Connect with us

SEO

7 Tips To Help Your Organization Get Found

Published

on

7 Tips To Help Your Organization Get Found

Non-profit organizations can benefit greatly from exposure online.

SEO is a great way to gain organic traffic, regardless of the mission of the organization and the intent of the searcher.

Yes, there are opportunities through Google Ads grants and supporters to help drive traffic.

However, being found organically is a cost-effective and trusted way to gain long-term visibility and further the mission of a non-profit.

Most non-profits operate on lean budgets and have to be very judicious with their resources.

Advertisement

I have had the opportunity to work with many spanning focuses and missions aimed at healthcare, education, performing arts, adoption, orphanages, and more.

Within each non-profit, I have found tips that help regardless of most focuses and circumstances.

From solid funding to grassroots organizations, there’s a lot to be gained by focusing on seven SEO tips to help your organization get found.

1. Develop SEO Goals

I have personally heard from and witnessed non-profit organizations spend time somewhat aimlessly. I understand the fact that resources are limited and dollars potentially even more so.

That means it is even more important to have specific, realistic goals for what SEO could and should do for the organization. Disparate, scattered efforts that are working toward a specific goal are often wasted.

A lot of non-profits have specific stakeholder groups and different goals for each.

Advertisement

For example, I worked with a large national non-profit organization focused on a very specific disease.

Their audience included many audiences and potential visitors including those who were just diagnosed, scared, and seeking information.

Beyond that, they had goals for advocates, donors, those engaged in events, those interested in furthering legislation, and general supporters.

All had some level of awareness, engagement, and action goals layered on top.

With a large number of specific funnels, conversion actions, and stakeholder purposes for finding the org, engaging online, and getting to the ultimate goal, it is important to define specific goals and success metrics.

2. Create Funnels And Stakeholder Sections

Building on what I noted about the disparate stakeholders and types of goal actions, we can create paths for them and content within the website.

Advertisement

Non-profit sites can often be a mess. That’s not on purpose as it can be hard to work on all the content needed and to scale the website over time.

Survey your audience. Learn what they really want and what resources matter to them.

Tailor your content based on feedback and what you know about the cause.

Know that some people want to plug in a credit card quickly.

Others want to consume long-form content.

Even more might want to learn about events and ways to connect.

Advertisement

Give all of them their own path and custom journey.

My team is working currently with a large non-profit that funds a lot of worthy organizations and fosters entrepreneurship.

We have a laser focus on specific topics, content strategies, and investments to make sure that the right people are reached and that the org is positioned prominently for engagement compared to for-profit and other content sources.

3. Build Solid Infrastructure

This could have been number two, as it goes together with the funnel and stakeholder section building.

If you’re struggling with number two above, it could be because your site isn’t easy to manage.

Please note that all of the technical SEO needs are important for non-profits like they are in for-profit sectors.

Advertisement

On top of that, with the various funnels and goals, a solid UX and information architecture is critical.

We can’t lose people along the way or waste any precious impressions and clicks. We need sites that convince and convert users.

We have a story to tell and need it to be told without bounces and losing people along the way due to not finding the right content and spot for them on the site.

I saw firsthand how a local non-profit benefited from this type of approach.

As a tax levy, yet independent, a non-governmental non-profit that provided grants for mental health organizations, it had a lot of technical details to share.

The org had a very specific grantmaking process. That process could be hard to understand and follow.

Advertisement

The org spends a lot of time and focuses on awareness in SEO as well as Q&A.

Beyond that, it was important to share how taxpayer funds are used and how it serves the broader community.

All of those funnels, plus some for politicians curious are big reasons why the funnel and rich content model works so well.

4. Invest Carefully In Content

Content can be a big, open-ended question for non-profits.

There are a lot of really important things to say – both about the organization’s story and the voice it has in the cause.

Passions for blogging, creating resources, and telling the important story of the cause can drive a lot of great content.

Advertisement

At the same time, for some organizations writing can be put on the back burner when events, fundraising, and things central to the mission take the most time.

Content can be a big effort whether it is working or not and it might need more focus.

Or, it can be lacking and need more consistency and discipline.

Regardless, a sweet spot has to be found to fuel the areas of the funnel and focus that matter for organic search.

I can think of a great example who tells their story well and also serves as a leader as a resource of information.

They serve troubled youth and are an option for parents who are out of options for their high school kids.

Advertisement

They take in troubled youth from around the U.S. and have a high staff-to-student ratio serving them with love and highly skilled and accountable care.

Through their site, they share their research, expertise, and thought leadership in their space.

They also have an emotional and impactful story to share with prospective parents and students.

They do amazing work and serve a much-needed cause and do a great job of investing in content at the levels needed for those interested in stats and facts as well as they move others by resonating with their exact situation and emotions.

5. Leverage Partners For Links

In addition to technical and content aspects of SEO, non-profits need to also leverage off-page factors.

A big part of that is backlinks.

Advertisement

That means ensuring that all partners, advocates, and associates are helping the cause wherever they can by linking to the non-profit website.

Through natural links tied to relationships, I’m not talking about spammy or unnatural links.

If an aligned partner or organization is supporting the cause, simply make sure that they know where to link for the best possible user experience and to cue the search engines to that association.

Beyond that, any opportunities for outreach and network growth should also be considered.

Link research into comparable organizations should be done. This can help with development efforts as well as outreach to develop more partners.

An example of a non-profit organization gaining SEO benefits from backlinks is a flagship performing arts center.

Advertisement

As a venue, it has several resident organizations or other non-profits who call it home for their concerts and performances.

Beyond that, corporate sponsors, civic organizations, artists, ticketing sites, and more all naturally link to the center.

Leveraging all of the specific partners and relationships, the performing arts center fully leverages the value of the links and “votes” from those other sites to benefit their own.

6. Smartly Use Social

Social media has been one of the most debated things in terms of its impact on SEO. I’m not here to foster that debate in this article.

However, I can say that I ascribe to at least the correlation between social media activity and better SEO performance.

Again, not here for a debate.

Advertisement

If you can get on board with at least correlation (not causation), then please factor in your social media activity with your search strategy.

Look at the content you want to get ranked well and get links to.

Build your social strategy around that.

Get your own social accounts to link to it and get other people to share and link to it.

A national organization that I work with that is an association of intercollegiate athletics does a great job of this.

They leverage their investments in the content to get as much mileage as possible.

Advertisement

That means creating the content once and publishing it on the site and promoting it via Google Ads, social, email, and all possible channels.

Ultimately, they want organic search as well and know that as much engagement, links, and references they can get to their data, research info, and recruiting info they can get, the better it will perform organically. And, it does!

7. Plan, Measure, & Repeat

I can point to a number of great examples of non-profits owning organic search results and seeing real results from them. Most have a well-defined and intentional plan and effort in place.

It isn’t about trying harder.

It is about specific focus and knowing that there’s ROI or real, measurable impact that can come from organic search.

In so many of those successful cases, there’s planned action and tactics.

Advertisement

That means a regular and consistent effort in technical SEO factors, content, and knowing that SEO includes the word “optimization.”

It isn’t a one-time thing or a quick strategy.

It takes definition, planning, resources, and sticking with it.

You don’t have competitors in the traditional sense, but you do when it comes to gaining impressions and visitors and people talking about the content that you so deservedly want and need.

Wrap Up

You have a great cause and organization.

Your mission means a lot to a lot of people.

Advertisement

Don’t short-change it or miss out on your chance to gain visitors who have a range of interests, goals, and reasons they should come to your site.

Use these seven tips for non-profit SEO and get the most out of your resources and continue driving your mission forward.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

Measuring Content Impact Across The Customer Journey

Published

on

By

Measuring Content Impact Across The Customer Journey

Understanding the impact of your content at every touchpoint of the customer journey is essential – but that’s easier said than done. From attracting potential leads to nurturing them into loyal customers, there are many touchpoints to look into.

So how do you identify and take advantage of these opportunities for growth?

Watch this on-demand webinar and learn a comprehensive approach for measuring the value of your content initiatives, so you can optimize resource allocation for maximum impact.

You’ll learn:

  • Fresh methods for measuring your content’s impact.
  • Fascinating insights using first-touch attribution, and how it differs from the usual last-touch perspective.
  • Ways to persuade decision-makers to invest in more content by showcasing its value convincingly.

With Bill Franklin and Oliver Tani of DAC Group, we unravel the nuances of attribution modeling, emphasizing the significance of layering first-touch and last-touch attribution within your measurement strategy. 

Check out these insights to help you craft compelling content tailored to each stage, using an approach rooted in first-hand experience to ensure your content resonates.

Advertisement

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or new to content measurement, this webinar promises valuable insights and actionable tactics to elevate your SEO game and optimize your content initiatives for success. 

View the slides below or check out the full webinar for all the details.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

How to Find and Use Competitor Keywords

Published

on

How to Find and Use Competitor Keywords

Competitor keywords are the keywords your rivals rank for in Google’s search results. They may rank organically or pay for Google Ads to rank in the paid results.

Knowing your competitors’ keywords is the easiest form of keyword research. If your competitors rank for or target particular keywords, it might be worth it for you to target them, too.

There is no way to see your competitors’ keywords without a tool like Ahrefs, which has a database of keywords and the sites that rank for them. As far as we know, Ahrefs has the biggest database of these keywords.

How to find all the keywords your competitor ranks for

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Enter your competitor’s domain
  3. Go to the Organic keywords report

The report is sorted by traffic to show you the keywords sending your competitor the most visits. For example, Mailchimp gets most of its organic traffic from the keyword “mailchimp.”

Mailchimp gets most of its organic traffic from the keyword, “mailchimp”.Mailchimp gets most of its organic traffic from the keyword, “mailchimp”.

Since you’re unlikely to rank for your competitor’s brand, you might want to exclude branded keywords from the report. You can do this by adding a Keyword > Doesn’t contain filter. In this example, we’ll filter out keywords containing “mailchimp” or any potential misspellings:

Filtering out branded keywords in Organic keywords reportFiltering out branded keywords in Organic keywords report

If you’re a new brand competing with one that’s established, you might also want to look for popular low-difficulty keywords. You can do this by setting the Volume filter to a minimum of 500 and the KD filter to a maximum of 10.

Finding popular, low-difficulty keywords in Organic keywordsFinding popular, low-difficulty keywords in Organic keywords

How to find keywords your competitor ranks for, but you don’t

  1. Go to Competitive Analysis
  2. Enter your domain in the This target doesn’t rank for section
  3. Enter your competitor’s domain in the But these competitors do section
Competitive analysis reportCompetitive analysis report

Hit “Show keyword opportunities,” and you’ll see all the keywords your competitor ranks for, but you don’t.

Content gap reportContent gap report

You can also add a Volume and KD filter to find popular, low-difficulty keywords in this report.

Volume and KD filter in Content gapVolume and KD filter in Content gap

How to find keywords multiple competitors rank for, but you don’t

  1. Go to Competitive Analysis
  2. Enter your domain in the This target doesn’t rank for section
  3. Enter the domains of multiple competitors in the But these competitors do section
Competitive analysis report with multiple competitorsCompetitive analysis report with multiple competitors

You’ll see all the keywords that at least one of these competitors ranks for, but you don’t.

Content gap report with multiple competitorsContent gap report with multiple competitors

You can also narrow the list down to keywords that all competitors rank for. Click on the Competitors’ positions filter and choose All 3 competitors:

Selecting all 3 competitors to see keywords all 3 competitors rank forSelecting all 3 competitors to see keywords all 3 competitors rank for
  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Enter your competitor’s domain
  3. Go to the Paid keywords report
Paid keywords reportPaid keywords report

This report shows you the keywords your competitors are targeting via Google Ads.

Since your competitor is paying for traffic from these keywords, it may indicate that they’re profitable for them—and could be for you, too.

Advertisement

You know what keywords your competitors are ranking for or bidding on. But what do you do with them? There are basically three options.

1. Create pages to target these keywords

You can only rank for keywords if you have content about them. So, the most straightforward thing you can do for competitors’ keywords you want to rank for is to create pages to target them.

However, before you do this, it’s worth clustering your competitor’s keywords by Parent Topic. This will group keywords that mean the same or similar things so you can target them all with one page.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Export your competitor’s keywords, either from the Organic Keywords or Content Gap report
  2. Paste them into Keywords Explorer
  3. Click the “Clusters by Parent Topic” tab
Clustering keywords by Parent TopicClustering keywords by Parent Topic

For example, MailChimp ranks for keywords like “what is digital marketing” and “digital marketing definition.” These and many others get clustered under the Parent Topic of “digital marketing” because people searching for them are all looking for the same thing: a definition of digital marketing. You only need to create one page to potentially rank for all these keywords.

Keywords under the cluster of "digital marketing"Keywords under the cluster of "digital marketing"

2. Optimize existing content by filling subtopics

You don’t always need to create new content to rank for competitors’ keywords. Sometimes, you can optimize the content you already have to rank for them.

How do you know which keywords you can do this for? Try this:

Advertisement
  1. Export your competitor’s keywords
  2. Paste them into Keywords Explorer
  3. Click the “Clusters by Parent Topic” tab
  4. Look for Parent Topics you already have content about

For example, if we analyze our competitor, we can see that seven keywords they rank for fall under the Parent Topic of “press release template.”

Our competitor ranks for seven keywords that fall under the "press release template" clusterOur competitor ranks for seven keywords that fall under the "press release template" cluster

If we search our site, we see that we already have a page about this topic.

Site search finds that we already have a blog post on press release templatesSite search finds that we already have a blog post on press release templates

If we click the caret and check the keywords in the cluster, we see keywords like “press release example” and “press release format.”

Keywords under the cluster of "press release template"Keywords under the cluster of "press release template"

To rank for the keywords in the cluster, we can probably optimize the page we already have by adding sections about the subtopics of “press release examples” and “press release format.”

3. Target these keywords with Google Ads

Paid keywords are the simplest—look through the report and see if there are any relevant keywords you might want to target, too.

For example, Mailchimp is bidding for the keyword “how to create a newsletter.”

Mailchimp is bidding for the keyword “how to create a newsletter”Mailchimp is bidding for the keyword “how to create a newsletter”

If you’re ConvertKit, you may also want to target this keyword since it’s relevant.

If you decide to target the same keyword via Google Ads, you can hover over the magnifying glass to see the ads your competitor is using.

Mailchimp's Google Ad for the keyword “how to create a newsletter”Mailchimp's Google Ad for the keyword “how to create a newsletter”

You can also see the landing page your competitor directs ad traffic to under the URL column.

The landing page Mailchimp is directing traffic to for “how to create a newsletter”The landing page Mailchimp is directing traffic to for “how to create a newsletter”

Learn more

Check out more tutorials on how to do competitor keyword analysis:

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

Google Confirms Links Are Not That Important

Published

on

By

Google confirms that links are not that important anymore

Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed at a recent search marketing conference that Google needs very few links, adding to the growing body of evidence that publishers need to focus on other factors. Gary tweeted confirmation that he indeed say those words.

Background Of Links For Ranking

Links were discovered in the late 1990’s to be a good signal for search engines to use for validating how authoritative a website is and then Google discovered soon after that anchor text could be used to provide semantic signals about what a webpage was about.

One of the most important research papers was Authoritative Sources in a Hyperlinked Environment by Jon M. Kleinberg, published around 1998 (link to research paper at the end of the article). The main discovery of this research paper is that there is too many web pages and there was no objective way to filter search results for quality in order to rank web pages for a subjective idea of relevance.

The author of the research paper discovered that links could be used as an objective filter for authoritativeness.

Kleinberg wrote:

Advertisement

“To provide effective search methods under these conditions, one needs a way to filter, from among a huge collection of relevant pages, a small set of the most “authoritative” or ‘definitive’ ones.”

This is the most influential research paper on links because it kick-started more research on ways to use links beyond as an authority metric but as a subjective metric for relevance.

Objective is something factual. Subjective is something that’s closer to an opinion. The founders of Google discovered how to use the subjective opinions of the Internet as a relevance metric for what to rank in the search results.

What Larry Page and Sergey Brin discovered and shared in their research paper (The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine – link at end of this article) was that it was possible to harness the power of anchor text to determine the subjective opinion of relevance from actual humans. It was essentially crowdsourcing the opinions of millions of website expressed through the link structure between each webpage.

What Did Gary Illyes Say About Links In 2024?

At a recent search conference in Bulgaria, Google’s Gary Illyes made a comment about how Google doesn’t really need that many links and how Google has made links less important.

Patrick Stox tweeted about what he heard at the search conference:

” ‘We need very few links to rank pages… Over the years we’ve made links less important.’ @methode #serpconf2024″

Google’s Gary Illyes tweeted a confirmation of that statement:

Advertisement

“I shouldn’t have said that… I definitely shouldn’t have said that”

Why Links Matter Less

The initial state of anchor text when Google first used links for ranking purposes was absolutely non-spammy, which is why it was so useful. Hyperlinks were primarily used as a way to send traffic from one website to another website.

But by 2004 or 2005 Google was using statistical analysis to detect manipulated links, then around 2004 “powered-by” links in website footers stopped passing anchor text value, and by 2006 links close to the words “advertising” stopped passing link value, links from directories stopped passing ranking value and by 2012 Google deployed a massive link algorithm called Penguin that destroyed the rankings of likely millions of websites, many of which were using guest posting.

The link signal eventually became so bad that Google decided in 2019 to selectively use nofollow links for ranking purposes. Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed that the change to nofollow was made because of the link signal.

Google Explicitly Confirms That Links Matter Less

In 2023 Google’s Gary Illyes shared at a PubCon Austin that links were not even in the top 3 of ranking factors. Then in March 2024, coinciding with the March 2024 Core Algorithm Update, Google updated their spam policies documentation to downplay the importance of links for ranking purposes.

Google March 2024 Core Update: 4 Changes To Link Signal

The documentation previously said:

Advertisement

“Google uses links as an important factor in determining the relevancy of web pages.”

The update to the documentation that mentioned links was updated to remove the word important.

Links are not just listed as just another factor:

“Google uses links as a factor in determining the relevancy of web pages.”

At the beginning of April Google’s John Mueller advised that there are more useful SEO activities to engage on than links.

Mueller explained:

“There are more important things for websites nowadays, and over-focusing on links will often result in you wasting your time doing things that don’t make your website better overall”

Finally, Gary Illyes explicitly said that Google needs very few links to rank webpages and confirmed it.

Why Google Doesn’t Need Links

The reason why Google doesn’t need many links is likely because of the extent of AI and natural language undertanding that Google uses in their algorithms. Google must be highly confident in its algorithm to be able to explicitly say that they don’t need it.

Way back when Google implemented the nofollow into the algorithm there were many link builders who sold comment spam links who continued to lie that comment spam still worked. As someone who started link building at the very beginning of modern SEO (I was the moderator of the link building forum at the #1 SEO forum of that time), I can say with confidence that links have stopped playing much of a role in rankings beginning several years ago, which is why I stopped about five or six years ago.

Read the research papers

Authoritative Sources in a Hyperlinked Environment – Jon M. Kleinberg (PDF)

The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine

Featured Image by Shutterstock/RYO Alexandre

Advertisement



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending

Follow by Email
RSS