We’ve touched previously on how a little bit of SEO can help improve your online presence. Optimising for the right keywords is important. These are what search engines use to determine the relevance of your content to a search query and therefore your search ranking. Keywords also have a knock-on effect on any pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns you run. Targeting relevant keywords will result in a lower cost per click (CPC) and higher click-through rate (CTR), with a higher quality score and ranking for your ads. To identify the right keywords however you’ll need to do some keyword research.
With the Google Adwords Keyword Planner a great place to start, here are some things to consider when conducting keyword research for charities.
1. What Is Your Donor Proposition?
The first thing to consider is your donor proposition. What does your charity offer and what do donors get from their experiences? It could be fundraising and donation opportunities, events and campaigning or help and outreach. Keyword relevance is critical so think around your projects and causes to find an angle. Begin to develop a list of keywords that you can refine and tailor over time. Monitor your search traffic to see what they’ve searched for and identify from that the most relevant and effective terms.
2. Think Like Your Donors
What would your potential new donors search for? Literally, what would they type into the search bar? Think of the language they use and how they might phrase their searches. Donors may look for broad terms as above or more long-tail keywords in the form of questions. What they search for will also depend on where they are in their decision making process. Use the Google Analytics Search Console to to match your keywords and content up with organic searches and donor expectations.
3. Short v Long Tail Keywords
Your list of keywords will probably contain shorter phrases such as animal charity or emergency appeal. As these are more generic they’ll see higher search volumes but are often more competitive as a result. This makes them harder to rank with, most likely, a higher cost-per-acquisition (CPA) for PPC. Long-tail keywords on the other hand, such as adopt an animal or how can I help endangered elephants, are more specific and far more targeted to particular actions or audiences. While numbers to your website are great, you don’t just want any traffic. Develop your keyword strategy with a balance of both short and long tail phrases. This will help your charity to stand out within it’s own space while still being visible and competitive in the search. Optimise and target as best you can to make the most your organic search opportunities and lower the CPA of your ads.
4. Competitor Keyword Analysis
It can be helpful to know what similar charities are doing. You don’t necessarily want to copy all of another charity’s keywords as their content, strategy and goals may be different. It’s useful nonetheless though to understand what they’re targeting, how and why. Do some keyword research around your competitors and see what they rank for. Have are they optimising their website? Then, compare their keywords to your own. You’re likely to have some matching keywords that are equally as important and relevant to you so work up your content to compete. Likewise, just because they aren’t targeting particular keywords doesn’t mean you should ignore them either. If those terms have enough strategic relevance and traffic, view them as opportunities and own that space.
Keyword Research for Charities
Whether for SEO, PPC or both, let us know if you’d like our help with some keyword research for your charity.
We can help identify relevant keywords to optimise your landing pages and website content as well as improving the cohesion of your PPC targeting. A good mix of short and long-tail keywords will help your charity rank better in the search and allow you to better target your PPC ads, helping to drive traffic and acquire new donors.
Alex is a Digital Content Coordinator at Copper