This allows small nonprofits to compete with top competitors if they can be specific enough in the terms they care about.
As you may have realized by now, paid search traffic can get costly and doesn’t lead to the highest quality traffic. Instead, organizations need to be focused on developing long-term strategies for maximizing their organic search success. Below you will find tips for building sustainable web pages which bring in a higher quality and quantity of traffic.
1. Pursue long tail keywords
To be frank, the competition for the most general, popular search terms is fierce. You may not get your page the #1 result spot for a search term like “pizza” but you could secure the top spot for “cheap pizza brooklyn.” Focusing on these longer, more nuanced keywords can help you rise to the top of a specific market. The free Moz Keyword Explorer tool shows you search competition and gives you ideas for related keywords with potential to perform well.
(source: SEO Magic Webs)
Creating content catered around these terms can help boost your site’s ranking in a search. Note that I’m not suggesting cramming every unique keyword you can think of into your blog. German BMW tried that a few years back and got banned from Google. Instead, you want to produce high quality niche content that will become shared, referenced, and liked by your grandmother. Google will notice and reward you with higher rankings.
2. Examine Trends
If you’re wondering what people commonly search for, Google has you covered: Google Trends allows you to see the patterns of search popularity for any term you’re curious about. You can study the seasonal rise and fall of terms like “ice cream” or “summer dress” or “fireworks.” Assessing these patterns can help inform marketing tactics.
Another cool feature of Google Trends is that it allows you to compare terms. You might think that synonymous search terms will have equal popularity, but you also might be wrong. The graph below, for instance, shows that “Christmas gifts” is consistently a way more popular search term than “Christmas presents.” Honing in on what exactly people are searching for can provide valuable insight into what type of content/services is most sought after.
3. Beat the rush
The big name brands can release content and sales offerings right before a seasonal search spike (“costume ideas” around Halloween) and nearly instantaneously spring to the top. Smaller sites don’t have that liberty.
So should they give up? Of course not! Creating quality content months in advance is the way to prepare for these search booms. Like a squirrel diligently collecting nuts for the winter months, you want to amass a healthy amount of references and links to your page months in advance. This will show Google that your content is relevant and credible, and by the time Halloween rolls around, your article on costume ideas is there on the first page of the search results.
4. Build Evergreen Resources
While it is important for your content to be relevant for seasonal searches, it is also recommended that your content functions as what we call an “evergreen.” That is, the content should also be relevant to a wider range of topics. You want your content to have “staying power” and show up in searches year-round. An article on costume ideas for instance can function as an evergreen because it’s utility isn’t limited to Halloween: costume ideas are also needed for costume parties, themed events and Purim.
5. Don’t forget about mobile!
Google specifically discussed the importance of mobile optimization for search. In fact, they warned that a page’s ranking will suffer if users experiences issues on the mobile platform. Plus, the majority of search clicks (in 10 countries including US and Japan) take place on mobile devices now, so you don’t want to miss out on that market.
To this end, you want to make sure that your content is accessible and functions fluidly on mobile and tablet devices. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to make sure your site optimized for mobile devices. You may want to create a mobile dashboard to track your site’s mobile performance. Or, you can just try ours for free!
See what I did there? I’m building that page’s credibility by linking to it!
6. Quality over Quantity
At the end of the day, quality reigns supreme. Good content will organically attract links to your site and help pages develop a strong reputation. In the end, there are really no shortcuts to boosting SEO success: Google knows all the tricks in the books, and its algorithms are designed to identify and penalize black hat tactics. Focusing on building reliable, relevant and credible content is the best way to experience SEO success.
Want some more resources for SEO help?
- George Weiner talks SEO for Beginners: Simple Steps for Nonprofits and Libraries with TechSoup (registration is required for access)
- Lookup the competition around a keyword
- Helpful visualization of factors behind SEO ranking from searchengineland.com
- Interesting blog written by Google engineer: mattcutts.com
- Guide to measuring your SEO success: moz.com
- Dive deeper with WWU. Check out our awesome new course, Building Better Traffic: Content Marketing + SEO to Drive Impact. You’ll walk away with clear steps to immediately implement, track, and measure a content marketing strategy at your organization that will increase traffic to your website.