Search engine optimization is all about helping people to find your
website when they search for information online. Search engine
marketing takes SEO one step further, actively using search engine
results and advertising opportunities to attract a new audience to your
Take a look at some recent search engine statistics:
- 81% of people rely on search engines find the information they need;
- 45% search by using multiple keywords or key phrases;
- The top 30 search results get more than 90% of the traffic.
Clearly, you want your website to show up at the top of the search
engine results pages when potential supporters look for information
about your organization or your cause — to optimize your website so it
will rank highly for the keywords and phrases that people actually use
But a small nonprofit often doesn’t have the budget to hire an
SEO / SEM company to help make that happen. And even if you do have a
search engine consultant on board, it can only help you to have a solid
understanding, yourself, of how search engine optimization and
Many SEO and marketing tactics that work for small businesses
and individuals online can also help a nonprofit organization to gain
visibility. You may already be aware of SEObook’s Blogger’s Guide to SEO,
which has been translated into more than 20 languages — and if your
nonprofit has a blog, that’s a good starting point for self-education
on how search engines work.
Nonprofits have their own specific marketing challenges, however,
and often a broader range of goals for what they want to achieve with a
limited budget —
Both online and off, perceptions are framed and manipulated by
those with the capital and intent to do so. As much as we may like to
think those who help us access information are giving us the full
picture, they often have business objectives counter to our own
In the current environment, the distribution of information often
relies on marketing. Those with the biggest marketing budgets can get
their message across, whilst those who don’t have marketing budgets
risk going unheard.
So how does a non-profit compete for attention?
SEOBook has just followed up its Bloggers Guide to SEO with The Non-profit’s Guide to Search Engine Marketing,
a free online how-to manual to help your nonprofit organization spread
its message, cheaply and effectively, with the help of search engine
The Non-profit’s Guide to Search Engine Marketing is not
simply a business guide with a facile makeover. It specifically
addresses the concerns and challenges of nonprofits, with examples
drawn from real nonprofits who have been effective in working online to
increase their visibility, attract supporters and donations, and create
awareness for their cause.
Think about ways you can turn your charity projects into brands,
like the Tap Project. It helps if the brand is descriptive, as opposed
to abstract, as people tend to search for generic terms. For example,
“CureBlindnessNow” could be both a brand and a search term i.e. “cure
for blindess”, “how to cure blindness”, etc.
The Guide’s title may actually be a little misleading — there’s more
here than simply search engine marketing. Realistically, SEOBook shows
the nonprofit website as just one part of your organization’s overall
public presence. Social media is touched on, and community building,
and free services that can help to make your organization more
If you aren’t actively targeting your website to interact with
people your non-profit aims to support and empower, remember they may
read your website anyway. Look beyond fund raising and consider how
your clients could benefit from information on your website or by
interacting with it.
A linked Table of Contents at the beginning of the Guide lets you
can see at a glance what’s covered — from Keyword Research, to Public
Relations, to Platforms and Widgets, to tips on developing a
partnership with your donors. You can jump right to the section of
greatest interest to you — or start at the beginning and work through
the Guide over a period of time, section by section, task by task.