Optimizing your website for organic search is a highly cost-effective strategy to drive targeted and engaged traffic. This article will outline three essential steps and provide some quick tips to enhance your digital engagement and convert organic traffic into donors.
What Is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic, also known as organic search traffic, refers to visitors who arrive at your website by searching and clicking on search results. In contrast, search engine traffic comprises paid visits resulting from pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements on search engine pages or media platforms. It's important to note that all search engine traffic is classified as either organic or paid. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) encompasses marketing efforts aimed at improving a website's visibility on organic search engines.
Who Benefits from Organic Search?
Organic search benefits everyone involved. Your constituents benefit as their interests are promptly addressed with relevant site content. Your advancement team benefits by measuring and growing constituent engagement. If you are an organization that follows CASE standards, you can utilize these tracked data points in reporting.
Additionally, you can retarget site engagers for increased and deeper engagement. This can be done in a variety of ways, including but not limited to re-engagement (e.g., paid retargeting campaigns in email, search, and display) and pipeline growth (i.e., qualification portfolios). The impact extends division-wide, benefitting frontline gift officers, annual giving, engagement teams, and even advancement resources.
Step 1: Understanding and Optimizing Your Existing Organic Traffic.
Start by identifying the pages on your website with the highest and lowest engagement levels, including metrics such as new and returning visitors, clicks, conversions (engagement or donations), and more. Once identified, optimize these pages to drive more organic website traffic. Employ search engine optimization techniques to rank your content on search engine results pages (SERPs). Remember that each search browser has a slightly different structure and process.
Your Organic Traffic Flow In Google
Step 2. Integrate Your Content.
To generate more clicks and increase call-to-actions on your website, it is crucial to have relevant and high-quality content. Ensure your site content is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. If divisional or institutional priority pages have low rankings, implement your SEO strategic plan to revitalize them and achieve your annual goals. Matching keywords to user intent is key to consistently attracting users during their search. Follow these easy steps to integrate your content and strategy effectively:
Select target keywords, including long-tail keywords with three or more descriptive words that face less competition.
Improve user experience by enhancing overall content, design, navigation, responsiveness, and load time.
Earn backlinks from authoritative sites to your own. Backlinks are particularly useful for athletics, membership sites, and any advancement webpages.
Add in lead-generation forms that enable downloads by having the user provide their name and email. Follow up with downloaders with an automated feedback form asking if the information was helpful. This enables an additional engagement touchpoint; the feedback provided can assist with future content changes.
Step 3: Audit, Review, and Repeat
Conduct a comprehensive site analysis that includes evaluating your site's technical foundation, website saturation, engagement metrics, and conversion rates. Automate and review these metrics regularly using industry-specific tools that provide both raw and visualized reports. Many of these tools can sync directly into your CRM. During the site review process, identify keywords and site content that constituents are searching for and resonating with on your peers' websites. Understanding who visits your website and who does not is as valuable as knowing the lifetime value of your most philanthropic supporter. Remember, your website is not just a passive landing page but likely your most publicly-facing engagement platform.
The Value of Organic Search:
It is budget-friendly.
Focuses on profitable keywords and provides accurate location and contextual targeting.
It allows you to engage and convert individuals who have not previously done so.
Existing marketing materials can be repurposed to attract more visitors to your website.
It offers global reach, helping you expand your engagement and donor base.
It can be easily measured, targeted, and scaled.
Organic Search Is Just the Start. Remember, Your Website Can Acquire Users Through:
Direct traffic: Visitors who enter your domain name directly in the browser's search bar.
Referral traffic: Visitors who come to your website through hyperlinks on other websites or platforms.
Organic social traffic: Visitors who arrive via unpaid posts on social media sites.
Paid search traffic: Visitors generated through paid-per-click search and display ads.
Paid social traffic: Visitors attracted by paid posts on social media sites.
Leveraging organic search along with other acquisition channels, your organization can maximize the user engagement potential of your website.
Optimizing your website for organic search is an effective and cost-efficient way to drive targeted and engaged traffic. Following the three steps outlined in this article and implementing the tips provided, you can boost your digital engagement and improve donor conversion from organic traffic. Remember to regularly analyze, review, and refine your SEO efforts to stay ahead in the ever-evolving online landscape.
Need assistance with getting started? Contact the Shaff Fundraising Group. We have extensive experience working with universities, healthcare organizations, and nonprofits to initiate, expand, and enhance their engagement and donor conversion strategies through effective website and digital marketing tactics.
Shaff Fundraising Group is a consulting firm specializing in fundraising, marketing, and analytics. We take pride in our independent approach, free from technology affiliations with SaaS and other companies. This allows us to provide objective, solutions-oriented support to our client partners and the wider fundraising and engagement community.