switch up the medium in which you offer content. Tired of writing day in and day out? Create photo diaries. Craft a podcast-style interview. Produce a simple video with a powerful story. Think outside of the blog post box.
  • Reach out to your supporters for crowd-sourced content. Gather stories, quotes, and recommendations from your trusted supporters, volunteers, and donors. As individuals who donate time, money, and themselves to your cause, they may have an interesting perspective to share or insight into who to reach out to for a powerful story.


Whether you are updating old content or publishing new, you need to establish a basic keyword strategy to shape the SEO goals for your content. 

Many practices will ultimately improve your organic presence. But, we understand that you have limited time and need to prioritize what you spend your time on. So, here is a prioritized list of the habits that will maximize your SEO strategy on a tight time-budget. If you do anything to your published content, do these: 

  • Establish a focus keyword to build your content around for each page – you will base your whole pages SEO strategy around this keyword and related keywords or phrases. 
  • Update the auto-filled Title and meta description 
  • Add image alt text that explains any photos in the content, while also including the focus keyword. Should be a full descriptive sentence that explains what is happening in the image, but also includes the overall SEO keyword strategy.  
  • Include inbound links to your related content and outbound links to other websites with strategic anchor text. 

Here is an example of a link-building email outreach our team received – and acted on!


Gaining backlinks is the practice of reaching out to other third-party companies and organizations for links from their website to your content. Gaining a strong backlink can be one of the most impactful ways to improve SEO standing. 

If we don’t pay attention to gaining backlinks consistently, this few-minutes-a-week task turns into an hours-long ordeal. Here are our favorite tips for link-building:

  • Set one 20-minute block a week to focus on link-building outreach. We recommend Tuesdays or Wednesdays to maximize responses.
  • Rule of thumb for who to reach out to – if you link out to a third-party company in your blog, include them in your backlink strategy.  
  • Include two Calls To Action – either a backlink or promoting the post on their social media. Getting companies to promote your blogs on their social is easier than getting a backlink, and is still beneficial. 
  • Include at least one piece of personal information. Including a personal touch and humanizing your email will greatly increase your chances of receiving a positive response. Compliment a specific aspect of their company, or include some relevant info about yourself.


Multi-platform SEO: 

SEO doesn’t have to stop at your website. Since there are multiple avenues to get to your organization, it’s worth maximizing the visibility of all your most important channels. Check out some cheat sheets to extend your SEO strategy to your social media!

Check out Highervisibility‘s mini-infographics for more tips on how to optimize your business pages for Google, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Set up structured data

If you already have the basic habits down-pat, try graduating into SEO strategy 201 with structured data. We discuss the ins and outs of structured data updates for the new year here!

Let’s explore a few of the structured data updates that will affect your SEO strategy in 2020.

Nonprofit Digital Marketing Guide

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