SEO for Nonprofits: A Complete Guide

seo for nonprofits

Did you know that there are over 1.7 million nonprofit organizations in the United States? With a steady growth rate of 1.4% per year over the past twenty years, nonprofits now make up more than 10% of all companies in the country and contribute roughly 6% to the US economy. Plus, the revenue generated by these organizations has skyrocketed from just over $1 trillion in 2000 to almost $3 trillion in 2023. For nonprofit organizations looking to increase their online presence, implementing effective SEO tips can be a game-changer, especially when it comes to optimizing for queries.

Nonprofit organizations are created to serve the community, bring about positive change, and contribute to the betterment of society. To accomplish this, they need to navigate the process of attracting, nurturing, and converting prospective donors.

This requires understanding the nuances of creating a strategic marketing plan to reach your target audience and achieve your goals. One vital component of any comprehensive marketing strategy is search engine optimization (SEO) and backlinks, including the use of popular platforms like WordPress.

SEO for nonprofits can help organizations increase their visibility, reach a broader audience, and drive more support from prospects that are actively looking for organizations like theirs. In this blog post, we will discuss keyword research and 2023 marketing trends for nonprofits and how nonprofit SEO can help them achieve their mission of creating a brighter tomorrow.

What Is SEO for Nonprofits, and Why Is It Important?

SEO is the process of improving your website’s online visibility and driving organic traffic through search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO can be achieved through a variety of tactics, including but not limited to optimizing your website content with relevant keywords, link building, and creating high-quality content that enhances user experience.

With so many nonprofits competing for attention, it can be hard to stand out. This is where SEO comes in. When someone searches for “donate to [your cause],” you want to be one of the first pages they see in the results. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can drive traffic and ultimately increase donations or conversions. 

Additionally, having a strong online presence can help establish credibility and trust with potential donors. While this is true for all businesses, donors are rightfully judicious about contributing to great organizations. Establishing an iron-clad digital presence helps prove to them that your nonprofit is trustworthy and established in technical SEO.

Do Non-profit Websites Need SEO?

Yes, non-profit websites need SEO to increase their visibility and attract donors, volunteers, and supporters. SEO can help non-profits rank higher in search engine results, drive more traffic to their website, and ultimately increase their impact and reach their goals.

Steps to Creating an Effective SEO Strategy for Your Nonprofit 

All roads lead to your bottom line: donations. Traffic is important, and you want to focus on getting more of it, but intent and quality should always be at the forefront. A great SEO strategy works from the bottom up, starting with the most important keywords that donors search for. 

But how exactly do you go about it? 

  • Identify Relevant Keywords: Keywords are the foundation of SEO, so it is essential to research relevant keywords that your target prospects are searching for. Start by identifying the keywords that represent your organization best, such as your mission, program, or services. Use SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner or Semrush to identify popular keywords that people search for related to your organization. After you identify the keywords, you can optimize your website and the content around them.

    Don’t forget to be nimble, creative, and strategic. Your names and definitions may not always align with what users are searching for. Even further, your target keywords should have a mix of good volume, high intent, and achievability (keyword difficulty).

    If you’re stuck, see what competitors target, or even check out some suggestions at the bottom of a Google Search page when you type it in yourself.
  • Optimize Your Website: Ensure your website is responsive, user-friendly, and loads quickly. Simplify your website structure and navigation so that visitors can access the information they need quickly and easily. Optimize your website’s metadata with intentional titles, headers, and meta descriptions to make it easy for search engines to understand what your website is about. Use selected keywords in your website’s URL, title tags, headers, and content.
  • Produce Quality Content: Create content that provides value to your target audience, such as articles, blog posts, infographics, and videos. Ensure your content is optimized for your target keywords, engaging, informative, and relevant. By producing high-quality content that people want to engage with, you increase the likelihood of getting more traffic and rankings on search engines.

    Most importantly, write for people, not bots; keyword stuffing doesn’t win in the SEO world anymore. Google likes content that expands on tangential topics and fundamentally satisfies the search intent of the reader.
  • Connect with Other Relevant Websites: Reach out to other relevant websites and organizations, and offer to create content or guest posts. These websites should be related to your nonprofit’s mission and values and link back to your website ideally. By building relationships with them, you can open new audiences to otherwise inaccessible audiences, thereby driving more traffic to your website.
  • Analyze and Measure Your SEO Results: Analyzing your SEO results is essential to track your progress in building your nonprofit organization’s online visibility. Use Google Analytics and Search Console to monitor your website traffic, where it comes from, and how long visitors stay on the website. You can use SEO tools like Semrush or Moz to evaluate your website’s keyword rankings and see how it compares to competitors. Use this information to improve your SEO strategy continually and find new tactics that generate results.

Tips for Attracting Donors and Donor Retention

Remember, your positive impact can only be as big as the number of people you can reach. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to effectively attracting and converting prospective donors to further your cause and improve your website’s content and search engine rankings.

seo strategy for nonprofits

Get Specific

The nonprofit industry is all about serving the community and specific causes. Targeting a specific audience who shares the same values and beliefs is critical for any nonprofit organization. Define your mission and goals and create personas for your target audience. This way, you can understand their needs, assess their financial and geographic reach, and understand how you can best tailor your message to them. Local SEO can help your nonprofit organization reach your target audience in your local area and increase your visibility in search engine results. Mobile optimization is also crucial for nonprofits, as more and more people are accessing the internet through their mobile devices.


The nonprofit industry is about creating trust and transparency. Your content strategy should convey your organizational values, dedication, and transparency to the target audience. One way to do this is by actively engaging with the audience through search and social media, and by making yourself open to feedback and questions. Respond positively to criticisms and use them as feedback to improve your communication strategy.

Be Transparent and Accountable

People are more likely to connect with an organization when they feel like their resources are being used effectively. Highlight where the funding goes, where it comes from, and how the organization uses it to serve the community. Being transparent in financial and operational procedures will instill a sense of trust in the organization. Guest blogging can be a great way to showcase the organization’s expertise and reach a wider audience.

Create Powerful Stories

Storytelling evokes emotions and can help you connect with your audience on a personal level. Share stories about how your organization has impacted the community, create meaningful visuals, and show the impact of your organization’s work. People are more likely to invest in your cause when they can see the change your organization is creating and increase brand awareness through on-page optimization.

Build a Community

Creating a loyal community around your cause is powerful. You can connect with people who are passionate about making a difference and with whom you share a common vision. Create volunteer opportunities, volunteer programs, meetups, and events where people can connect and engage with your organization. This will help you create a community that is invested and passionate about your cause and can help you spread the word about your organization’s new content.

2023 Marketing Trends for Nonprofits 

Want to take your nonprofit to the next level? Stay ahead of the game by keeping up with the latest trends. We’ve done the research and uncovered insights on everything from social platforms to effective donating strategies. These 2023 nonprofit trends could revolutionize your approach. Don’t miss out on opportunities to grow and succeed. 

Optimize Your LinkedIn – With roughly 300 million active users each month, this social platform is a unique opportunity to shine a light on your nonprofit’s mission and build your professional network. Plus, with only 1% of users posting and 3 million users sharing content weekly, building up your profile and highlighting your nonprofit in your posts can bring great exposure.

One of the best ways to boost visibility on your LinkedIn profile is by using, you guess it, SEO. Optimizing your profile with the right keywords and phrases can increase your ranking and visibility in search results. That means more views, more connections, and more opportunities. Don’t miss out on the power of LinkedIn SEO. 

Donate Now, Pay Later Options – The “Buy Now, Pay Later” marketing approach has been on the rise over the last several years, with services like Paypal Pay-in-4, AfterPay, and Klarna becoming more popular. Nonprofits have taken the hint and started to implement them into their overall marketing strategies to attract different classes of donors. 

Imagine being able to donate to your favorite nonprofit or charity without worrying about immediate payment. With “Donate Now, Pay Later” fundraising platforms, you can do just that. It’s a seamless process that allows you to make a donation and pay for it later while the organization receives the funds upfront.

Upping Your SMS Communication Reach – Texting is impossible to ignore. Did you know that text messages are opened 98% of the time? Compared to the measly 21% open rate of emails, it’s clear why more nonprofits are turning to SMS for their fundraising efforts. But it’s not just about raising funds – texting creates a unique opportunity for communication with your audience, volunteers, and donors. You can send out a simple “thank you” text to your event volunteers or share photos with your donor list.   

Modernize Your Payment Methods – Cash and checks are no longer the preferred methods for charitable giving. According to Visa’s Payment Panel, there has been a 10% increase in card payments for donations in the past five years. This means more people are choosing to donate using debit and credit cards. Charities are keeping up with the trend by offering online contribution forms and even accepting donations via digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. What’s even more exciting is that some charities now accept Bitcoin as payment. So, if you’re looking to make a difference, modernize your payment methods and capture a whole new generation of donors. 

Take Your Nonprofit to the Next Level with Viewstream     

By offering high-quality content and optimizing it around your target keywords, nonprofit organizations can create a sustainable, long-term approach to increase support at a higher rate than the competition. We have a long track record of driving marketing success in the nonprofit space, with campaigns tailored to the unique needs and goals of your organization.

Uncover a wealth of potential growth and increased donor engagement with Viewstream’s complete suite of SEO services.