Nonprofits are an essential part of our society. They raise awareness about major issues and vulnerable groups, organise actions to help them and seek donations to fund their programmes. However, although most people want to do good, the internet allowed many scammers to pose as nonprofits. Thus, people’s trust in charities and nonprofits has decreased. So, in order to keep up your good work, you will need a solid strategy for local SEO for nonprofits.
Why Do You Need to Focus on Local SEO for Nonprofits?
Apart from large and well-known charities and nonprofits like UNICEF or WWF, smaller organisations act locally and rely on the goodwill on people in their communities. They don’t have the infrastructure to deploy aid to distant countries and, thus, cannot rely on a widespread marketing campaign to collect donations from all over the world.
Thus, your key aim is to promote your nonprofit organisation to your local community. To do that, you need to build a digital marketing strategy focusing on local SEO for nonprofits. To help you out, we will show you how to do it in this article.
Build Visibility and Good Reputation for Your Charity Organisation
Local search has become increasingly important, because the largest part of consumers use their smartphone to look for products and services near them. Thus, Google has made the decision to upgrade its search algorithm to find better matches for the user’s search intent.
This algorithm relies on three key criteria:
The first criterion is straightforward. The second means that the search result must provide an answer/solution to the user’s query. The last criterion refers to the reputation of the business based on ratings and reviews. Let’s see how local SEO for nonprofits can help you meet these criteria.
1. Build Quality Cross-links
Nonprofits are involved in the life of their local communities. They help authorities, schools and other organisations host event and raise awareness for special causes. They also approach the same organisations to raise funds.
Whenever you organise an action or programme together with another organisation, write about it on your website. Also, make sure that your nonprofit is mentioned in the press releases and other type of content published by your co-organisers. This will help you build valuable cross-links which will help Google evaluate your relevance and prominence.
2. Focus Your Content on Local Actions
When you write about your local events, make sure you say clearly where they happen. Include the location name as frequently as you can and, most importantly, in connection with your keywords.
Thus, if you take part in food distribution in the south of Perth, for example, this is the keyword that will boost your local SEO for nonprofits. Other location keywords you should consider are “near me”, ‘close to [location name]”, and within X miles to [location name]”.
3. Switch your URL to HTTPS
Charities and nonprofits usually have a payment solution embedded in their website to collect donations. This means that you must have a secure website. The first sign a user notices is the URL starting with HTTPS.
Google also uses this as a soft ranking factor for websites. This means that, even though it is not a key criterion, it has some weight in establishing the prominence and trustworthiness of a business.
4. Create Geo-Targeted Pages on Your Website
A geo-targeted web page focuses on a specific location. For companies running several units, it is now a basic best practice to create a page for each unit. For nonprofits, the strategy is slightly different.
If you run ongoing programmes in specific places, then each programme should have its own page, with the location name used together with the keywords (see item 2 above).
5. Collect and Share Reviews
Reviews are the Holy Grail of local SEO for nonprofits. They help you establish your authority as a reputable and trustworthy charity. At the same time, they are very relevant for Google to determine your prominence.
Make sure you direct your donors and volunteers to leave reviews both on your website and your Google My Business profile. If you don’t have such a profile, you must create it as soon as possible. See instructions here about how to do it.