As a marketer, you know that before people can connect with a cause, they need to be aware of its existence.
So why do some nonprofit organizations maintain an online presence solely through their website? A website is merely the first step.
A nonprofit site is likely where an NGO puts information on how to make online donations or to sign up for events. And of course, these pages need as many eyes on them as possible.
Here’s what your cause needs: A solid plan to increase site traffic.
So what are the elements of a great strategy that drives traffic to your nonprofit website? Let’s find out together.
Will a nonprofit website benefit from an increase in site visitors?
In one word: No.
It can be tempting to think of this exercise as just a matter of directing everyone to your nonprofit website by any means necessary. It’s not that easy.
More than attracting sheer numbers, what’s important to a nonprofit marketing strategy is identifying your target audience and getting their attention. If it helps, the same principle applies to building a healthy email list.
Any email marketer knows that not delivering consistent and pertinent content will negatively affect engagement. In the same vein, if your site visitors aren’t truly interested in your cause and what you have to say, there’s nothing to keep them on your website.
What use is driving people to your site if you don’t get them to learn about your mission, make a donation, or sign up for your newsletter?
The lesson here is to always work toward quality over quantity.
How to drive relevant traffic to your nonprofit website
A temporary (and fleeting) boost in pageviews is not worth the effort. If you’re going to allocate precious time and manpower to increasing your nonprofit website’s visibility, you may as well do it right.
Below are six constructive and intentional ways to boost your website traffic. These nonprofit marketing strategy tips will also help you connect with those most likely to support your organization long-term.
1. Include your website URL in print newsletters and other physical materials
First things first (if you don’t follow this already): Add your website URL to your business cards and letterhead.
Next, include a reason for people to go to your nonprofit website in flyers and brochures. For example, instead of a curt “Visit our website,” it’s more effective to say something like “Visit our website to find out how you can be part of our efforts to cut down on ocean waste.”
If you send out regular newsletters through the mail, consider creating a vanity URL leading to a dedicated landing page on your nonprofit website. This will help you keep track of your direct mail campaign’s performance.
Are you sending a follow-up email to support your physical content? You should have the call-to-action (CTA) point to the aforementioned vanity URL.
2. Create and maintain an engaging blog section
A nonprofit website’s blog can be a great resource for longtime supporters and first-time site visitors. With regularly updated, streamlined, and strategic blog content, your website can grow to be a trusted source of information. A well-developed blog may also contain inspiring guest posts and testimonials.
You may use this corner of your nonprofit website to spark constructive discussion and encourage community engagement, too. Blog comments and site analytics can help you figure out which topics are more popular with your audience.
Take that information and create more blog posts that people want to read and share. Link related blog posts to each other to encourage visitors to spend more time on your nonprofit website.
Blogs can be useful by themselves, as they’re a building block of content marketing. However, they can also be part of a multichannel nonprofit marketing strategy. It pays to give your blog section some TLC because it can also fuel social media or email campaigns.
3. Optimize your blog content
No conversation about blogging and content marketing is complete without mentioning the need for a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Every digital marketer is familiar with SEO. It’s the backbone of online marketing, as its main goal is to increase website traffic and overall brand awareness through better organic search results.
Without SEO, you may still reach people with insightful and research-driven blog content. However, your readers will most likely consist of those already aware of your organization. Using frequently-searched keywords in your content can help your website rank higher in search results. This, in turn, will bring in site visitors unfamiliar with your nonprofit brand (but nevertheless interested in your cause).
This is not to say that using keywords is more important than creating actual blog content. In fact, the opposite is true. You should always publish accessible, expert-level blogs with helpful links.
4. Gain authority through link building and cross-promotion
How else can strangers come across your website, if not through search engine results? Consider link building.
Getting related and relevant organizations to link to your nonprofit website can help you connect with more people and add to your brand’s authority. If your blog links are prominently featured on websites and listings with a good online reputation, your organization can get a much-needed leg up.
A word of warning: As with any nonprofit marketing strategy, it’s essential that you don’t rush things. Any cross-promoted content – like guest post exchanges, for instance – should make sense and not feel like it’s out of place. Make sure you only deal with trusted websites and partner organizations.
Create thoughtful content and you’ll get linked to. You can also execute a link building campaign and initiate contact with other entities to build meaningful links.
5. Cultivate a social media presence
More than 2.75 billion people from all over the world are active social media users. It’s no wonder news travels blazingly fast.
Using social media can accelerate the spread of important nonprofit details and inspire global community involvement.
Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? In weeks, the viral campaign helped raise more than $100 million through online donations made through the ALS Association website. All it took was an irresistible hashtag.
Source: Really Good Emails
When including social media in your nonprofit marketing strategy, it may benefit a small team to focus on one or two social sites. Different platforms have different demographics, so you should match your choice with your target audience. Don’t discount social media sites outside the big three, either (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). LinkedIn and Reddit may aid in building authority and raising awareness, respectively.
Don’t forget to integrate different facets of your nonprofit marketing strategy. One of the easiest and most hassle-free examples of great integration is to place social media buttons in the footer of your marketing emails.
6. Send online newsletters with CTAs leading back to your website
More than social media, email marketing is the foundation of digital marketing – 90% of adults use email. On top of this, almost half of consumers say they prefer using email to communicate with brands.
With these numbers, it’s not farfetched to say that marketing emails can be essential to a nonprofit with a strong online arm.
Thank you emails sent to donors can increase the chances of repeat donations. Online newsletters keep loyal supporters up-to-date. These inbox-bound messages typically report on fundraisers and can present powerful storytelling testimonials to remind subscribers of the importance of your cause.
Source: Really Good Emails
Lastly, CTAs and other links you add to marketing emails naturally drive traffic to your website. Most of the actions you want your subscribers to take will involve landing pages or links to relevant blog content.
Remember: Not all website traffic is useful. Attracting site visitors that aren’t interested in being volunteers or donors won’t do much to increase your nonprofit’s internet visibility.
An effective nonprofit marketing strategy that increases website traffic may involve executing multichannel campaigns. Don’t worry if you don’t have the resources to implement a comprehensive plan, though. Attracting more site visitors can be easy enough for small teams or solo marketers.
To maximize the potential of your nonprofit website, review the following tips:
Include your website URL in print newsletters and other physical materials.
Create and maintain an engaging blog section.
Optimize your blog content.
Gain authority through link building and cross-promotion.
Cultivate a social media presence.
Send online newsletters with CTAs leading back to your website.
Need to supercharge your awareness and fundraising efforts? See what Emma can do for your nonprofit organization.
About the AuthorVisit Website More Content by Emma Email