We quadrupled our blog traffic, can you? Simple guide to content marketing for nonprofits

With each nonprofit client that comes through ArcStone’s doors, we encourage them to either start a blog or give their existing blog more attention. Now, we wouldn’t risk wasting nonprofit’s already slim budget and tight schedule if we didn’t truly believe in the value of content marketing. But at points, it’s hard to convince clients that this effort is really worth it.

That’s why today, we are going to tell you a story: the story of how we implemented the strategy we encourage others to and as a result, saw an increase of 4x the traffic to our blog in just two years. Our story can serve as a general guide to content marketing for nonprofits.

Where we were with our content marketing strategy

Before we dive into the glory of the here and now, let’s rewind and be real with where we were at. Like many of you, we were posting at most 2 to 3 times per week, whenever someone felt inspired to do so or had the bandwidth. In addition to this lack of posting frequency, we weren’t monitoring engagement.

We knew we should do more, but we just weren’t allocating time or attention to it when there were other, more immediate business goals to which to attend.

For the total month of May 2015, we saw about 600 blog views.

2 years later we’re seeing over 2,800.

The simple content marketing strategy we implemented that your nonprofit can, too!

Many of you have likely thought, “we should blog more” and encouraged your team to help write when they can. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually do much to help your nonprofit. You need a nonprofit content marketing strategy that will keep you focused and consistent.

Here are 11 essential + manageable tasks to add to your content strategy that will take you to that next level.

1. Set goals:

Rather than risk finding ourselves right where we started in a couple months, we decided to set some lofty, yet manageable, goals. One of ArcStone’s digital strategists, Jenna, and I sat down and decided we’d post five blogs a week and then come review the results after six months. We also determined we’d spend more time on designing images for this content, promoting it and then checking in on our Google Analytics each week.

2. Create audience personas:

As a team, we took the time to map out distinct audience types. For your nonprofit, this likely includes a few different types of donors, volunteers, community members and other users. Once we had each audience member in mind, we were able to brainstorm content that could speak to each of them. Get going on this aspect by using our Nonprofit Audience Persona Ebook »

content-marketing-audience-personas

3. Designate blog ownership to a leader/editor:

One way many content strategies collapse is a lack of consistent execution. To avoid this, we assigned one final editor/project lead. Though we would be pulling content written by several team members, I was given the role of ensuring the content was ready to go and implement correctly into our CRM. This also helped us ensure our brand voice was prevalent across all posts and the formatting looked right.

If you have any trouble structuring your team or your content development workflow, take a look at Lisa’s, VP of Marketing at ArcStone, post on Content Team Roles »

content-strategy-roles

4. Utilize a (free!) content management tool:

We recognize that it can be hard to get the whole team on board with yet another tool, but we promise this one is worth it! We use Trello to implement and track all our content marketing efforts. You can read the full review here but we’ll also show you some snippets on how to make it work for your nonprofit below.

free-content-marketing-tool-for-nonprofits

5. Organize content by strategic categories:

A blog with just a list of all posts can be overwhelming to users. If you’re a donor, you may want the latest report on where their money went whereas a volunteer wants to hear about the next volunteer opportunity. Make sure these users can get the content they want when they land on your blog. Better yet, make sure that when they click on their blog category, that section is filled with good content for them to look through.

Trello makes it easy to label all your content. Here’s an example of how we segment ours within the tool. Each month we try to have each color represented across the calendar at least a couple of times:

6.  Assign due dates:

Without a due date, it’s easy to push things off for a later date. We used the calendar “power-up” tool in Trello to track these.

content-strategy-calendar

7. Focus on collaboration:

Through the communication capabilities in Trello, we were able to tag each other on cards and have conversations about posts when necessary. Being able to keep these conversations organized in one place is helpful as it allows you to stay organized and if need be, look back at the conversations later.

trello-free-content-management-tool

8. Promote:

Though we’d like to believe, “if you build it, they will come” it’s not entirely true with content marketing. In fact, Lisa wrote a whole post on why this is and how you can make up for it with promotional and SEO work.

This being said, couple your awesome new production strategy with a content promotion strategy.

Across social networks, we posted not only on ArcStone’s account, but also some of our team members’. This not only reached a larger audience but showed the personality behind our team.

When it came to Twitter, we posted 3-4 times a day, often tagging relevant accounts. This created some major upticks in traffic to our blog. social-media-strategy

3 times a week, we’d also post on Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn. For LinkedIn we focus on more professional-oriented content and thought leadership, whereas Facebook we try to post more on office culture and community.

If you’re unsure of what social media platform is right for you, listen to co-owners of ArcStone talk through how you can determine this with The Nerdy Nonprofit Podcast.

Lastly, we sent out our newsletter once-monthly with the top-performing posts from that month. We found we were faster at getting these sent out since we already knew what content to use.

9. Analyze:

All this effort doesn’t get you very far if you’re not monitoring it. You may see a bit more traffic but it’s going to come and go at an unpredictable rate if you’re not making changes to your strategy based on it.

Learn some of the basics in Google Analytics with this post “Nonprofits Using Google Analytics—Get tracking the Right Metrics.”

10. Redesign (when the budget allows):

Once you have some significant insight on aspects like what type of content your audience likes and what areas of the site they go to after the blog, you can consider making design changes. We used heat-mapping tool CrazyEgg to see what parts of the blog users clicked on and paired that with our user behavior insight in Analytics to make strategic design enhancements.

nonprofit-blog-design

11. Keep trying new things:

Once you get started for a few months, the above tips will get you to a great place. However, in a year or so you’ll want to round up your team and come up with fresh ways to approach your nonprofit’s blog strategy. This will help you get your most creative juices flowing and aid your nonprofit in standing out amongst the crowd.


As proof that the above really can work, here’s a snapshot of before and after:

MAY 2015
MAY 2017
Blog Views /Month: 641 2,298
Pageviews /Month: 4,289 8,941
Sessions /Month: 1,831 4,985
% New Sesssions: 70.6% 85%
Organic Traffic: –––> Up 155%
Traffic from Social: –––> Up 74%
Newsletter Subscribers: ~250 ~1030

You can see that the increase in blog views also contributed to an increase in overall website sessions and pageviews, as well as traffic from organic searches and social media. What’s more, all this traffic also lead to 4x as many newsletter subscribers. It’s a lovely trickle down effect!

We hope your nonprofit sees the value in a well-executed content marketing plan. More importantly, we hope you are encouraged by the fact that we, too have a small team. This strategy is crafted around keeping things manageable and simple. Successful content marketing for nonprofits is possible as long as you stick to your strategy, monitor it and continually work to improve it.

Get help with your nonprofit’s content strategy from our team by reaching out here »

Is your nonprofit newsletter getting flagged as spam? How to avoid the spam folder.

nonprofit-newsletter

There’s something liberating in flagging an annoying marketing email as spam—that act gives you the power to ignore such messages in the future. However, on the flip side when you’re sending out your nonprofit newsletters, you cross your fingers that no one marks your emails as spam. Not only does this mean the recipient won’t receive your future messages, but it can also hurt your nonprofit’s ability to send email newsletters in general.

Despite the problems with spam, email marketing is still one of your nonprofit’s best bets for reaching your volunteers, donors and prospects. In fact, according to Econsultancy, three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent to good” ROI.

So how do you avoid having your nonprofit newsletters being flagged as spam?

Lisa, VP of Marketing at ArcStone, offers some best practices to avoid being put in the Promotions tab or marked as spam. If you avoid spammy email tactics and come from a more personal place, your nonprofit newsletter should be in the safe.

Be authentic: Write to donors and volunteers as you would a friend.

Instead of getting so caught up in your “audience” and sending your email out to so many people, write it as if you’re talking to a friend or supporter. If you look at your email as an outsider, does it feel salesy or conversational? If it doesn’t sound authentic, it’s likely it’ll come across that way to your email list and they’ll avoid your emails in the future.

Be clear: Tell them what you’re writing about in your subject line.

If you pull the “bait and switch” trick, you risk losing reader’s trust. Don’t rely on deception to get people to click on your email.

Be clever: Compel them to open your email.

Instead, take time to craft an email subject line that’s accurate AND clever. Here are some fun tools for generating a better subject line.

Be real: Find a real human from whom to send and sign your emails.

Even if people know your nonprofit’s email was sent out in bulk, they don’t want it to feel like it’s coming from a robot. Try to have someone from your nonprofit sign it or include your contact info in the email. If possible, give them someone to contact for questions and comments.

Don’t go crazy: Too many images or links can hurt your emails

Many email marketers attempt to make things stand out with several types of fonts and funky formatting, Not only will too many links and images cause each feature to lose power, emails full of these can come across as spam. Plus, with so many email servers out there, you can’t be quite sure if your formatting will register correctly.

Make it pretty: Use a well-designed email template

Similarly, switching up your formatting and not sticking to a template can cause your nonprofit to look inconsistent. It can be hard for your reader to navigate and process your email. To help them get the information they want as well as to align with your brand, have a professional design your email template and stick to it.

Avoid trigger keywords: Don’t rely on old tactics

When you think through how you process your own inbox, it’s likely there are certain words that immediately sound like sales to you. Make sure you avoid these overused phrases and are being original.

Keep unsubscribe available

It’s sad to lose those email addresses you fought so hard for, but removing the unsubscribe capabilities from your email will only hurt you. It should be up to the reader whether or not they are contacted. Some email marketing software, like MailChimp, will even remove your ability to send emails if you do so.

In the end, like many pieces of your nonprofit marketing puzzle, it comes back to being authentic. If your readers identify with your nonprofit and feel as though your email communications are coming right from you, they won’t feel the need to flag your newsletter as spam.

Get help with your email marketing strategy from the team at ArcStone. Learn more »

Top ways to reach new volunteers & donors so far this year

You post on social media, send out newsletters and even sometimes write a blog, but times are changing and you’ve noticed these tactics just aren’t doing what they used to. That’s why Digital Marketing Philippines did a whole lot of research to help us all uncover what is working these days.

Though B2B marketing contrasts with nonprofit marketing, there are a few of these trends that are relevant to nonprofits. Take a look at the infographic and grab some ideas to try out.

nonprofit-marketing-trends-2017

How to ensure your nonprofit video is worth the expense.

nonprofit-video

There was an awesome Minneapolis nonprofit event recently and I wanted to be sure you got to hear about it. Jenna – the digital strategist who founded this blog – and Nick – ArcStone’s video producer – attended the AMA event entitled, “Practical Content Marketing for Nonprofits.” The idea Nick and Jenna contributed was one that many of our nonprofit clients have brought up: How can you produce a more affordable nonprofit video? And better yet, how can we be sure it will last?

Nick has been encouraging nonprofits to produce videos for years. His argument is that if you plan your nonprofit video carefully, you can produce one that will last you for years and will work well in several mediums.

The videos he produces for nonprofits have been filmed so that they can be easily sliced up to several lengths. In this way, the video can work on social media, in email campaigns, on a loop in the background of your website or as the full-length video at your gala.

So what does Nick use when he produces these videos? He shared a few of his secrets below.

Planning stage:

Production stage:

  • EcoMedia: A large organization that helps nonprofits with video
  • Voice Jockeys: Professional, low cost VO work
  • PremiumBeat: High quality and affordable music service

Examples of Nick’s work:

To view the full AMA event with several other nonprofit tips, check out livestream Jenna posted.

How to find an SEO agency for your nonprofit

We’ve had several nonprofit clients reach out, asking why we didn’t warn them about an SEO issue with their site. We then explain to them, the reality is their site doesn’t have an issue, and instead an agency is merely trying to scare them into purchasing their SEO service.

Our VP of marketing Lisa told me about this scenario, and has pulled together some ideas to help your nonprofit avoid falling for this scare tactic. In the end, hopefully you find a quality SEO agency for your nonprofit.

Some of these emails are more threatening than others. The one below is pretty gentle in comparison to others but it usually goes something like this:

seo-agency-scare-tactics

You can pretty much bet on the fact that this agency hasn’t actually looked at your site. They merely used a template email and plopped in your nonprofit’s name. Don’t fall for it.

First you might ask, “why do agencies use this SEO email?”

The major problem is that this email works. SEO is confusing and can take a lot of time to fix, so when people are offered an “easy solution” or “quick fix” they often latch onto it.

This stems from the evolution of SEO. At first, people used “black-hat” techniques to hack Google’s algorithms. They even sometimes worked. But Google, as per usual, has out-smarted those and now penalizes people for those. As a result, there really isn’t a quick fix.

Why these low-quality agencies don’t help

SEO is many things, but it’s definitely not something you can hack. It takes time, content and a true understanding of your audience. If a company is sending you a template email to save time, it’s unlikely they will give your website the individual time and attention it needs to develop quality SEO.

If you really need help with SEO, here’s how to find a quality SEO agency:

  1. Check to see how they map out deliverables: If an SEO agency promises #1 organic rankings overnight, they’re not being honest or realistic with you. Look for an SEO agency that sets realistic, measurable goals.
  2. They should follow modern strategies and best practices: Make sure that the agency you choose, stays current. They should be aware of algorithm updates and changes in the industry and they shouldn’t use any black-hat SEO tactics that may end up damaging your nonprofit brand or reputation.
  3. They shouldn’t be solely trumpeting where they fall on a list: Be cautious of choosing an SEO agency because they were voted “Top SEO Expert” by an organization that you’ve never heard of. These are often paid listings and require no real skills or experience.
  4. Look for a Google Partner Certification: If they are certified, they’ll have a Google Partner badge on their site. This ensures that the agency is staying in touch with digital marketing tools and has an understanding of Google Analytics.
  5. Their style should emphasize trust, transparency and communication Style: A reputable SEO agency will answer your questions and be straightforward. They won’t play games or try to trick you into an SEO program. They will always try to meet or exceed your expectations. Make sure the SEO agency you choose understands your organization and takes time to listen.

The next time you get one of these emails, don’t panic. If you are really concerned about your SEO, this email can serve as a good reminder to research SEO agencies and find a good fit for you. Your nonprofit deserves the best, so hopefully now, you seek it out!

A nonprofit brand strategy that’s often forgotten: Branded SEO campaigns.

nonprofit-brand-seo-strategy

A buzzword like SEO is thrown around a lot when it comes to digital strategy. As a nonprofit communicator, you know you need to understand it, but you don’t often have time to dive deeper. You attempt to stuff some keywords into your website content but that’s about it.

Knowing your time constraints, I want to make sure you don’t neglect the second part of SEO – branded search – as it can help you more effectively than just keyword stuffing would.

How SEO and your nonprofit brand can work together

You may not want yet another priority on your list, but listen up: what’s wonderful about branded search or brand SEO, is it does two things at once. You get people to your website AND you build your brand recognition. Boom done.

You need to first understand how these two goals work on their own to understand how they can aid one another.

1. Branding

For one, you need to ensure people know your name. You want your nonprofit brand to be well-known and remembered so people come to you first when searching for help or opportunity to help. If you need to better understand building your brand, read this.

2. SEO

Secondly, you need to show up when people search “volunteer opportunities” or “best nonprofit for helping ____ (insert your cause here).” The route for this = SEO strategy. If you need to better understand SEO read this.

How branding and SEO work together

Besides just building up common keywords, SEO can build up your brand recognition. When people search your nonprofits name, if you don’t show up as the first result, you may want to listen up.

Brand + SEO = Brand SEO

Branded keywords are simply your nonprofit’s name. For the nonprofit, Feed My Starving Children, one branded keyword phrase is “Feed my starving children” and another is the acronym “FMSC.”

How to start a branded SEO campaign

  • Write more blog content specifically about your nonprofit, including the name in the title, URL, headers, content, etc.
  • Be sure at least some of your photos contain alt text and descriptions with your name
  • If you have time, guest blog on nonprofit blog sites (ehem, like this one!). When Google sees your name in other places, it sees you as more important and helps your own site show up sooner in rankings.

If you need to convince your Board or team members this is worth your time, here are some additional benefits of brand SEO.

  • “Branded traffic is better traffic” as co-founder of ArcStone Lisa puts it. When people are seeking you out specifically with their search query, they aren’t there by accident, just hurting your bounce rates. When they’re coming to your site via a search of your name, they will interact with it and perhaps even convert into a donor or volunteer. This fulfills your goals of conversions and even positively impacts how Google ranks your site. (Remember: low bounce rates, high conversions, high interactions = strong SEO).
  • Brand campaigns help build overall awareness. Think about it: each time your brand shows up on the first name of Google, people are seeing it even when they didn’t seek it out specifically.
  • If you have control over your brand SEO, you can reduce the potential for a negative reputation down the road. Hopefully you never run into a scandal or negative review, but if you do, it’s helpful to have your brand showing up for other reasons besides that one bad article.

If you’d like some help building out this strategy, reach out to ArcStone .

Start a nonprofit blog to increase engagement with your cause

When first helping nonprofits develop their marketing strategy, one of ArcStone’s primary objectives is getting them set up with a blogging strategy. Nonprofit blogs hold huge potential. They contribute to huge gains in several main goals such as spreading the word about your cause, reigning in donors, and getting people to subscribe to your newsletter. Our VP of Marketing at ArcStone, Lisa, recently wrote a post on how to get started with this process, which I repurposed for you all below.

start-a-nonprofit-blog

Before we offer tips, 3 reasons why to start a nonprofit blog

  • You know that search tool, Google? The one that gets people to find your nonprofit in the first place? When you have a blog, and frequently post on it, your site will be more heavily indexed. This means a higher chance of people finding your site. Additionally, research from marketing giant HubSpot, found that sites that have a blog also have 97% more inbound links. Again, this means higher online visibility.
  • Turns out, people actually trust blog content. BlogHer found that 81% of U.S. consumers trust the information they find on blogs. If you’re worried people won’t take your content seriously, think again.
  • If people are coming to your blog, you have a higher chance of engaging with them. Whether your messaging is about fundraising or volunteering, you’ll be able to speak to an audience you wouldn’t have otherwise reached.

We recognize you may already be convinced, but there’s a reason your nonprofit hasn’t launched a blog (or kept up with your current one). It’s challenging and it takes time to see results. Through the following 10 tips, we hope to help you start a nonprofit blog that is successful.

10 tips towards starting a nonprofit blog

1. Develop personas.

Nonprofits often struggle as they have vast audiences. The problem is, their content speaks to everyone at once. This also means they’re not really reaching anyone at an individual, engaging level. Jake, the liberal arts student who’s interested in volunteering will have one set of needs and goals. Whereas Mary, the finance professional who’s interested in making a donation to your organization will have her own. Whenever you start writing, know who you’re target reader is.

Use our infographic to develop your personas »

start-a-nonprofit-blog

2. Write for your audience.

If you want to pull in traffic from Google, you’ll need to write content that answers people’s search queries. If possible, use a keyword research tool such as SEMRush to find out what people are typing into Google. If you can’t afford investing in a tool right now, you can even just rely on Google Suggest. See below:

start-a-nonprofit-blog

Based on the search above, a popular topic for a blog post might be “Why volunteering is good for your health” as people are already searching for content regarding that topic.

3. Study your keywords.

If you’ve found a strong key phrase to write about, do some more research on what other wording you can use throughout your post. You’ll want to do this in a natural way so as not to “keyword stuff.” Learn more about SEO strategy here »

4. Determine your call to action.

Now that you know who you’re writing for, you have to decide what you even want them to do after they read your post. If you’re trying to get more volunteers like Jake for your next event, write a post on how volunteering is good for your health, and then include a call to action that asks him to sign up. Craft a killer CTA »

5. Map out a draft.

Once you have your audience, your goals and keywords, include it all in a draft. This will help you stay focused on your nonprofit’s goals as you develop more content.

6. Decide the length.

Nonprofit clients often ask how long their blog post should be. There’s not one right answer here. If you have time for longer format blog posts (2000+ words), you’ll have more keyword targeting opportunities. This type of post also tends to give you more room backlinks.

Shorter posts often are more attainable when you’re low on time or budget. They also have an advantage many don’t realize: Google likes fresh content and according to HubSpot, organizations that blog more than 20 times per month get five times the traffic than those who blog less than four times per month.

Lisa’s formula: 8 short posts to every long post.

7. Find your writer.

The writing process gets tricky. If you’re too busy to write a post yourself, consider outsourcing. Review the pros and cons »

If it’s more of a matter of not having the knowledge base of the subject, find yourself a subject matter expert. To save time and budget, ask them specific questions so you get the answers you need quickly.

Another way to save time? Use content management tools. That way, you can communicate with your team and stay organized. See our favorite writing tools for nonprofits »

8. Optimize your post for SEO.

Don’t worry, there’s a hack for that. We recommend the Yoast SEO Plugin. Learn about how this and other plugins work here »

9. Be ready to analyze.

If you’re not analyzing how well your content does, you’re going to miss out. Install Analytics and be ready to study how your posts are doing. Learn how to get started with Google Analytics with this ebook»

10. Create your publishing plan.

The chances of people finding your content go way up if you have an adequate social media plan. We have some tools to help:

Blogging is one of the most effective routes to helping your nonprofit gain visibility. We hope you feel ready to start a nonprofit blog and that you reach out for help!

Enough New Year’s inspiration, time to get it all done (in 5 steps?) – January Nonprofit Marketing News

Seeing as your inbox has recently been flooded with several “top trends for the New Year” and other inspirational posts, we thought you might be feeling overwhelmed. We decided to simplify your main priorities down to five actionable steps.

january-nonprofit-news
Photo source: Angel Oak Creative

– The Nerdy Nonprofit – January 2017 – 


Here are 5 steps for…

1) Engaging donors, one step at a time

“…fundraisers that meet new donors and make asks without a plan usually find those donor relationships to be short lived.” Make your donor relationships last this year.

2) Sparking authenticity in your branding & messaging

Despite how personal it can be to partake in a nonprofit’s wonderful work, nonprofit branding and messaging can often feel impersonal. Find some ways to ensure you’re speaking authentically and connecting with your audience.

3) Increasing fundraising success

After so much fundraising during giving season, it’s good to reflect on some critical aspects of fundraising and take steps towards even more success this year.

4) Writing a newsletter that your members will actually read

You finally put the newsletter together and send it out, and you find out later, hardly anyone read it. Sound familiar? Write a newsletter that engages. Here’s how

5) Optimizing your nonprofit’s blog content (and finally seeing more traffic)

Have you verified your nonprofit site with Google, had Google crawl your posts, or tried the best SEO tools? If not, your blog isn’t as strong as it could be. Help your nonprofit be found online. 

5 nonprofit newsletter tips for increasing engagement

better-nonprofit-email-newsletter

Why do you bother to write a nonprofit newsletter each month? Is it to update your donors and members on the latest happenings? To get people to look at your site? Or is it just so you can cross it off your to-do list?

Hold up. Your newsletter is your chance to do more than that. You finally have a chance to truly engage with supporters for your organization and perhaps inspire them to do even more to be a part of it. That’s powerful!

VP of marketing at ArcStone, Lisa, has given several nonprofits advice on the best ways to communicate to their members and general audience. She wrote out five tips to help you do a better job and I wanted to make sure you saw them.

1. Get personal with your subject line.

Instead of giving each email a dull title like “Winter 2017 Newsletter,” get creative. Give them the first line of a blog post to get them interested in reading the full story. Or, try personalization techniques to make the letter feel more authentic.

2. Set yourself up with a compelling template

It may take a bit more investment initially, but having a nicely laid out design will help readers digest the email and will keep it looking more professional long-term. Gather some inspiration from Canva or find some freebyies.

best-email-design-nonprofits
Canva Best Email Design Example

3. Draw attention to specific highlights

When you finally get around to writing your newsletter, it’s easy to forget all that your nonprofit has done over the course of the month. Keep a running list of what your nonprofit has accomplished, not just as a whole but all your individual staff members. Nancy Shwartz has some good ideas to help you share in an effective way.

4. Give a shout-out to super great people

You can also share the amazing work and progress of your donors, volunteers and those using your services. A bonus is that if you feature someone’s story in your newsletter, they will likely share that newsletter with friends and family, expanding your network.

5. Measure frequency & timing

Rather than just guessing when people read their email, start testing for the best send time and frequency level. This Entrepreneur article can help you start this measuring process. Allow a flexibility here – don’t promise readers you’ll only send out your email once a month as perhaps you’ll find the majority of your audience wants to hear more!

If you need some help from our digital strategy team, please do send us a note. We love to work with nonprofits!

Best practices for optimizing your nonprofit’s blog content (and finally getting traffic)

optimize-nonprofit-blog-content

If you pay any attention to the marketing world these days – which I’m guessing you do as you’re reading this post – you’ve been encouraged time and again to write a blog for your nonprofit. The promise is that if you write, your blog will bring your site traffic and eventually, donors, volunteers and support. However, the truth is you can’t just invest in the writing portion of this process. If you want to see real gains in traffic you need to optimize your blog content and ensure it’s indexed by search engines.

ArcStone’s VP of marketing, Lisa, wrote a post on optimizing blog content for search. Below it’s written with your specific nonprofit goals in mind.

5 simple steps to search engine optimization for your nonprofit blog posts

1. If your nonprofit’s site isn’t yet verified on Google, this is a productive first step. Login here and click “Add Property.” Follow the steps Google provides. While you’re at it, link the property to Google Analytics.

2. Nonprofit site’s using WordPress, you get a leg up: there’s several reputable plugins and one of which, Yoast SEO, we highly recommend for improving your SEO. Through filling in information Yoast SEO requests, you hone in on your long-tail keyword and optimize each post according to that.

3. When using a plugin or SEO tool, keep in mind the keyword phrase about which you are writing. What is the main topic? If it’s “volunteer ideas for young professionals” use this in your SEO title, slug and Meta Description. Always keep in mind that this should sound natural and not forced.

The example below is optimized for the keyword phrase “Promoting Blog Content.” optimizing blog content

4. Now that you have a fully optimized, published post, you can go into Google Search Console and click on “Fetch as Google” which you’ll find under “Crawl.” By crawling the blog post, you will almost always get indexed by Google.

5. Finally, by sharing your post across social channels and other sites, you’ll have a healthier SEO. Read more about the best times & methods for social media posting »

I understand it’s not always easy to find time to write a blog post for your nonprofit, but if are putting the effort forth, you should make sure the post is found. You never know what kind of impact this post could have on your readers – they may become your next biggest nonprofit supporter! But they have to find your nonprofit first!

More on optimizing your nonprofit blog SEO: