Does the term Search Engine Optimization make you want to run away? It seems incredibly complex but the reality is there are many simple things that can be done to effectively manage a good SEO program. Whether or not you have a website, these SEO basics for Non-Profits can give you ideas about what you can do to design a good program for your existing online assets or develop a strategy for your new online voice.

Keywords SEO Basics for Non-Profits

The most important aspect of your SEO plan should the be keyword search because this is the basis of how well you are performing. Develop a list of 10 top searches that would yield your website, considering the following:

  • 2-3 word phrases (do not use just words like Charity. Be specific like Fundraising for Children in Africa)
  • use simple language, not industry jargon
  • specify a unique set of keywords per page vs just your homepage or brand focus

Test these keywords out to see where your website comes out and or identify what websites pop up and why. Study their pages to see how they have integrated the keyword on the page. You can leverage Google Adwords for this exercise or a search for SEO tests and websites can study ranking for you.




Content is king and quality content is the key. If your website does not change that much, integrate a blog page where you can share up to date high quality content. Leverage the opportunity to link to your website or key pages, i.e. crowdfunding page.

Additional ways to update content on a non-profit website:

  • focus on a keyword/phrase and create an update on your website or blog. For example, test out a keyword to see what comes up and you will see if it is a popular search. Study the words used and how your blog or update could compete
  • images-2write a quarterly message on the website home page
  • create a specific donation page, such as a peer-to-peer fundraising page where you can leverage the multiple stories as opportunities to change the main page of the website. Make sure your fundraising and donate pages are searchable.


Where possible, always create a relevant link back to your website (or the page that you want your audience to go to).

To do this, consider:

  • linking to other sites where you can so they will see where the clicks came from and drive volume your way
  • do not over-link; consider 2-4 links in a 800 word blog ok with anything more being too much
  • make sure all your online assets contain links (social media posts, social media pages, blogs, directories)
  • do not forget your emails; make sure you include links to the website and to the specific pages in your message
  • make photos clickable with links

Back Linking

A backlink is when your website or page is the link on a website that is not yours. You can manage to develop these backlink opportunities:

  • connect with key bloggers and journalists in your field and in your communities
  • ask your Brand Ambassadors to create social media posts and blogs on behalf of your organization
  • Include a share button on all your pages (each web page header and/or footer, emails, blogs/articles)


Pictures and Text

They say a picture is worth 1000 words but in the world of SEO, it does not ring true. To make your visual content SEO friendly, make sure to provide alt text; ideally leveraging the keywords you are focused on. Make sure all photos across websites, emails, social media, blogs and so forth have an alt text description.

Google+ and Blog Sites

Create a Google+ account if you have not done so yet and ensure you share content on those sites as often as possible. In addition, make sure you sign up for blog sharing services like Reddit and StumbleUpon.


When developing web pages or blog pages for example, create easy to read urls and change any of that crazy to read text that automatically is created when a new page is born. Make sure you leverage your keywords in your URL.

SEO Basics for Non-Profits


It is a best practice to have a site map on your website. Make sure you have it and manage it appropriately, considering your keywords as tools for designing the right user experience as well.

SEO Basics for Crowdfunding Campaigns

If you are using a platform for peer-to-peer fundraising such as what Crowdster provides, you should work with both technology teams to make sure all the necessary SEO details are included ( meta descriptions, keywords and such).

In addition, you can:

  • Create a blog page and make sure you have links to your crowdfunding page. Update the blog several times during the week, sharing stories and progress against goal.
  • Ask friends to share your blog on their social page and to share your crowdfunding page, to create backlinks as much as possible
  • Create meaningful emails that provide updates on your blog page and campaign with links to your blog, campaign and social media
  • Make sure your shared photos have alt descriptions
  • Similar to sharing blogs, upload your videos to YouTube and other sites such as VIMEO

Net/Net: There are many technical things that can be done by a tech savvy person but much of the SEO implementation can be managed by your average joe.

For more information on this topic, check out the links when you click on this blog.

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