5 Ways SEO Can Help Charities Increase Donations
Increasing Donations with SEO
Online donations are continuing to increase and are now often preferred over in person giving. Charities therefore need to give thoughtful consideration about how they will compete for audience donations in search engine result pages. Building SEO into your fundraising strategy will help to increase your organisations rankings, traffic and donation revenue by optimising your pages for both users and Google.
Quick Recap: What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation, and essentially, it involves optimising your website to improve its visibility in search engine results pages such as Google or Bing. The more visible your charity is online, the more traffic you will receive.
The more traffic you receive, the more meaningful engagement you will have with your charity. Meaningful engagement looks different for each charity, but may typically include volunteer sign ups, fundraising events sign ups or donations.
There are many aspects to SEO, including content, technical and digital pr. Focusing on these areas of SEO on your website should help to increase donations to your charity. Below we have shares 5 ways in which SEO can help support charities fundraising and donation efforts.
Reaching Relevant Audiences with Donation Content
SEO can help your content reach target audiences who are already warm to your cause. Potential donors who are more aligned with your charities’ purpose will be more likely to engage with your content and convert into active donors.
Keyword Rich Meta Data
Creating page titles, meta descriptions and header tags that contain the target keywords for you donation or fundraising pages page gives both users and search engines a greater top-level overview of what your content is about. This will help search engines serve your page to relevant users in search results. It will also help increase click through rates to your page, as users will have a better understanding of what to expect from it.
Following on from this, longtail keywords are more likely to be higher converting terms than broader umbrella keywords. For example, in the UK the keyword ‘donate’ has 3900 monthly searches. At first glance, this keyword looks very enticing due to its high search volume. In reality it’s actually highly competitive and the user intent isn’t very clear.
Does the user want to donate money? Or do they want to donate blood for hospitals?
Do they want to donate to a cancer charity? Or do they want to donate to a climate action event?
‘Donate’ as a keyword covers multiple topics. It could mean anything really. In contrast, a longtail keyword such as ‘donate to cancer research’ has 1500 monthly searches and a clearer user intent. They want to donate to cancer research. Despite having a lower monthly search volume, a cancer charity would be more likely to get users to donate who have searched for ‘donate to cancer research’ than you would for just ‘donate’.
By targeting longtail donation keywords that are more niche to your specific charity, you are likely to increase the number of donations as users searching for these terms will be closer to a point of conversion.
Enhancing User Experience on Donation Pages
Charities should aim to make the user experience on donation pages as easy and efficient as possible. If you have multiple long complicated forms that need filling out, or it’s not clear what users need to do in order to move on to the next step, they are more likely to drop out of the donation process.
Some simple things charities can do to enhance the user experience of donation pages include:
- Clear CTAs to donate, with secondary CTAs for people who are still unsure about why or how to donate (such as a link to more information).
- Optimise donation forms so they are easy to complete.
- Optimising page speed to make donating a quick process.
- Include social proof. Sharing stories from people or projects which have been supported by donations.
- Tell users what their donations will be used for.
Fix Technical SEO Errors on Donation Pages
A simple, yet often overlooked factor. Unintentionally having pages as no index can have a big impact on fundraising campaigns and donations.
This is a common problem that can occur after moving your site in a website migration. Pages may have been tagged as no index in the staging area, and then not changed to indexable once the new site went live.
Charities can carry out technical SEO checks on their key fundraising pages to ensure the pages are visible and able to be indexed by Google.
You should also ensure that all donation forms on your page are actually working. When users enter their information and hit submit – are the donations actually coming through? If users are sent to another platform to donate – does the link work and is the donation site fully functioning?
Carrying Out Technical SEO Checks
A simple way for charities to carry out some basic technical checks on their fundraising and donations pages would be to use the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console.
Internal Links to Donation Pages
Internal links make your donation page more visible to users and signals to Google that the target URL is an important page on your site. Charities can use this to their benefit to highlight fundraising pages and increase donations.
Completing an internal linking audit, you can see how many times your donations page is linked to within your site already. You can then conduct a search your sites content for donation related text, such as ‘donate now’, ‘donate today’ and ‘give a donation’. Create a list of these page URLs and use these phrases as anchor text to link back to your donation page.
By increasing the internal linking to your main donation page on your site, you can help users to naturally dig deeper into your site and make it easier for them to travel further down the conversion tunnel to donating.
Gain Local Attention for your Cause
Creating content that can be posted on other websites about your charity can help to increase awareness about your organisation. This can be really valuable to highlight your donation page or any fundraising campaigns you are running.
You can also secure beneficial backlinks to your site, either to the homepage, fundraising information page, or directly to your donation page. There are two main benefits to this:
- Creating a direct stream of traffic to your site from your target audience. These users will be more likely to donate than people who have just viewed your site on a results pages. Sites that are publishing your content and linking back to you are likely aligned with your goals in some way. Therefore, the audience on their site will also likely be interested in your content too.
- Increasing the E-E-A-T of your site. Backlinks indicate to Google that your site is trustworthy, and an authority on the topic being discussed. Google places a lot of value on E-E-A-T. Securing backlinks from sites with authority in the same field as you will help to increase your domain rating score.
Bonus tip: You can also search for unlinked mentions of your site or fundraising campaign online, by using site search in Google search results. To do this:
- Open Google
- Type site: and then the domain of the website you’re searching for mentions about your charity of campaign. E.g. Site:upriseup.co.uk
- Type the search term after your domain
When you find mentions of your charity online that don’t link back to your site, you can contact the site owners to thank them for the coverage and ask if them to add a backlink. This is a very cost-effective way to secure backlinks. As they have already mentioned you, they will likely be happy to add in a link.
Creating a Sustainable Donation Income
Overall, SEO is an excellent, cost-effective strategy for charities that will provide sustainable benefits to increase donations and fundraising engagement, including:
- Helping your fundraising content reach relevant audiences
- Enhancing user experience on donation pages
- Fixing technical SEO errors on donation pages
- Using internal links to highlight donation pages
- Securing attention for local fundraising events
The above areas are key to consider when optimising your donation page(s), but this is by no means an exhaustive list. Fancy a more in-depth chat with us about how you can use SEO to boost donations for your charity? Send us a message via our contact page or email us at email@example.com.
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