The Center for Association Resources


Is an association management firm focused on helping Non-Profit associations succeed in their mission.

Creating awareness through SEO

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

Search engine optimization or SEO is vital to any nonprofit organization trying to create awareness of their cause. However, many nonprofits feel intimidated when faced with search engine optimization.  They may think it is extremely complex, or that it requires a large budget.  However, the truth is, SEO does not require an expert.  The only things necessary for successful SEO is time, patience and the desire to learn.

There are many benefits to SEO.  SEO increases the traffic to websites and rank in search engines such as Google.  It also increases the nonprofits “visibility”.  Although an expert can be utilized for SEO, the nonprofit can accomplish successful SEO on its own, as well.  There are no short cuts to SEO, it takes time.  However, one will see success soon enough by following these useful tips.

First of all, successful search engine optimization requires solid, clear goals.  One should organize their website by answering all of these questions.  Is information, such as events and new products or services, up to date?  Can people make donations online?  What can visitors do on the website?  Are forms asking the right questions?

Next, the nonprofit should determine who they want its audience to be.  An ideal audience includes potential donors, press, members of the organization and present, as well as, past beneficiaries seeking support.

Keywords are crucial to any SEO strategy.  When launching an SEO campaign, one should make a list of relevant keywords used repetitively on the site.  One should also pay close attention to “meta-tags”.  A meta-tag or “invisible text”  is not displayed on the pages of the site, rather it is in the HTML code which SEO robots analyze.  The elements of meta-tags specify page descriptions, keywords and images.

Content is crucial.  Content should not only be clear and compelling, but it should also be unique, engrossing and geared towards the audience.  Headlines should be descriptive and not contain any ID numbers.  The body’s content should be formatted in HTML context, rather than graphical, so that the robot can read it.  Using a clickable anchor text helps to boost the site’s ranking.  A breadcrumb trail offers users the ability to view various pages on the site.  This is often found horizontally across the top of the homepage below the headline.  Headline tags offer this option, as well.  There should be no more than 450 to 600 words on each page, and keywords should be in bold or italics so that users can identify them.  Internal linking or cross linking is perfect to use for navigating within the site.  In-bound links are useful too in bringing traffic to one’s site.

A site map should be created and posted on the nonprofit’s website, as well.  This allows robots and users to quickly and easily navigate within the site. A site map is terrific in helping with the usability and navigation of the website.  When creating a URL, one should be sure to use keywords and file names to raise SEO.  Making use of such things as documents, spreadsheets, pictures, videos and presentations also help an immense deal.

Finally, by signing up with Google’s Webmaster Central and Google Analytics, one can see how well their site and inbound links are doing, and how much traffic is going to the site.  By checking this on a regular basis, one can adjust their strategy as needed and can create a highly successful website for their nonprofit organization.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Marketing, Non-Profit, Planning, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, , , , , ,

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