If your nonprofit has been working on a digital marketing strategy for a while, you probably know a little about search engine optimization (SEO). However, just having an SEO strategy or list of keywords isn't enough to guarantee your website lands on page one of the search results, not page nine.
What Is In A Good SEO Strategy?
If you need a quick refresher, search engines rank your website amongst others on the search engine results page. Search engine optimization helps your website rank higher by ensuring that your website has the information needed in the right places to prove it has valuable information to the search engine (and searcher).
With so many different aspects to SEO, including technical SEO, which may take a web developer to understand, it's crucial to get a handle on things to gain and keep your spot on the SEO results page.
This is where an SEO audit can help.
What Is An SEO Audit?
An SEO audit takes a deep dive into your website to see how your SEO strategy is working. It will check the status of your analytics, site health, and organic positioning. An audit will also analyze technical and on-page SEO to identify what's working or find areas of improvement.
An indexation check to determine whether search engines can index and crawl your website.
Site health and speed tests to ensure that your website loads quickly and performs well for users.
A backlink check to search the internet for links on other sites that lead to your website.
Search engine results positioning to see how your website stacks up against competitors.
A traffic source overview to determine where your website traffic is coming from and through which browsers.
SEO content strategy opportunities to assess where to implement keywords.
An audit of Google Analytics to ensure that you're getting the right insights at the right time.
As you can see, an SEO audit will investigate thoroughly and can provide valuable information that could be challenging and time-consuming for you to find on your own.
Why An SEO Audit is Essential for Nonprofits
An SEO audit is a look beneath the hood of your website, which is often something you are too busy or maybe not tech-savvy enough to do yourself. Additionally, SEO is an ever-evolving, ever-changing target to hit. Google updates its algorithms every couple of years, as do most other search engines. So, what worked when you built your website may be hopelessly out of date today.
There are many SEO audit websites available online. Many offer basic audit results for free but require you to pay for a detailed report. Often, even with a paid account, you're on your own to figure out how to apply the changes they recommend.
To get the most out of an SEO audit, look for one conducted by people who are trained in SEO and are up-to-date on the latest tips and tricks. When an audit is conducted by SEO specialists, who know what to look for exactly, they also know how to recommend changes that are specific to your website and organization's goals.
Is An SEO Audit In Your Nonprofit's Budget?
At ArcStone, we've worked with nonprofit organizations for years, so we know that budgets can be tight. However, including an SEO audit and strategy in your budget is essential to get the word out about what you do. After all, if no one can find you, they can't contribute to your cause and keep you doing what you do.
While these conversations may be challenging, remember that the first thing you need to focus on is educating them on SEO and how essential it is for your nonprofit. Once they understand the importance, there should be no problem allocating the budget needed for an SEO audit and the strategy and remediation of the audit findings.
Additionally, over time, an SEO audit can actually save your nonprofit money.
How An SEO Audit Saves Money Long-Term
As we've covered, SEO experts can come in handy when it's time to review your current strategy or review how specific SEO tactics are implemented on your nonprofit's website. However, you may not have that expertise on your current digital marketing team. So, comparing the cost of an employee to a once-a-year SEO audit, the audit becomes a much more affordable option.
Your website will rank better, perform quickly, and be more visible to potential donors or others interested in supporting your organization when you have your SEO on point. That visibility must be earned; it can't be bought, which makes it pretty much priceless.
And, since a thorough SEO audit also includes research into what others in your field are doing and measures how you stack up against the competition, it provides an opportunity to differentiate your organization. This insight gives you a marketing edge that you can leverage to expand your reach and community.
Choosing the Right SEO Audit Is Important
As we've mentioned, there are many places online that you can get an SEO audit or even a free sample. But don't be tempted by those cheap offerings.
When it comes to SEO audits, you get what you pay for. So, while it may be more of an upfront expense to hire real expert humans, you get a human experience when you do. It means that there will be someone who can explain and contextualize your audit results and provide you with an actionable plan and resources to help you make the changes needed. And that is priceless.