Online Nonprofit Marketing
Marketing solutions to grow your nonprofit
Internet marketing is essential to any nonprofit. It allows you to get the word out, encourage return support, build reputation and gain valuable knowledge about your target audience just to name a few.
As a nonprofit, one of the biggest challenges you will face when it comes to internet marketing and forming your internet marketing strategy, is that with so many organizations available to your potential customers, how do you stand out?
There are many marketing solutions and strategies available to promote your nonprofit, however in this blog we will focus on three main ones.
3 Online Nonprofit Marketing Musts
- Content Creation – to be discussed on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015…stay tuned!
- Social Engagement – to be discussed on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015…stay tuned!
Yes! These three simple points will go a long way when it comes to your nonprofits’ online marketing strategy.
Online marketing must #1 – What is SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to attracting quality organic traffic and is perhaps, one of the most important internet marketing strategies. Most nonprofits hope that once they create their website, the volunteers will come in, however most of the times this isn’t the case. SEO is the process of optimizing your website for search engines, achieving a top raking search engine position and in consequence making it easier for your potential supporters to find you.
A good SEO strategy unites two different efforts: on-page SEO and off-page SEO
Internet Marketing Strategies: On-page SEO
Refers to all the modifications you can make you your site to improve your search engine rankings. Most may require a marketing consultant to assist, but here are 5 simple elements you can optimize to improve your on-page SEO:
- Page titles:
The page title is the text you see on the top of your browser whilst on a specific page. It is also the title that is displayed in search engine results. Page titles can be edited in your site’s HTML; it’s the text between the <title> tags. When writing your page titles keep in mind:
- Write page titles that clearly describe the page’s content.
- Include relevant keywords
- Make it less than 70 characters
- Include the company name at the end of the page title.
- Use unique titles for each page
- Meta descriptions:
A meta description is the short summary that is displayed by a search engine in its search results. Whilst the meta description will not affect your ranking position, keep in mind this is the first opportunity you have to grab your reader’s attention. Ensure this description is short and sweet!
Headings are the text between your <h> tags , like page titles these can be edited in your site’s HTML; if you’re web page is a book, then the titles would be the chapters. Use these to make relevant information stand out and give your content a cohesive structure. It’s a good idea to include your keywords in your headings, keeping in mind that a larger heading will give more weight to the word than a smaller one. It is recommended to have only one <h1> tag; and depending on the amount of content one or more <h2> and <h3> tags.
Images promote a user-friendly experience, by breaking up the text and adding visual representations that complement your content. When adding images to your site keep in mind the following:
- Save image for web: when uploading files ensure they are saved for web. Heavy files slow down your site’s loading speed which impacts negatively your search engine ranking.
- Include keywords: images allow the opportunity to include keywords both in the file name and in the alt text.
URL structure is an important factor when it comes to SEO. Your URL structure refers to how your pages are organized. For example:
If your organization offers three different programs/services then your URL structure would be the following:
As you can notice, service will be the parent category for all the different services offered. When structuring your URLs keep in mind:
- You must include your keywords
- The URL must describe the page
- Whenever you change a URL you should use a 303 redirect in order to avoid losing traffic.
Internet Marketing Strategy: Off-page SEO
Your off-page SEO refers to all the internet marketing efforts focused outside your website. The task is to obtain inbound links from authoritative websites with good page and domain authority. The purpose of off-page SEO is to increase your domain authority and overall presence on the web. Off-page SEO is an ideal item to address within a marketing plan when referencing long-term nonprofit marketing initiatives.
The key to off-page SEO is creating great content that is worth linking to, referencing and sharing. In our next post Online Nonprofit Marketing – Part Two, CharityNet USA will discuss the importance of creating valuable content, and content generating tips and tricks to improve your overall internet marketing strategy.