Most nonprofits want to drive traffic to their website. And that makes sense. What’s the point of having an awesome website if no one visits?
One of the most crucial components of driving traffic to your site is earning high-quality inbound links, or links from other websites pointing to yours.
Why Do Inbound Links Matter?
Inbound links benefit your nonprofit’s website in two primary ways.
Referral traffic comes from visitors landing on your site by clicking a link on another website. The more links you have on websites or webpages related to your cause, the more likely it is visitors will be referred to your site.
While perhaps a little less obvious, earning inbound links to your website is incredibly important when trying to drive traffic from search engines (like Google and Bing).
Search engines rely on your inbound links (both the quantity and quality) to decide how valuable a page on your site is likely to be to a searcher. If your page has a lot of inbound links, they view it as an indication that people are finding your content useful since they’re linking to it. The more links you have from highly regarded websites, the more favorably search engines will view your site.
(This whole explanation is over-simplified, but that’s the gist of it.)
Produce Link-Worthy Content
It’s best to think of links as something you must earn as opposed to acquire. People used to simply go buy links and reap quick rewards. But search engines have made great strides in cracking down on such practices.
The best way to earn links to your website is to produce stellar content. Produce the kind of content your visitors will want to link to. This may be on your blog or various pages throughout your website.
To increase the likelihood of earning links, make sure your content is:
- Tailored to your audience
- Useful to your readers
- Unique to your organization
- Compelling and engaging
While not every piece of content you write will be a home run, start thinking about what you can do to create the kind of content your readers will want to link to. Not only will you earn links, but you’ll also produce stronger, more helpful content along the way.
Strategically Promote Tools on Your Website
Along the same lines as earning links to your content, be sure to promote any tools you’ve incorporated into your website that your community may find helpful.
For instance, maybe you have a tool that allows parents to look up schools in their neighborhood and find reviews for each. Don’t rely on visitors simply finding such a tool. Reach out to individuals, organizations and media outlets that may be interested in using (and sharing) such a tool.
Send emails. Post on social media outlets. But don’t come at it as wanting to build links. Instead, approach it as a way of telling those that can benefit from your resources that they exist.
If you’re truly providing value to your visitors, the links will follow.
Earn Media Coverage
Another great way for your nonprofit to earn links is by earning coverage in the media. Maybe one of your events gets a write up in the local paper. Or a popular blog covers one of your major campaigns.
Whatever the case may be, ask them to include a link within the coverage whenever possible. Most will be happy to do so.
Ask Partner Organizations to Provide a Link
Many nonprofits routinely collaborate with other organizations. Perhaps you have local affiliates or partner with related organizations on a major event.
Ask these organizations to provide visitors with a link to your website. These links can help drive referral traffic from interested visitors as well as helping your site rank better in search engines.
Write Articles for High Quality Sources
There’s a bit of debate right now surrounding the benefits of guest blogging when it comes to search. However, I still recommend guest writing as a great way to earn links to your website.
Pick out some leading blogs and websites related to your mission. Ask if they accept guest submissions. Write a piece demonstrating your authority and providing a lot of helpful information to their readers.
Even if your guest post has limited value from a search perspective, it still will help drive referral traffic from interested readers. It’s also a great way to broaden your reach and build credibility within your area of focus.
Have you successfully earned links to your nonprofit’s website? What’s worked for you? Or do you have anything to add as a way to earn links? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Image courtesy of raneko