In part 1 of our Nonprofit Paid Search series, we talked about how marketing through a pandemic can feel risky, but the real risk comes in avoiding it altogether. We also gave some tips on how to set your organization up for success in paid search. In this installment, we explore additional options for improving paid and organic search performance for your organization. Without further ado, let’s jump right in!
Consider Your Nonprofit’s Mission
Some nonprofits might consider stopping fundraising in the current climate if their mission does not directly provide aid in this crisis. But just because you’re not directly contributing to the COVID-19 relief effort doesn’t mean you should stop spreading your message. At THD, we believe that every nonprofit should let donors make their own decisions — don’t deprive them of the opportunity to support your cause. These are individuals who are already invested in your mission, so as long as you are clear in your messaging and present yourself in a way that doesn’t make it look like you’re taking advantage of the crisis, you should continue to see donations coming in.
Conduct Additional Keyword Research Relevant to Your Cause
We would encourage you to expand your keyword research beyond what you normally plan. There is likely to be a great deal of unanswered questions among your target audience — are they asking about how you’re handling the situation? What about how this situation affects them? Several of our clients at THD have seen a dramatic shift in search queries related to their specific causes.
If this is the case, conduct extra keyword research around those same terms and see if they’re in line with any of your existing campaigns. If not, it might be worth revisiting in a content marketing piece.
Create a Dedicated COVID-19 Page or Section
This should come as no surprise, as the vast majority of organizations have already implemented some type of messaging or page about the coronavirus. That said, it can be very helpful to your constituency to have a dedicated page providing information about what you're doing, how it impacts your mission and most importantly, resources for your community. Beyond simply getting in front of the crisis, this is an excellent opportunity to help build your website’s SEO, as this should help with branded searches around coronavirus terms, since, as we mentioned here, Google will not let you bid directly on those terms.
Most importantly, what should stand out the most to your user base on this page is what you can give back — in times like these, people need pillars to lean on. This is your chance to become that pillar.
Revisit Video Content
Google/Bing search are not the only channels to see a boost in light of the pandemic. YouTube has seen a surprising boost in content related to the situation. If you have any video content that could be utilized in video advertising, this might be the time to do it. Bear in mind that you do not want to approach this opportunistically, but rather in a supportive and engaging way — give your constituents peace of mind during these times, and let them know that you’ll be there to help in any way you can.
Leverage Your Grants Account
Especially during times like these, and beyond simply mitigating loss, it’s clear that SEO is going to play a much larger role in digital marketing through at least the next several months. Promoting blog content within your Google Grants account is an excellent and cost-effective way to keep qualified traffic flowing. With blogs/content, you can cross-link to any resources you have available (e.g., your COVID-19 Landing Page) and further emphasize the importance of your mission.
Final Thoughts Before You Make Any More Changes
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the current situation we all find ourselves in. However, there’s ample opportunity to make smart, ethical decisions to not only keep your user base active but to actually improve long-term strategies for your organization. It’s important to be mindful that there are and will continue to be changes as the situation evolves, and this will require your digital marketing team to stay nimble and adapt to the changing digital landscape more than ever before.
Interested in learning more about how to improve your nonprofit’s performance marketing? Contact THD today!