How to Boost Your Search Engine Ranking Without Spending a Dime

Thinking about your year-end fundraising campaign yet?

You might want to start.

Growing your house file is big deal to every nonprofit (and business) today. When you build your leads and prospects today you’ll have time in the next several months to convert them and fundraise from them at the oh-so-important end of year. Get started now.

I love the topic of growing your housefile and building your fundraising funnel.

Acquisition by ChannelThere are a number of ways to grow your housefile, but the top online traffic drivers are: Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Email, and Facebook. If you’ve got budget for display advertising, re-targeted advertising is working really well.

But what if you’re on a shoestring budget?

We’ve got you covered here. Read on.

People are on Google, Bing and Yahoo every day, looking for information about your issues. What happens when your organization doesn’t show up until the second page of search results on a topic important to you? Especially now that most search is done on mobile devices?

You just missed a potential new supporter.

The first page of Google generates a whopping 92% of all traffic.

Here are some revealing stats from Chikita Online Network.

  • #1 result in a Google search gets 32% of all the clicks.
  • #2 result in a Google search gets 17% of all the clicks.
  • #3 result  in a Google search gets 11% of all the clicks.
  • 92 out of every 100 people who search on the internet do not go past the first page of their Google search

Almost 70% of us automatically jump over paid Google ads to look at the organic search results.

I get it — search engine optimization can seem like an expensive and complex topic that you’ve got no budget for and can’t keep up with anyway.

But that’s not true.

If you have budget for paid search, that’s great, we wholly recommend you spend it wisely because it can truly boost your lead funnel.

Want to know how to boost your search engine ranking without spending a dime?

Step 1 – Start by finding your topics

Choosing which keyword(s) you want to rank takes a bit of insider knowledge. You actually start with your topics/phrases first, then hone down into your keywords.

Here’s a step-by-step:


  • In the first box, type a popular or typical question or phrase that your ideal supporter would type into Google pertinent to your organization or mission. For example, after the winter we’ve had, someone might Google to find “Arthritis pain relief during winter” Type that phrase into the first box (without the quotation marks), leave the rest of the fields blank, and click on the blue “Get ideas” button.


  • You’re going to see search results divided into two tabs: Ad group ideas and Keyword ideas. Click on Keyword ideas. You’ll get a number of phrases that are pretty similar to the initial phrase you searched with. What’s different is that these are the the actual phrases that people use in Google on your issue. Copy down the phrases that most have to do with your organization or topic–noting the level of “Competition.” In the next step, you’ll need to  know which phrases have Low, Medium or High competition.


  • Repeat this process for every popular or common “search” associated with your issues. Think about all of the high profile or popular topics related to your organization, and keep searching for related keywords for each of those problems. What are your most popular pages visited on your website (outside of “Careers”)? What were your most popular blog posts? What topics get the most comments and shares on Facebook? Those are the topics you’re trying to focus on.
  • Once you’ve got a list of up to 20 key phrases, sort your phrases by topic. All the phrases related to “research” should go in a “research” pile. All the phrases related to “pain relief” go in a “pain relief” pile. Your goal is to come up with 4 or 5 topics, but if you only get 2 or 3, that’s fine, start there.
  • Prioritize and choose 2 or 3 of the top phrases from each pile. Choose phrases that have low or medium competition but are still highly relevant to your organization or mission. The lower the competition for the phrase, the higher you’ll be able to rank in search engines.

Step 2. Create a content-rich landing page for each of your topics

Once you’ve selected your topics, create a page on your website that’s 100% devoted to each of your issue or mission topics. It’s likely that you already have a page, so you may just need to rename the page and rework your copy a bit with the top phrases and keywords you just identified. These are *now* your primary landing pages that you point people to whenever they ask about pain relief for arthritis, or research. Use the top 2 or 3 top keywords you chose for that topic in your copy-writing on that page. Careful not to over-use, e.g. every sentence should not have “arthritis” in it.

Remember, this page may be clicked on the most, so you want it to be some of your highest quality copy.

Step 3. Link each of your topic (content-rich) pages on your homepage *and* in your navigation bar

Make these pages easy to find for anyone that visits your website from your homepage or any other page. Any time you use those keywords on the rest of your site or in your blog, be sure to link back to your topic pages–within reason. You can’t link the word arthritis EVERY time or you’d just look silly.

Step 4. Drive Traffic to those Topic Landing Pages: which is easy because these are your issues!

Share your content-rich topic pages in emails, social media posts, guest blogs, and share them often because these are topics that people are really interested in. Remember, they use these topics and keywords in their Google searches.

Are you rolling your eyes about guest blogging?

When you guest blog, you usually get to link back to your topic pages creating what is called a “backlink.” Google measures links from someone else’s site to yours. The more quality backlinks you have, the higher you’ll rank in Google’s search results.  Besides, guest blogging helps you build credibility and reach new audiences.

That’s it.

That wasn’t so complex was it?

Within your first  month you’ll see your search engine rankings climb, so be sure to take a “before” screen shot of your search rankings so you celebrate your progress up the Google results page. You’ll also be able to track your progress when Google Analytics starts showing you an increase in organic search traffic.

What to do once they get to your site to capture the lead and convert them is a fun topic for another day that I look forward to writing.
Thank you for stopping by. I know you’re a busy person and I really value your time. YOU are my business. My business is to create tools, share insider knowledge, and give you confidence that you’re doing the right marketing at the right time to hit your revenue goals.