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5 SEO Strategies For Nonprofits

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SEO is an essential part of any organization’s marketing strategy, and this doesn’t change for nonprofits. Nonprofits will need to prioritize the highest impact SEO strategies to optimize their lower time and budget. So what are the best SEO strategies for nonprofits?

The best SEO strategies for nonprofits provide the highest impact for the lowest investment. These include:

  1. Targeting lower difficulty keywords before high difficulty ones
  2. Optimizing your content to ensure it follows basic SEO best practices
  3. Focusing on local SEO to be found easier on Google
  4. Including E-E-A-T information in their content
  5. Sourcing free backlinks through press releases and natural links

Read on to find out more about nonprofit SEO and more information about our top five SEO strategies for nonprofits organizations.

What is nonprofit SEO?

Nonprofit SEO involves optimizing the website both on and off page, to allow the site to rank higher on search engines and ultimately get found by more people. The reason this differs for many charities and nonprofits is because these organizations will often have less manpower, time, and budget to assign to their SEO efforts. On top of this, many larger organizations that are competing for rankings will have an SEO agency, so prioritizing the highest gain tasks will be most beneficial.

Do nonprofits need SEO?

SEO is essential for nonprofits because it allows them to be found by new donors and fundraisers. It will also allow more people to find and use your services. Not only will this allow you to help more people but you can also use this information to gain further funding and spread your brand and mission.

Looking for information about other nonprofit marketing techniques? Why not try our guide on Nonprofit Email Marketing in 2024?

The top 5 SEO strategies for nonprofits

We’ve pulled together our top five strategies specifically for nonprofits to help you grow your organization, get more donations and fundraising, and ultimately help more people!

1. Keyword targeting

For nonprofits that likely don’t have a large amount of time or money to invest into SEO, it’s important to target the right keywords. This ensures that you’re not committing all your efforts into difficult keywords and falling short.

It’s important to target the high volume, high difficulty keywords as a long-term goal. However, you’ll need to understand that these won’t be achieved quickly and you may need to improve your entire SEO strategy for these. One of the best ways to do this is to target low-difficulty keywords initially to start ranking and gaining traffic. Not only will this help with traffic and fundraising, but it’ll assist your SEO through natural backlinks and a gain in domain authority.

2. On-page SEO

As with any business, the easiest and possibly the most important way to start ranking for your chosen keywords is the simplest. Quality, human-centered content. This will always play a key role in nonprofit SEO and it can be the biggest return on investment that you could make for low cost or no cost if you choose to do it yourself.

You should do some research into each of these SEO content writing points:

  • Header Structure/Hierarchy
  • Title Tags & Meta Descriptions Best Practices
  • Call To Actions

To target your keywords, try to use them naturally throughout your content, particularly in the title tag and headers. Make sure that this doesn’t affect the quality of the content and isn’t used so much that it’s unnatural. The overall goal is still to provide helpful content to your users.

3. Local SEO

If you’re a nonprofit with a physical location or a charity that provides services in a specific area, you should consider focusing on local SEO to target people in your region.

Start by creating a Google Business Profile to show your business on Google Maps and local searches. The more detailed your profile is, the better, so don’t just set up the bare minimum. Flesh out the profile with images of your location, the work you do, a detailed description of your organization, and any further details such as opening times and accessibility options.

On top of this, you should create a page on your website with details of your location and the services you offer there. Ensure that all of the details match the Google Business Profile across your site to make sure there’s no mismatch.

Finally, you can add LocalBusiness schema to your site, and add your organization on local listing websites.

4. Show your E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authority, and trust. This is a key factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, which wants to see why your content should be trusted. This is particularly important for YMYL (your money, your life) niches, which cover many areas of nonprofits such as homelessness, health, and financial assistance.

Here are a few key ways that you can show your E-E-A-T:

  • Discuss your history
  • Discuss your experience
  • Create a ‘Meet The Team’ page detailing everyone’s experience
  • Include information about any awards you’ve won
  • Talk about your previous work, such as collaborators, notable accomplishments, and events
  • Create an in-depth ‘About Us’ page to include a lot of this information, but filter it throughout your other content too
  • Include any notable accreditations or memberships

5. Find free backlinks

Backlinks are an important part of SEO that are often overlooked. For a charity or nonprofit, this could be key as you’ll often be competing against much larger organizations with bigger budgets.

A backlink acts as a stamp of approval from another site to yours. It happens when they link to your site from a page on their site. Gaining high-quality backlinks will improve your site’s domain authority, which in turn will allow you to rank higher for keywords. As a nonprofit, there are a few key tactics that you can use to gain more backlinks.

If you have the budget, you can also hire a PR company to do this on your behalf. Many PR companies specialize in charity & nonprofit PR, so they’ll know exactly how to help with this. While this obviously costs more money than doing it yourself, it will save your organization time and most likely provide better results.

Press releases

Press releases are the perfect way for a nonprofit organization to gain backlinks. It involves reaching out to journalists to let them know about a recent success, event, or change to your organization. Because charities will often hold fundraisers, sponsor runners in events, and conduct community projects, you’ll most likely already have something that journalists would be interested in writing an article about.

Just be sure to send this out to the right type of people. For example, if you’re holding a local fundraiser in your town, it’s unlikely that a national journalist will be interested. Instead, you can focus on a local newspaper that might actually post an article about it.

For more information about press releases for nonprofits, read our guide, 5 Ways to Get Your Nonprofit Press Release to Stand Out.

Guest posts

Another way to gain backlinks is through guest posts. Guest posts are blog posts that you write for another site that isn’t your own. In return, you can place a link to your own website in the blog so that you’ll get a backlink. These can often be time consuming, so it might not be the number one priority for nonprofits with low manpower.

This involves contacting related blogs to ask if they would be interested in receiving a guest post. Send over a couple of ideas for blog topics, and if they’re interested, they’ll let you know which one they choose and you can send it over.

Just don’t forget to send them a link to your site and include one in the blog!

Quality content & resources

Another great way to get backlinks, particularly for charities, is to create useful resources and content that other sites will naturally link to. This is great for nonprofits as they’ll often already have statistics and research.

This can be in the form of infographics, annual reports, statistics, studies, free template downloads, or generally helpful content. For example, posting content with statistics about the topic will often get linked to, particularly if it’s in the form of infographics that they can post on their site too.


By following these five SEO strategies, your organization can build your online presence and gain traffic, donors, and fundraisers. Ranking higher on Google for search terms such as ‘suicide fundraising’ will allow people who are actively looking to fundraise for a charity to see you first. This is essential for any nonprofit and a great way to build your organization’s brand and grow to help more people with your services!

Want more helpful tips on how to improve your fundraising efforts this year?

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