Episode 85 of the Nonprofit Ally podcast had Kris Reid, founder and leader of Ardor SEO, join Steve Vick for a highly informative talk about search engine optimisation and Google rankings. Listen in for handy tips on how you can get your website found on SERPs.
A Bit about Nonprofit Ally
Nonprofit Ally is a community website aiming to provide useful tools and advice for developing and managing NGOs hands-on. Its podcast episodes, blog posts, and other content are targeted towards helping people build their capacity, grow their programs, and run a better organisation. It was started by Steve Vick, a man who loves his work and finds it challenging yet rewarding.
A Bit about Kris Reid
Dubbed as the Coolest Guy in SEO, Kris is the mastermind behind the super fast-growing digital marketing agency Ardor SEO. We originally started with just backlinking, but we now offer full-service search engine optimisation to clients from different parts of the world. Most of the websites we work with are for businesses but we actually also serve nonprofits when given the chance.
On the New 1023-EZ Form
As per the usual, the podcast started out with the ‘Ask Tom’ segment. This is where people could have their nonprofit legal questions answered by Thomas Wrobel from the Nonprofit Legal Center.
A person in Virginia, who had just received their incorporation paperwork from the state and recently found out about the new 1023-EZ form, asked, “I’m reading some posts in the web that filing a 1023 could mean being audited or more scrutiny from the IRS. What are your thoughts?”
Tom said that it sounded like a marketing scare tactic rather than something the questioner should be worried about.
He explained further that the 1023-EZ was generally put in place to make it easier for small organisations (under $50,000 per year in revenue) to become tax-exempt or 501c3. This would be until it could grow into a bigger organisation where they would need to file detailed returns.
He finished that people should feel comfortable with moving forward with the 1023-EZ without fear of any additional scrutiny or getting audited.
Should you have any questions about nonprofits yourself and need to consult a lawyer, you can send an email to the Nonprofit Legal Center via a form on the NP Ally website.
Starting with the Basics
When asked about what SEO is, Kris started by saying that in search engine optimisation you’re trying to tell Google what your webpage is about. Google is always trying to provide a great user experience. They first try to work out what a person’s intent is in when they’re typing in a search phrase.
Then, they analyse websites to see if they can figure out what it’s about and if it meets the searcher’s intention. SEO is essentially trying to structure your website so it’s easy for search engines to understand.
While Google might have more computing power than most organisations on Earth, it’s still limited and the internet is vast. It doesn’t have time to look at every page so it has to quickly scan them. But the more authority you have, the deeper it will analyse your site. So the simpler it can understand what you do, the easier it will be for it to send people who are looking for you to find you.
Kris emphasised that site owners first need to determine what it is their audience will search for. One thing that many often mistake is forget that people aren’t experts in their field like they are. But once that’s figured out, it’s all about optimising your page to match what people are looking for.
Determining Keywords to Target
“That can be tricky in itself. The more valuable a keyword, the more difficult it is”
Smoothly transitioning from the introduction to SEO, Steve asked how to determine which keywords to choose. Kris mentioned an easy technique that Ardor uses with its many brick-and-mortar clients like plumbers. We look at a similar business that is: in a different location, has a great website, and is ranking well. Then, we check what keywords they’re targeting and begin from there.
As they have similar services, it makes sense that the search terms they’re targeting will work for the other site too. It normally entails only changing the city or country name and voila. It’s especially effective for local businesses who service only their locality.
When starting afresh, however, it’s best to build information architecture. It should include a homepage, which will represent you and make the world a better place. Next, there should be category pages to make it easy for Google to understand which pages are more important and for users to find what they’re looking for.
After drawing a sitemap like that, you can then make a content plan. No need to go crazy overnight to avoid your motivation from burning out quickly.
“Just take it one page at a time and set a schedule you can stick to”
Want to Hear the Rest?
The above already seems like a lot of useful information but it’s still within the first 13 minutes of the episode which is over 52 minutes long. If you wish to learn more about getting your website to rank better on search engines, listen to the whole podcast on the Nonprofit Ally website.
Don’t forget to check out their social media channels for the latest updates on their community.
Should you wish to hear more on SEO from Kris Reid himself, feel free to drop by the podcasts section on the Ardor SEO website.