We’ve all been there. Supporters are expecting that blog post tomorrow, and you’re staring at a blank screen. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the furthest thing from your mind. There’s a lot of apprehension for many nonprofits around the benefits of keeping up with a blog, much less working toward SEO for blogs. Writing is hard, it takes time, and it’s easy to prioritize other more pressing tasks above something like a blog.
I’m not intentionally trying to make your life more difficult, I promise. When combined with the magic that is SEO, a blog can bring a ton of search traffic to your nonprofit’s website. And, once you have the research part out of the way, it only adds a little extra time to your process.
Before You Can Use SEO for Blogs
Let’s not get too terribly far ahead of ourselves. Before you can use search engine optimization to increase blog traffic, you’ll need to get your hands on some SEO research. While it’s possible to do this yourself, it requires a good deal of background knowledge so learning the process could be a fairly big time commitment. Luckily, there are lots of organizations who can provide some support, which is what we do with our nonprofit-specific traffic growth engagements.
When I talk about unbranded search, I mean those new visitors that arrive on your website through a search that didn’t include your organization’s name. To make the most of SEO for blogs and attract visitors who’ve not heard of your organization, unbranded search is your best bet.
Your SEO research is bound to have keyword options that would be great to rank for but won’t work naturally within page content on your website. But the blog is a different story. You can post as often as you like, centering each post around one keyword. Each individual post then has the potential to appear in search results on Google or other search engines. Longer, hyper-specific keywords that describe what you do and how you help make excellent blog posts.
Think about it. If your nonprofit runs an after-school program for underprivileged children, wouldn’t you want someone searching for “help low-income kids succeed” to find you? Unbranded search can bring in those potential supporters. They already care about your cause or are curious about topics that you have some expertise on. They simply had no idea who you were so they didn’t know to include your organization’s name in their search.
Optimizing a Blog Post
To get the most out of a keyword in a blog post, you’ll want to go the extra mile to optimize the post for that specific keyword. That means including it (exactly and completely) in as many of the following places as you can.
- Page name
- First paragraph
- Content (at least four times)
- Meta description
- Alt attributes of an image
That’s not so bad, is it? If the keyword presents a good opportunity and you can fit it into all of these places, you’ll start showing up in search engines and increase blog traffic before you know it. Try it out, and see the real difference it can make to boost the right kind of traffic to your nonprofit’s website.
Download Our SEO For Nonprofits Primer
Not everyone has time to become an expert in SEO for nonprofits. Get our list of recommended reading and how-to tutorials for search engine optimization basics.
Have you tried optimizing your blog posts for search engines? Do you have any questions on how SEO for blogs works to increase traffic? Ask away in the comments below!