The web is a big ocean and your content is a needle that’s fallen into it. So how can people find your NGO?

Search Engine Optimization is free and helps makes it easier for people to find your content!

If you operate or work as a marketer in a non-profit, it is crucial (even more so than other for-profit companies) to rank well in Google.


Because you’re working for a good cause and may not have a big advertising budget. As SEO is free, you can get organic, relevant visitors to your website. When you’re easy to find in search engines, a lot more people can get in touch with you and volunteer, donate or get in touch.

Google Ranking Algorithm

Rank Brain is Google’s name for a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that’s used to help process its search results.

Now is Rank Brain the only way Google ranks search results?

No, not at all.

Rank brain is part of Google’s overall search algorithm which is called Hummingbird. Within a few months of being deployed rank brain has become the third most important signal contributing a result of the search query.

The first two are content and backlinks.

Keyword Research

Search engine optimization is incomplete without keyword research. There are many NGOs like you and are your competition. Well, not literally since all NGOs are helpful in their own way! But if you want to rank better other NGOs in the search engines, you may have to write better content.

Moreover, you may have to identify certain keywords that are least competitive and write content for those keywords. This is where keyword research and optimization comes to help. If you do it right, search engine crawlers will find your content and show it on top of your competitors to the people who are searching for solutions using your keywords.

Sample Screen From Ahrefs

So our aim here when researching keywords, is to find a list of target keywords that are:
#1 Relevant to your offering
#2 Highly Searched and likely to bring in visitors number
#3 Moderate to low competition keywords so that they can be ranked
#4 They are commercial intent keywords so that
they’ll convert visitors into buyers.

Usually, people pass through four stages on their journey from research to raving fans.

The stages are research number—> consideration—-> purchase—-> loyalty.

  • Research keywords tend to contain one or two words and they are usually called head terms.
  • Consideration keywords tend to contain two or three words and they are also called body terms.
  • Purchase keywords tend to be longer, having three or more words and they’re also called long-tail keywords and finally, loyalty keywords tend to be shorter but usually brand/organization names as keywords.

Keywords can be categorized into two different types.

The first is head, body and long-tail keywords and the second way to categorize them is into informational keywords and commercial keywords.

Now let’s take a look at the first method. Let’s take the example of the key term ‘climate change’. This word is a head term. The term ‘climate change news’ would be part of the body, ’causes of climate changes’ would be part of the long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are the best and this is because of the following reasons.

  • Long-tail keywords make up the vast majority of searches. For example, climate change 2019, Is climate change real? climate change definition are all different keywords with their own search volume and actively searched by real people online. This means if you are not targeting long-tail keywords on your site, you’ll be missing out on a huge proportion of your possible traffic, maybe even up to 90% of the traffic
  • Long-tail keywords are very specific and tell you more about what people are really looking for. That means it gives the real intention of the people. The head keyword such as ‘charity’ does not tell you very much about the searchers’ intent, whereas a keyword such as ‘donate for cancer tells you that this person is interested in making a monetary donation online.
  • Long tails are the least competitive. So it’s easier to rank those keywords and these are some of the main reasons why long-tail keywords are very important to your online success.

Now let’s briefly look at the second way to broadly categorize keywords.

Informational keywords are those that are searched to conduct research or that merely pass on some information.

They are used a lot in articles and blog posts so that people who are at the initial stage of their conversion cycle or at the top of the funnel get attracted to them. Examples of such informational keywords are effects of climate change, how to recycle, and so on. Most of the how-to keywords and numbered lists like 10 ways to save water at home and so on fall under this category.

Commercial keywords can be brand names or eCommerce terms that are used in product pages.

They convert better mainly because they attract people at the final stage of their conversion cycle or people at the bottom of the funnel. Some examples of commercial keywords can- donate blood near me, adopt a puppy, run for charity etc.

Use free tools like Ubersuggest or paid ones like Ahrefs (which I personally use), kwfinder to research keywords.

Writing Content For Non-Profits

Writing awesome content and optimizing for SEO is the secret of online marketing success.

Content SEO is about the art of copywriting and ranking that on top of search results. It’s relatively easy if you have some experience and it’s an excellent way to bring in a large amount of valuable web traffic to your site rather than spending thousands of dollars towards paid advertising.

But writing Search engine optimized content is not only about rankings and traffic.

It’s also about engaging your visitors, building authority, selling your products and so on and so forth. After all, what’s the point of getting so many prospects without having a purpose.

Here are some pointers to help you write amazing content for your website:

  • Knowing who you’re writing your content for is one of the best and most important copywriting tips anyone can give you. For example, if you are giving guitar lessons and your website attracts guitar students make sure your content appeals in every respect to those who want to learn guitar. Give high valued lessons and show them your commitment to improving their skills. Write stories and some pleasant experiences about your customers in your day to day business life with a lot of human touches.
  • Start with a killer headline. The better your headline, the higher the chances of your post getting higher clicks and hitting the rooftop. An irresistible well thought out title makes people read your article and it sets the tone for your content. Use Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer to find out how your title can be better.
  • A catchy headline brings in more readers. But how do you get them to continue reading? The answer is by using subheadings. Subheadings are header tags like h1, h2, h3 and so on and they make your article skimmable and guide the readers through the text. They also describe your content to search engines.
  • Create numbered lists. Studies show that headlines with numbers get more clicks. It’s psychological. Our brain loves lists. In addition, they promise something very specific and they are easily readable

Here are some times of content that you can post on your NGO’s website:

  • Personal Stories for your cause
  • News Articles
  • Information
  • Infographics
  • Testimonials
  • Events
  • Videos
  • Webinars

Backlinks are still the number one factor for ranking a website. These are incoming links from another website. Backlinks are like votes from third-party site acknowledging the quality of your website. So the power of such vote is higher when links are from higher authority and more relevant websites.

Web page with a lot of quality backlinks ranks higher on all major search engines.

Links from your industry websites, in this case, other NGO’s will be quality backlinks. Here are some ways you can get backlinks:

#1 Guest posts:

A lot of high authority blogs have changed their guest contribution policies and made the links no-follow but there are still websites out there that give do-follow links. So, discovering blogs that are relevant for you and pitching a post that actually adds value to the blog can get you a quality backlink as well as exposure to an engaged audience.

Some press websites accept features post for a fee and will provide you with a valuable link. If you have the budget to do so, go ahead because press coverage is always a good idea in terms of SEO and traffic.

#3 Associate with Charitable Influencers/Workers:

A lot of popular celebrities or influencers are involved in charities so you should definitely capitalize on this. Connect with them via email or social media and write a simple message asking to be featured in their blogs/apps as this will go a long way in helping your NGO.

#4 Write Authority Content

Authority content which is content that is the best in its league whether its blog posts, images, videos or infographics. If you provide valuable information that is unique and not available on other websites, you will automatically find fans who will link back to your page.


The mobile traffic has already gone past the desktop and laptop traffic. So failing to optimize your site for mobile will drag your site down in Google ranking. Google has an official page that tests if your site is mobile-friendly.

Use that link to check this:

A site is mobile-friendly if it

  • when it presents your content well on a phone
  • doesn’t need a lot of pinching or zooming
  • is easily readable on small screens
  • is easy to navigate with your fingers
  • is helpful to someone using a mobile phone and is understood properly by Google.

Dwell time & SEO

Dwell time is a metric that calculates user engagement, session duration and Search Engine Results Position click-through rate (CTR). It’s something that’s not publicly available or clearly understood. But it is definitely a factor that affects a site’s search engine results.

Dwell time is affected by three components- session duration & bounce rate and the SERP CTR.

Session duration is the average length of time users spend on a website. You can view this number in Google Analytics. You can see the session duration by clicking on audience => behavior => engagement.

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave the website after viewing only just one page.

SERP CTR is how often your site appears in search results for any given query and how many people click on your site when they see it. You can access this data in Google’s webmaster tool by clicking on the search traffic and then search queries.

Click through rate is a major indicator of a site’s search worth. Google cares about giving users the best possible results. So if users are clicking on your site more than the other sites, then Google will obviously think your site must be offering a lot of value and Google will then reward you with higher rankings.

Now, how do you improve dwell time? The general answer is killer content marketing. You must create good content in order to get good results. Keep your target persona in mind and deliver purely awesome content.

Here are some tips that will help both decrease your bounce rate and improve your session duration.

#1 Choose the right and relevant keywords.

You want to attract visitors who are actually searching for relevant content.

#2: Create a fully functional and usable website.

By using appropriate designs, the right sized fonts, large headlines, organized content and plenty of white space in the content area. Also, make sure your site is fully responsive. With 40 to 70% of web visitors today accessing via mobile devices, you’ll mess up with your bounce rate with a site that’s not mobile-friendly.

#3 Provide a clear site layout.

A confusing layout can frustrate your users and cause them to bounce. With simple navigating and easy-to-read content, you can engage your visitors longer and expect them to go deeper and deeper into your content.

#4 Improve page load time.

Users won’t wait for a slow-loading page.