A well-optimized webpage can keep sending high quality traffic to your nonprofit’s online presence years after it was first published. A web page that is search engine optimized is like a little worker bee. However this also means that your SEO work is never done. SEO should be an ongoing process. Web pages can always be better optimized and they should be refreshed to reflect changes in keyword strategy or to adapt to changes in Google’s SERP strategy – and Google is constantly changing SERP priorities.
Start With On-Page SEO
You have the most control over your on-page SEO. You can start by analyzing what you currently have going on. If it’s been a while since you took a look at your keyword list, time for a fresh look. Perhaps your constituents were previously most concerned with improving their professional certification and credentials. But now maybe they may have greater concerns about their options for climate change. One approach is to take a close look at what new issues people may be emailing you about. What are your people talking about on social media? Find out what new questions and concerns they have. Are they asking similar questions but in different ways.
Brainstorm a new list of keywords based on what you learn. Use the keyword list to refresh existing content and build a new topic list. Then start publishing content that reflects your potential constituents’ new priorities.
A second way to do some ground analysis is to grade your website’s current SEO status. HubSpot’s Website Grader will point out some quick wins and areas that need further development. If your pages load slowly, or your site isn’t optimized for mobile, the Grader will let you know. It will also provide some direct SEO tips where it thinks a page is falling short.
Google constantly changes its SEO algorithm and tag properties. Google recently pushed organic results further down the page by inserting a fourth paid ad spot. Google also expanded the character count for titles and meta descriptions. You may want to rework all (or just some) of your organization’s webpage titles and meta description tags to keep up with the changes.
Also review pages to ensure they’re optimized around one choice keyword, and that all your possible tags and headings are SEO-optimized. Do your blog posts tend to be long stretches of text? Write keyword optimized headers (and tag them appropriately — H1, H2, etc.) for a collection of your most relevant posts. Google reads images – do you have alt-text for all of your images? (BTW – did you know that alt-text for images is used by voice recognition systems for reading aloud your pages. As hands-free laws are becoming more strictly enforced, this tag will become important as people rely more on “Siri” and her counterparts to read your organization’s webpages to them while driving, etc.)
Backlinks – links from an outside website to your website – validate your website’s authority and are critical for SEO. You can put social sharing icons on all your pages to help people link to your site, but if you want to take your backlink SEO strategy to the next level, you have to get proactive.
Try including some context-specific sharing Call To Action by your social icons. If you have a blog post reviewing popular professional resources that members of your trade organization might use, you can add copy at the end of the post that specifically encourages your colleagues to share this list with their colleagues. “Share this on Facebook: Fellow CPAs – heads up! Get the new Guide to financial services standards [yourURL]. Will bring in new clients!”
You could also set up an influencer program. Influencers are people who regularly share content to people who fit your target market. You can start your search for influencers at home by looking at your constituents, board members, and corporate partners to find people with some social media traction.
Make sure you don’t overlook people who aren’t yet part of your organization’s family, such as bloggers who write about your industry and relevant online publications. Do some social media research to find bloggers and sites that are also using your keywords or talking about the same issues as your organization.
Reach out to them individually. See if they’ll write a post for you, or interview one of your association’s executives on a hot topic, or write a review on a piece of your organization’s content that would be of particular interest to them. Many online publications are starving for new content. They’re always on the lookout for posts or new content for their sites.
Are you getting into video yet? Video has begun as the next major shift in online consuming habits. Start your YouTube channel with whatever video content you already have: talks at events, constituent testimonials, education videos. Like a blog post, each video has its own set of SEO tags you can use so it gets found. Each video is also another source to link back to your website or blog. Videos are also highly shareable, which means other people will be generating back links for you as well.
Strive for SEO Success
The key is to never be content. With constantly changing constituents and Google’s equally constant adjustments to search results parameters, you can always find ways to build on your past SEO success.