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You’ve spent a lot of time, energy and money on getting your fundraising or charity website set up so that it will be appealing and interesting to your audience. But all of that work is useless if your audience can’t find your site. In the seemingly infinite number of sites out there to choose from, your job is to find a way to make yours the one that both the search engines and your potential viewers will choose. This is where using relevant keywords on your website comes in.


Keywords, Content and Links

Internet search engines use different factors to determine what sites they return in response to a searcher’s search. Factors such as the search phrases (also called keywords or keyword phrases) entered in the search engine (or directory), keywords used on your site, the content on your site and the number and quality of sites that are linked to your site can all affect whether or not your site comes up as a result in search engines – as well as where in the long list of results your site is listed.

Using relevant keywords and keyword phrases can help to improve your listing in a search engine’s results in two ways:

  • First, it can help your site to be returned at a higher placement in the list of possible websites that a potential visitor is looking for, the search engine result pages, or SERPS. Chances are, if your site is not listed on the first two or three pages of links that are returned, it is unlikely that it will be found.
  • Second, using relevant keywords on your website’s pages will not only help to get a good position in search results, but will also help to get the most appropriate visitor to your site. In other words, the more careful you select your keywords or phrases for example, the more likely it is that you get the kind of visitor who will actually use your site or purchase from your site, as opposed to a visitor who’s only browsing. In general, specific longer (long-tail) keyword phrases yield better results than short generic phrases.

Also read: Promoting Your Nonprofit Locally: 7 Steps

So How Do I Use Keywords and Phrases to My Advantage?

Keywords and phrases are in fact, a very important aspect of getting your site offered to a potential visitor. But the problem is, you might not always include in your text the exact key words that a searcher enters into the search engine. There is a very easy to use and free keyword search tool available at Keyworddiscovery.com or Ubersuggest.com that lets you search for the most commonly entered search phrases and words.

For example: type in ‘fundraising’ and you’ll not only get the results for that word, but also all kinds of related keywords and phrases people are looking for on the web, and what other websites are using them. Remember that the most popular keywords and phrases will also have the most competition in the search engines and directories.

Unless you’d like to spend potentially a lot of time (and money if you’re planning on buying advertising) to compete for the top keywords, it may be wise to pick keywords and phrases that most closely describe your service, but that aren’t necessarily at the top of the list. Use these keywords and phrases in the title and header tags, the keyword and description tags and throughout the text on a related page for said keywords and phrases.

How Not to Use Keywords and Phrases:

You might say “If I just get as many keywords and phrases as possible on a page, I should do pretty well in the search engines and directories, right?” Well… You could try to do that by creating rather jumbled copy that crams as many keywords and phrases into a page as possible, but you’ll find that this is not a good idea.

First, search engines and directories know this trick and will not respond to it. Second, remember that you don’t just want to attract a surfer, but you want to attract visitors that will keep coming back for future visits. So a page that lists a bunch of keywords but doesn’t give them what they were looking for is not going to rank well with your visitors, no matter what it does for your SE ranking.

Back to Keywords and Content

Stick to what makes sense: using content-rich articles related to your subject and taking advantage of keywords and phrases in the title and header tags of your pages and the keyword and description tags. This strategy can help you improve your search engine rank and keep your visitors interested.

Regularly adding articles broadens the amount of interesting and relevant information you offer to your readers and increases the likelihood that your visitors will stay on the site. Not only that, but if your articles prove to be useful, then you also increase the likelihood that other sites will link to yours – another important factor in increasing your search engine ranking. A great way to add updates about your group is through a blog on your website. People can easily subscribe to it and it is automatically syndicated on the web.

Also read: Clean up Your Nonprofit Website ‘Till It Squeaks!

How Do I Get Our URL on Other Websites?

1. An easy way to spread your group’s website’s link around is to create profile pages on several social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget Pinterest and Instagram.

2. If your site has a blog (it should!), make sure you post and link to all blog updates on all your social media accounts as well. You can automate this process within WordPress or through third party services such as Dlvr.it.

3. Make sure you comment on other websites and add your website’s URL. Try it out at the bottom of this article!

4. Find websites to add your link to. How do you find sites to have your link listed on? Search for the name of a similar cause to yours and see what websites come up. Then either use the contact form on these websites to ask to have your link added, or add it yourself, depending on the choices offered. Many sites, including ours, will publish a well written ‘guest post‘ with a link back to the desired site.

5. You’ve paid attention to keywords, you’re adding good content, you’ve started to blog and you’ve signed up for some social sites. Keep adding content to all your channels and as your website becomes more popular, more people will visit and link to your site!

Not all links to your site will carry the same amount of weight when it comes to search engine results for your website, but, your link is still out there for other people to click, which results in more visitors to your site over time.

For more articles about online fundraising, go to our Fundraising Online category.

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