Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn—and all the others—have become integral parts of…
Search Engine Optimization, also known simply as SEO, is a term that gets thrown around a lot.
But, what does it mean? And how can you use it to help your mission-driven business or nonprofit grow, especially when you’re competing with larger businesses and more established nonprofits that are also trying to get people’s attention?
Here are some of the key things you need to know if you want to harness the power of SEO and use it to grow your social enterprise and build an inclusive community of soul brothas and sistas.
The Basics of SEO
First, let’s start with some basics about SEO and what it actually means.
I’m here to let you know that SEO gives most people—not just social entrepreneurs—anxiety, and this is often rooted in the misconceptions people have about the process of optimizing their web content.
A lot of people feel overwhelmed by the concept of SEO because they think that they have to know some secret, complex algorithms and do things absolutely perfect in order to get their website ranked in search results.
This is not true.
And while there are certain things you need to do (we’ll go over those in just a moment), there is no secret formula that will always guarantee success. This also means that, even if you are not doing things perfect, you can still improve your SEO and your results.
So, in a nutshell, SEO is all about hoping search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing find your website.
When someone enters a keyword or phrase in the search bar of their browser, the search engine looks for websites that use that term. In a number of cases, the first link that people see is the one they click. For example, if you’re looking for information about advancing racial equity and inclusion in your community, you might search for something like “how to advance racial equity and inclusion in Walnut Creek schools.” The search engine then will show you websites that talk about advancing racial equity and inclusion in schools.
Now that we’ve gone over some basics, let’s go over the top five ways to boost your SEO if you run a social enterprise.
Keywords are the words or phrases people type into search engines when looking for information on a particular topic. By optimizing your website with relevant keywords, you help them appear higher up in search results.
The keywords you choose will depend on what kind of content you want to use to attract visitors from search engines like Google.
If you’re selling products online, then it makes sense to focus on product-related terms. For example, if you sell water bottles that raise awareness about the clean water crisis in certain cities throughout the U.S., you might include words like “water”, “bottle” and “clean water crisis” on your website pages.
If you’re talking about services, then you might look at phrases like “clean drinking water,” “sanitation solutions” and “solar-powered water purification.”
2. Blog and Page Titles
Like we just talked about, if you don’t optimize your website for keywords, your community of soul brothas and sistas won’t be able to find your site or pages.
Another way to make sure your website comes up at the top of their list is to write blog posts and page titles that contain specific keywords.
For example, if you’re writing an article about how to reduce implicit bias in policing in your community, you might title your post: “How to Reduce Implicit Bias in Policing in Minneapolis.”
You can also add keywords directly into a page title, such as “Addressing Implicit Bias in Policing in Minneapolis.”
If you want to rank well in Google search results, then you also need to use relevant keywords in the URL of each page.
This helps Google understand what the page is about, and it also makes it easier for your target audience to find your site when they do a search.
The most important thing to remember here is to keep it simple! You don’t need to have long, complicated URLs.
4. Meta Descriptions
A meta description is a short snippet of text that appears below your webpages’ titles in search results. It gives potential customers or supporters more details about the page than the title alone, so it’s really useful for boosting your organic traffic.
To get started, you’ll first need to create a unique meta description for every single webpage on your site. This means creating descriptions for your homepage, landing pages and blog posts.
Then, you’ll need to fill out each one with keywords related to your mission-driven business or nonprofit.
5. Image Tags
When people are searching for products or services online, they often use specific words like “social change,” “voter registration” or “climate change.”
If you want your social enterprise’s site to appear on Google, Bing or Yahoo, it’s important to make sure these words show up in your images’ alt text.
Alt text is the description of an image that appears under the picture itself. For example, if you upload a photo of people getting registered to vote, the alt text would be “People getting registered to vote.”
All in all, there are many ways to boost SEO for social enterprises. The key is to start small and slowly build your strategy over time.
If you need help with that process, book a discovery call with me to see how Community Symbol can help your social enterprise grow its online presence.