An Introduction to Local SEO for Your Nonprofit

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Does your nonprofit offer a service in a specific geographic location? If you do, making people aware of your existence and getting them through your front door is probably pretty high on your list of priorities.

This can be difficult to do. Getting your organization to pop up in search results on search engines like Google can help. Not sure how to get your nonprofit ranking in search results for your area? That’s where local SEO comes in.

What Exactly is Local Search?

Local search is when someone looks online for a service or organization in their area. Local SEO is a tactic used to get your nonprofit popping up in search results when you offer that service in the searcher’s locale.

Looking at the image of my search results for “clothing donation St. Louis,” you can see that Google returned more than just your average list. It also pulled in relevant local organizations accepting and included their address, as well as a map with local options pinpointed.

local seo for nonprofits

In local searches, search engines review a company’s location information to determine if they are nearby the searcher as well as relevant to their search.

How Does It Help Your Ranking?

Optimizing your web presence for local search has the power to boost your visibility online. There are three key players in its ability to make an impact.

Directory listings

Search engines, like Google, use basic organizational information on the web to decide whether or not to include your nonprofit as a relevant search result. This information typically includes your name, phone number, address and website. They find this information in different directory listings for your organization throughout the web. The more accurate, complete listings you have, the more credible you look to search engines.

Inbound links

The quality and number of people linking to your site plays a big role in your showing up in search results. How many people are linking to your website? Who is linking to you? What pages are they linking to? These are questions search engines take into consideration when returning search results. They want to return the most popular results to the people searching.

Reviews and Ratings

Reviews have the power to drive more business to your organization. Encourage supporters to review your nonprofit on a site like Yelp, Yellow Pages or another online directory. While, it’s up for debate how much impact these have on search engine rankings, they definitely play a role in convincing people to visit (or pass) your organization.

If your nonprofit has a physical storefront and provides services in your area, local SEO could be an extremely effective tactic worth implementing. The implementation can take some time. But, if you’re invested in your online presence and are committed to maintaining an active website with high quality content, you could see real results.

Is your organization optimizing for local search? Thinking your nonprofit could benefit from local SEO? Tips to help you get started are coming soon.