While it’s true that every type of company can benefit from SEO efforts, not all SEO is created equal. In other words, the SEO and online marketing needed to help a nonprofit organization succeed is slightly different than what you might expect for a traditional business. In other words, because nonprofit companies have different goals, they often think differently and structure their business differently than most.
Fortunately, Google decided to help them customize their SEO through several different SEO tools and resources specifically designed to help nonprofits succeed. Traditional companies won’t benefit from these features, but nonprofits can take advantage in more ways than one.
Different SEO Programs for Nonprofits
Before getting involved with Google Grants or the YouTube program, it’s helpful if you sign up for a Google nonprofit account. This will help you speed up the process for getting involved with all of the following resources. You can apply, enroll in specific Google products, and then get started. Apply here.
Finally, below are some of the resources out there designed for nonprofit SEO success:
Google Grants for AdWords
If you apply for a Google Grant, your organization could be given $10,000 per month in AdWords credit to help you advertise on Google. This is more than enough money to really get the word out there about your cause and help improve your visibility and hopefully clicks (and then donations). However, the eligibility requirements are strict:
- You must have a current 501(c) (3) status showing you’re a valid charity.
- Your website must be up-to-date and have information about where the money that people donate to your organization actually goes.
- Hospitals, medical groups, government organizations, schools, and childcare centers are not eligible for the grant.
Most nonprofits will fall under these requirements pretty simply, so it’s really about taking the time to apply and being patient when waiting to hear back. Once you do get the grant, you have to make sure that the URL in your ad is the same one in your application, your ad sends people to your website, and all proceeds must go to your organization. It’s as simple as that.
You can apply for a Google Grant here.
YouTube Nonprofit Program
Nonprofits are starting to realize the power of video, and YouTube is the place where you want to shine. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, so you want to make sure that you’re using it to your full advantage. With the program for nonprofits, you don’t get any money for advertising or making videos, but rather you get features customized to your type of business including:
- A donate button that will allow people to donate right there on your YouTube page while watching the video.
- You can place a call-to-action overlay on your video so that viewers can click to visit your website, a donate page, etc. It’s up to you where you want to send viewers.
- Members of the program have the option to apply for production access to shoot or edit a video at YouTube’s LA studios.
- Live streaming capabilities.
You have to have a YouTube channel with videos on your page before you can apply for the program, so it’s important to get started right away. You will still have access to all of the features that everyone else has on YouTube, but being a part of the program will give you these extra few options.
You can apply for the program here.
In the end, it’s also important to remember that these are only the “extras” available for nonprofits. Nonprofits can still break the mold and get creative by working with celebrities or community figures, creating quizzes and polls, or working with some of the apps out there available for nonprofits.
Are you a nonprofit that has used either of these programs? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.