9 Strategies & Helpful Tools to Boost Rankings

Are you ready to start showing up in the search results so that you can drive more traffic, donations, and volunteers through your nonprofit? This might sound like a dream, but it can be with the right tools and strategy. SEO for nonprofits is unique from for-profit businesses and might require some finesse to create the perfect strategy. 

You no longer need to guess what you should do to appear on the search engines. We cover why SEO matters, 9 ways to boost your page in the search engine results pages, and tools you can use to help. 

If you’re ready to dive in, let’s get started! 

Benefits of SEO for Nonprofits

Showing up in the search results is crucial for your nonprofit, and you can accomplish that via SEO. Here are some of the main benefits of implementing a new strategy that puts you at the top of Google and the other search engines. 

Low-Cost Way to Boost Visibility

Paying a professional organization to boost you on search engines like Google can be expensive, but you have other options. You can also take a DIY approach, which is relatively low-cost and can have a huge impact on your reach. 

Get More Volunteers and Awareness for Your Cause

If you struggle to find people to donate and serve, SEO might be what the doctor ordered.

When people know you exist and have a compelling reason to help out, you will see more conversions.

Make it clear what you want people to do: help out, donate, or spread the message. This makes engagement so much easier for them. 

Increase Donations

People can’t donate to your charity if they don’t know you exist. Search engine optimization tells people where you are, how they can give, and what you do with the donations.

With their most pressing questions answered, they are more likely to open their wallets and infuse your nonprofit with cash. 

Getting clear on what action you want people to take and facilitating it is a huge part of SEO for nonprofits.

9 Best SEO Strategies for a Nonprofit Organization

Ready to dive into getting higher rankings on search engines?

Here are nine strategies to get you a coveted spot at the top of Google’s SERPs. 

Commit to Keyword Research 

The first thing you need to do for your SEO strategy is create a list of relevant keywords. What is your audience searching for when they come across your website?

Look for long-tail keywords (those with five or more words), as these tend to be more specific. 

However, you can also use broad keywords for more traffic, but it will be less likely to convert. 

This also lets you know what the search intent is for these keywords. They might be looking for data on an issue that your nonprofit helps with. Other times, they’re looking for a place where they can make good on some charitable giving. Some transactions might result in volunteer work. 

Know what the keyword intent is and tailor your content accordingly. 

Technical SEO: Loading Speed, Mobile Optimization, & Core Web Vitals

Don’t neglect the more technical side of your SEO.

Consider this statistic: there is an 11%  bounce rate if a page takes over 3 seconds to load.

By 5 seconds, this is an incredible 38%. The speed of your website matters – and most people won’t stick around if you don’t deliver. 

You also want to ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices, as most people access the internet from smartphones and tablets compared to desktop computers. 

The Core Web Vitals report from Google can help you spot and correct technical SEO errors. 

An important ranking factor for search engines is backlinks, which can be hard to build. Take the easy way and get your nonprofit listed on as many high-quality directories as possible.

Look for pages that serve your local area, get listed on professional association pages, and fill out a form for as many directories as possible. 

Each one gives you a backlink and more exposure for your organization. 

Another thing you can do is focus on creating excellent content that you can submit for backlinks to other reputable websites. Steer clear of spammy websites for these purposes.

While getting a backlink from low-quality sites may be easy, Google could penalize you for it. 

So, instead, you should embrace a high-quality backlink strategy like some of the free methods listed here. It takes a little bit of work and dedication to see it through, but it’s a great way to boost rankings for a nonprofit without money to spend. 

When someone finishes one piece of content on your website, you want them to immediately move to the next piece.

Eventually, they will feel confident enough in your mission to take action: volunteer, donate, or share your content with others. 

The best way to keep people clicking around on your site is to create a web of internal links

While you could do this manually, it might be hard to pinpoint where an internal link fits. Instead, you may want to invest in and leverage tools like Link Whisper that can suggest places for internal linking with just a few clicks. 

Not sure that this could work for you? See our internal linking case study here to see what the results could be for your nonprofit SEO!

Get Guest Posts from Experts in Your Field

Let other people draw an audience into your orbit. If a respected expert in your field can create content for your site, you should take advantage of them.

They will bring their audience to your site to consume the content, which could introduce your brand to people for the first time. 

Pitch this to experts as a way to give back to the community and share their expertise simultaneously. It’s a win-win situation for them and can seriously boost your search results when content takes off. 

Interview Experts

If you are more interested in video content (which is growing in popularity), you may decide to interview an expert instead of having them over for a guest post.

Ask them questions about their expertise, allowing you to draw a connection to your work. 

This is great content for your website, and it can also give you fresh content for YouTube, which is a powerful search engine in its own right. Like guest posts, these experts will bring their fans to your interview and bring more brand awareness to your nonprofit! 

Create Consistent Content

Once people know you exist, they likely want to engage with you regularly. This means that if you want to maintain your spot at the top of the search results, you must create content consistently with a keen eye toward relevant keywords. 

That being said, not everything you create needs to be done with keyword research in mind. There is certainly a benefit to more targeted content that talks about your brand without worrying about using the right words or phrases. This might deliver what your audience needs to hear from you, such as a response to a current event or local happening. 

People will like feeling as though you are creating content just for them rather than for search engines.

After you create your content, make it work as hard as it can for you. Share it on your social media page as well as your YouTube channel. Whichever platforms you are a part of, you should post your content there to build backlinks and boost your SEO. 

Take Advantage of Local SEO for Physical Locations

If your nonprofit organization maintains a location where people can come for help or volunteer, you want to surface on Google Maps. You will want to include local SEO to your list of must-have items regarding tools. This can be as simple as incorporating the name of the city where you are located in your content marketing. 

Knowing how to target keywords and get organic traffic is key. Let these tools do most of the heavy lifting for your nonprofit SEO strategy. We include both free and paid tools here to give you a range of services. 


SEMRush is one of the most versatile tools around if you are serious about showing up in the search engine results pages.

Compared to agency costs, the tool comes in substantially less, which is great, especially for nonprofits on a budget.

And as a nonprofit you are eligible for a discount on their annual subscription – all you have to do is contact their sales team!

For just $129.95 per month, you have access to:

  • Keyword research
  • Site health and on-page SEO issues
  • Competitor analysis
  • Content marketing strategy
  • Local SEO
  • Link building
  • Rank tracking

By leveraging their robust suite of products, you will learn how to build organic traffic and keep them around. Be sure to see our full SEMRush review for more details and to see if this is right for your organization. 

Google Suite 

Make good use of the free tools available to you from Google: Google AnalyticsGoogle Search Console, and Google Keyword Planner.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are easy to integrate into your website so that you can keep your finger on the pulse of your traffic. On the other hand, the power of the Keyword Planner can bring you up to speed before an aggressive ad campaign. 


Content marketing should be a very big part of your nonprofit SEO strategy. The question is: what should you write and how should you format it to surface in the search results?

SurferSEO takes the question out of your hands and gives you a detailed breakdown of exactly what you need to do next. 

It tells you what keywords to use, how many times to use them and gives you an idea of where your competition might be found.

Take the guesswork out of your content creation with this keyword tool. See our full Surfer SEO review here to learn more about on-page SEO tools for just $89 per month. 

What is the Anticipated Cost of SEO for Nonprofits?

Nonprofits are lean organizations and need to make good use of every penny that comes their way from donors and grants. Search engine rankings are important for growing your reach and impact, but what will it cost you? Most experts recommend spending 10 percent of your annual budget on SEO (or less). 

Experts usually charge between $750 and $5,000 per month for SEO services. 

However, you may be able to spend substantially less if you commit to doing it yourself with tools like SEMRush and SurferSEO. A base subscription to both tools will set you back less than $250. Plus, you can also use free tools like Google Search Console if you commit to learning search engine optimization on your own. 

Get Started With SEO for Nonprofits Today

Start ranking higher in the search engine result pages and get more volunteers or donations for your nonprofit organization.

SEO for nonprofits is non-negotiable if you want to grow. With some of these simple tips, you’ll have a boost in your organic search rankings relatively quickly. Which steps will you integrate into your SEO strategy today? 

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