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Posted by

Dan Gothard

Operations Director

Beginners Guide to SEO – Part Two

Following on from our previous post “Beginners Guide to SEO – Part One” today we will continue to explore things your charity can do to improve its SEO.

Unique content

Content is only really valuable if it is unique. It’s easy to fall into the trap of copying and pasting content, for example manufacturers stock descriptions of products. If your webpages look just like another one somewhere on the internet, Google may not choose to list your page, and even if it does, it probably won’t get the same ranking as unique content would get you.

When writing articles or descriptions for other websites, try to make this unique rather than copying and pasting something from your charities ‘about us’ page.

Themes

Each page of your site needs a core message or theme. Taking this further, develop themes that run through sections of your charities website, with similar key phrases in the content. Internal linking between pages where appropriate can help to bring relevant content together.

Keep content up-to-date

Find excuses to add content to your website, like a latest news page. Up-to-date content has lots of SEO value. This should be easy for charities, as you’ll always have a new story of how you’ve helped someone, and this sort of content helps to engage supporters.

Get External Links

The number of links pointing to your charities website is still a very important factor for SEO. As a general rule the more links the better, however some links are more valuable than others.

Links don’t have to go to your homepage; links directly to internal pages or news articles are also good. It can often be easier to get these sorts of links than more general links.

Good links:

  • From sites with similar topics
  • From popular sites, that appear high in the search engines themselves
  • From quality directories like DMOZ

Not particularly useful links:

  • Links from links pages
  • Link exchanges, where you swap links
  • No-follow links, often used in blog/forum comments

Bad links:

  • Links on pages that have thousands of links
  • Hidden links on pages, using tricks like making the text the same colour as the background
  • Purchased links

Posted by

Dan Gothard

Operations Director

Beginners Guide to SEO – Part One

While search engine optimisation (SEO) is a complex art, there is a lot that even the smallest charity can do to start optimising its website to make it stand out from the crowd. Over the next few blog posts we will explore a number of things you can start doing yourself today using only the tools you already have at your disposal.

Customise your title tags

The title tag is what is displayed in the top of your web browser, and the title of the entry comes up in Google when you get found. This is a valuable space, so make sure it descriptive of the page.

  • Every page on your site should have a unique page title
  • Get keywords related to the page into the title
  • Include your website/charities name at the start or end
  • Keep it under 70 characters

File names/URLs

Make sure your file names and URLs are descriptive and contain relevant keywords. Search engines get no meaning from URLs that are full of numbers.

So a charities donate page may have a URL like: yoursite.com/donate-now/one-off-donations

This has a lot more meaning than something like: yoursite.com/site.asp?page=123

Keyword rich content

At its most basic level this comes down to thinking about what people are searching for, and getting those words into your pages. Don’t try too hard though, the content needs to be readable to humans as well as search engines.

A couple of additional points:

  • Keywords have more importance if they are in headings than if they are in normal body copy
  • Search engines are clever, you don’t need to repeat the exact same phrase over and over, use variations and get them into the content naturally
  • Don’t keyword stuff your site, the old idea of the more the better isn’t really valid any more
  • Consider what people actually search for, if you only write about “refrigerators” but everyone searches for “fridges” they may not find you site (although search engines do compensate for this to some extent).

Posted by

Ben Kemp

Managing Director

Stories from around the world

Adept have just designed and developed the World Stories website for the national charity KidsOut. Check out the website http://www.worldstories.org.uk - full case study coming soon.