Do you ever get spammy unsolicited emails offering SEO services for your website? Here at Funding for Good, it’s an almost daily occurrence.
The messages often warn, in all caps, that, “Your site isn’t optimized!” or “There are errors in your site code!” They also promise that, for a discounted fee, they can fix your site and get it onto “page one of Google.”
It can be tempting to click, especially when a more earnest email comes along. Because whether we’re small businesses or nonprofits, we WANT people to check out our websites and learn about our work. What we don’t want is to waste money on a service that doesn’t deliver.
Which is why Funding for Good decided to ask our own SEO strategist to offer a primer to our community. Our question:
What do small businesses and nonprofits need to know to make smart decisions about SEO?
Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
What is SEO?
If you’re like us, you probably type questions into Google or Bing dozens of times a day. SEO—which stands for Search Engine Optimization—is about how these search engines create the results page.
SEO strategy is about getting your website to land at the top of search results for relevant terms. This generates more search traffic and visitors to your website. Meaning more people learning about your work.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Who Needs SEO and Why?
Despite what those spammy emails would have you believe, not everyone needs SEO. But most of us do. SEO is for you if you want more people to:
- Visit your website and learn about your work.
- Sign up for your email list.
- Find and access your services.
- Become new clients.
- Become members, volunteers, or donors.
- Purchase your products.
If you don’t have an email list or other online engagement, then you really don’t need SEO. And that’s okay. Some organizations get all their clients and/or funding through word of mouth and personal relationships and have no intention to grow beyond that.
But if you do want new people to find your website and learn about your work, then SEO is for you.
Can I Learn and Manage SEO Myself?
While many SEO guides out there get complex fast, it is possible to do a lot of SEO-related work yourself. This is especially true when it comes to content.
Search engines and humans both crave content, which includes everything that is part of your website. For example:
- Landing pages
- Blog posts
- Products and services pages
And humans and search engines both prefer content that:
- Is well-structured and easy to read.
- Answers common questions.
- Provides unique insights about the topic.
- Is written by experts—like you!
The trick for SEO though, is that your content should be part of a broader strategy that combines keywords, analytics, linking, and other tactics. To set up that part, you’ll want a good SEO strategist in your corner.
Ready to learn more about how to make smart decisions about SEO for small businesses and nonprofits?
Join our upcoming webinar on April 18: What is SEO and Do You Need It?
We’ll walk through the full process of getting started with SEO, including how to budget and measure impact.