NUOPTIMA > Insights > Search Engine Optimisation For Nonprofits

Search Engine Optimisation For Nonprofits

April 3, 2023 10 minutes

Besides impacting lives and making a societal difference, attracting donors is one of the foundational responsibilities of nonprofits and charities. This is because the use or availability of donor funds facilitates the purpose and impact these nonprofits create.

While there are diverse techniques through which such organisations attract potential donors, most are differentiated by budget. While some better-off nonprofits might allocate certain percentages of their budget to running PPC ads or leveraging social media marketing, others may not afford such privileges as every penny counts for them. 

For such nonprofits, leveraging organic traffic from their website might be their best bet to gaining their desired visibility and reach, ergo, donors, supporters, and volunteers, while reaching their preferred recipients. For this to happen, such NPO (nonprofit organisation) website needs to be search-engine optimised (SEO).

Paid Traffic (PPC)

Organic Traffic (SEO)


Unlike PPC ads which require continuous funding for short-termed results, SEO is a viable technique that offers longevity for little to nothing. SEO increases the reach and visibility of NPO websites and solidifies their credibility within their niche, which is a vital metric for potential donors and supporters. Thus, optimising a nonprofit website for search engines like Google increases the site’s rank on the search results page, leading to more exposure and visits. 

The best part of using SEO techniques for nonprofit websites is that the target audience can seamlessly access the site and its resources by applying a few keywords. Another benefit is the impact continuity. While SEO may take a few months before results are noticed, as long as the website’s position has improved in the search results, it will keep generating free and organic traffic indefinitely, even if the SEO efforts are halted. Thus, SEO is the gift that keeps giving. 

Why SEO Is Important For Nonprofits

In this digitised era, online visibility is everything for business owners. Visibility translates to sales from potential clients and overall profit, and although a nonprofit isn’t typically viewed as a business, it could still tremendously benefit from increased visibility. 

SEO poses as a cost-effective visibility technique that guarantees continuous results while increasing the credibility and authenticity of the brand, which in this case is a nonprofit organisation. Credibility is an important metric for nonprofits, and sponsored PPC ads don’t typically hint at the NPO’s credibility. This is why potential donors, supporters or recipients are more likely to trust nonprofits with organic traffic than those with sponsored PPC ads. 

Thus, SEO is important for nonprofits because more people discover them when it is done right. With this discovery, leads in the form of donors, program recipients, volunteers and supporters are generated freely and organically. 

Search Demand For Nonprofits On Google

The Ahrefs snip above showcases the Google search data for the keyword ‘Nonprofit.’ From here, one can see that people worldwide search Google with the ‘Nonprofit’ keyword approximately 34 thousand times per month. This number is called the global volume or search volume (SV). As evident above, 21,000 of these searches originate from the United States, 1,300 from India and about 400 from the United Kingdom. Thus, it’s apparent that multiple people are searching for nonprofits in your country every month. 

Moving on to Google Trends. The image above highlights the changes in the popularity of the ‘nonprofit’ keyword in web searches made between December 2021 and November 2022. While there have been bumps in the trajectory, the use of this keyword has significantly increased in the past year. This means that more people use search engines to seek out nonprofit organisations closest to them. 

With these numbers and the projected increase in the future, there’s no better time to leverage this increasing interest by partnering with a reputable SEO company. This company will optimise your website and inadvertently elevate your nonprofit organisation. With such a partnership, your nonprofit will be well-positioned to consistently receive organic traffic that converts to viable leads, donors, sponsors, volunteers or any human resource it demands. SEO results aren’t fleeting like PPC ads or social media marketing; they’re here for the long haul and don’t cost as much.  

Terms People Use To Find Nonprofits

A crucial part of website search engine optimisation is keyword identification and application. Each topic, niche or department has a unique set of keywords that users type into search engines to generate results. Therefore, applying these keywords that are most likely to be used by your target audience to your website is one of the best ways to generate organic traffic via SEO. This is because, with Google ranking sites and content based on relevance to the searched keywords, tailoring your nonprofit website to accommodate these keywords will increase its ranks, placing your website in front of potential sponsors and donors. 

Due to the surplus amount of applicable keywords, the SEO expert’s responsibility is to analyse and filter them based on their demand. The keywords in highest demand, AKA’ hotwords,’ will be used when creating web pages that will pop up on Google. For instance, if someone is seeking a nonprofit organisation or charity, here are some keywords or queries they may enter:

  • ‘Nonprofits near me.’
  • ‘Nonprofits in…’ + location. For example, nonprofits in South London.
  • Employment-based keywords. For example, nonprofit jobs.
  • Questions about nonprofits. For example, ‘What is a nonprofit?’
  • ‘Nonprofit organisation examples.’ 

To get a better perspective, the image below highlights the average monthly search volume for keywords related to nonprofits or nonprofit organisations. 

These searches indicate the people’s interest in learning what a nonprofit organisation is and the jobs within that niche, as they are 600 and 300 searches each month with those keywords. Thus, if your nonprofit website uses thousands of keywords, it’s more likely to reach millions of people, as seen below:

Other Nonprofits Are Already Getting Results From SEO

Effective search engine optimisation might be the boost your nonprofit needs to access its next level. This technique not only boosts the credibility of a brand or business but also offers unmatched savings on monthly advertisements. To prove its potential and efficacy when used right, we have reviewed some nonprofit websites that are witnessing maximum returns on their SEO efforts. 

We’re starting strong with the website from the renowned UK mental health nonprofit, Mind. This site rakes in an average of 2.5 million visitors every month. Thus, 2.5 million people go to after seeing it in their Google search results. 

With such a vast number of monthly visitors, it’s no wonder the site has an average monthly traffic value of $2.4 million. The traffic value indicates how much the site’s owner would have to spend monthly on contextual advertising techniques to garner the same amount of traffic they’ve achieved organically. Because of its effective SEO practices, saves an average of $2.4 million monthly on PPC ads as it is favourably positioned in Google search results.

You can see what pages attract the most traffic to the Mind website.

This variety of pages attracts huge amounts of organic traffic, and this image offers invaluable information for the SEO expert. With this data and that from your competitor, SEO experts can analyse and optimise the existing pages on your nonprofit’s website. They can revamp these pages to increase your site’s visibility and organic traffic.

While this example is from a nonprofit giant, Mind, and exceptional results are expected, you might wonder if smaller nonprofits can also benefit from implementing SEO practices. The short answer is Absolutely! Here’s an example that’ll prove the efficacy, cost-effectiveness and profitability of SEO for nonprofits. 

From the above image, it’s apparent that smaller nonprofits like UK’s Cybersmile can also witness promising results with SEO. Cybersmile is a nonprofit that focuses on curbing cyberbullying and digital abuse. Its website averages an impressive monthly aggregate of over 20K organic website visitors through Google searches. Cybersmile’s monthly traffic value is almost $11,000, and it ranks high on Google for the keyphrase ‘What is catfishing?’ among others. Thus, visitors are redirected to Cybersmile’s website once they enter these keywords on Google’s search bar. 

Through its SEO investments, Cybersmile is getting almost $11,000 worth of free traffic from Google, which they would otherwise spend on PPC ads. Having talked about them all through this page, you might wonder what PPC ads are. PPC or pay-per-click ads entail purchasing traffic for visibility and money. While they yield fast results, these ads are neither permanent nor transferable. This means that once the website owner stops paying for them, the site stops getting traffic. Conversely, SEO might take a few months to yield results, but the site will continue generating organic traffic even if you no longer invest in its practices. 

Disclaimer: With various niches of nonprofit organisations, the traffic-generating keywords may differ with each niche. Thus, what makes an anti-cyberbullying nonprofit rank high might differ from the keywords that make a human rights nonprofit rank. Identifying these unique keywords for diverse nonprofits is one of the many responsibilities of an SEO agency. 

Local SEO

The importance of local SEO to service providers, including nonprofits, cannot be overemphasised. Local SEO ensures the visibility and access of a website or service to individuals searching for it in their local area. For instance, when the keywords’ nonprofits near me’ is entered into Google, the search engine generates local results tailored to that location. While some service providers might think adding their business website/address to Google My Business/Maps would suffice for a local reach, it falls short. Comprehensive SEO offers a lasting yet dramatic improvement to the website’s organic traffic volume and Google rankings. Such SEO results completely floor that from other approaches. 

What Does An SEO Company Do?

Nonprofits rely heavily on visibility, accessibility and credibility to fulfil their purpose, and with the volume of such organisations, Google implements high standards for ranking them. One technique with a demonstrated history of ranking success is SEO, and it’s an invaluable investment for nonprofit organisations within and outside the UK. However, achieving great results with SEO requires time, experience, expertise, and hard work – qualities that NUOPTIMA serves on a platter. 

NUOPTIMA has been partnering with several kinds of nonprofits over the years. Our expert team has unrivalled experience with optimising such organisations’ websites, and through these SEO skills, we know exactly how to bump your nonprofit to Google’s first page. Here’s a handful of what we can do to help your website’s Google rankings:

  • Arrange the placement of links on the websites of credible nonprofit organisations and charities.
  • Create seasoned, insightful, SEO-driven content to help your nonprofit website rank for more keywords.
  • Ensure existing pages comply with Google’s regulations and best practices by optimising them accordingly.
  • Create all the necessary pages to boost the organic traffic your nonprofit’s website collects.

Search engine optimisation is so intricate that it can only yield outstanding results when executed by qualified professionals. At NUOPTIMA, our wealth of experience and invaluable expertise is axiomatic. Thus, our techniques are tailored to resonate with multiple industries to generate the best results. To get started, book a free discovery call with our team of SEO experts to discover the mind-blowing potential that SEO has for your website’s success.

Talk to an SEO expert

We work with 100+ businesses. Book a slot now to talk to one of our experts.

Author's image

By: Viktor Bartak

Head of SEO


Viktor has 15 years of experience in SEO, having worked on over 300 businesses across B2B and B2C, including cybersecurity, social media, eCommerce, tourism, SaaS, fintech, private clinics, agriculture, clothing manufactures, real estate and more.

Free SEO Book

Get free 279 page practical guide to SEO in 2023

Growth Strategy Call

Book a call with one of our growth experts to discover the best way to grow your business

Contact Us