Introduction –

I wanted to extend the Search Engine Optimization Guide I created for nonprofits. I intentionally left out a ton of information. This podcast goes into the important piece SEO’ers tend to leave out the conversation.

People are the heart of search engines. Billions of queries are performed through the largest search engines. But nonprofits often miss the mark to get found using SEO as part of their marketing strategy. Today, I wanted to give you my brain dump on the concept of people being the heart of search engines. I give a few examples of what I mean. If you have questions, you can connect with me on LinkedIn.

Transcription Of Podcast

Hi and welcome to the first episode of nonprofit marketing strategies with Jodie Mason.

I’m your host. Jodie Mason, a digital marketer passionate about helping nonprofits to use content to other organizations and build awareness with sound marketing strategies.

Stay tuned today.

Concepts That Will Be Discussed

I will talk with you guys about the people factor of search engines. In this episode there are three concepts about search engine marketing or searching and optimization that I really want to talk to you about.

  1. The first concept is that search engine marketing or search engine optimization is complex. It’s not only about the on page strategies that you do to help uh kind of let the search engines know what your your content pages are about, but there are other factors that go into search engine marketing and search engine optimization. So the first thing I want you to understand is that search engines and optimization is a constant task. It is not a one and done simple task.
  2. The second concept that I really want you guys, it’s a kind of bore into your brain to kind of get an understanding of is that people are at the heart of search engine optimization and search marketing. And if you can understand search behavior and understand what the users want to see, do, or are searching for and really answer their questions. Then you have about 50-60% of search engine optimization down. The other concept is that, and this is still with point #2, is that search engines are learning tool for most people. They are there to figure out an answer to a question. And if you can understand this as a learning tool then you can do more to grow your organization and build awareness and a brand built a brand strategy for your organization as well.
  3. The third concept I really want to discuss is that search engine optimization, Search engine marketing and search engines is a behavioral based field. And when I say behavioral based, I mean people behavioral based because people again are the heart of search engines.

So let’s jump into this.

People Factor of Search Engines

We’re talking about the people factor of search engines. And so when we talk about the people factor there, we’re gonna start with this first complex that search engine marketing gets complex. The first thing I want to say about that [search engine optimization] is that there are a bunch of things- parts and components that go into search engines and search engine marketing and search engine optimization.

The first component that I would say is that a lot of what I do as an S E O er is looking at the underlying server, making sure that the server is at its best uh, to deliver page content to users, making sure that your pages are optimized in terms of the JavaScript, making sure that their images are optimized all of these little key things that go into page p optimization that go into search engine optimization as well.

And when I talk about the complex stuff, this is more of that stuff [knowing web servers and how they operate and how to optimize Nginx or Apache for web speed]. When we’re talking about looking at the metrics [and] indexability of the website. Looking at the crawl ability of the website, looking at the site map structure or the structure of the website. How google sees it Uh, what pages are indexed, what pages are not indexed while they’re maybe not why some pages are indexed in, some pages aren’t scheme of data. All of this is complex stuff that we can talk about with. Search engine optimization and search and search engine optimization and search marketing. I’m not gonna go into any of that today, but I want you to be aware that there are more complex things with search engine optimization and search engine marketing Uh, than just you’re on page optimization stuff. And if you can really start to think and put that into your brain, then you will understand about the rest of the what is it.

I said 50 or 60, 50 to The 40 to 50% of what’s left. But a big part of what search engine optimization is about understanding people and understanding why people are searching how they’re searching what they’re searching for and delivering uh more of the recommendations based on that information. So when we’re talking about keyword research and in all of this, we have to go into what people are searching for online as the primary key words and really discovering what people want to see what they’re searching for, How the, how they’re searching in What ways are they searching? Are they using more longer tail searches? Are they using more shorter term searches rarely is a partisan going to use a single keyword and go a search to find what they’re looking for.

Usually it’s gonna be something like how do I optimize my website or Google. So these are the things that you’re that you’re gonna see most of them or hear me talk about is the people factor and why people searching how they search in the behavioral stuff. So we’re gonna take about 15 minutes and I’m already into this about three or four minutes.

Second Part Of Search Engines That Nonprofits Should Know About

So let’s go ahead and jump into the rest of this. So the second concept that we’re talking about is that people are the heart of search engines and that people use search engines as a learning tool. And what I mean by this is that when people are online searching, they’re looking for specific information that about their questions. And if you’re content to answer that question in depth for that user, then you probably more likely chance to hit page one of google search than somebody who does 500 word blog post. That is not in depth, that only is full of very few words or doesn’t go into depth. It doesn’t provide any context into what researchers searching. Uh four. So that is what we’re talking about. The people are at the heart of the search engine is that people want answers.

Okay. And let’s just start with. Um, I want to, I want to go back because this is this concept of back linking and this is part of search engine optimization that people, that is one of those complex issues in search engines. If your content is good, it can be on the top of a google search. And you, let’s take, for instance, have a research study that you’ve done um, about Children’s health or Children’s activity. And it’s a very in depth helpful guide that you’re only using internally. How could that research help someone else?

So for instance, if I’m a journalist or there’s a journalist, (I’m not a journalist). But for instance, let’s say that I’m a journalist and I’m online and I’m looking for uh, into research articles about Children’s health or Children’s wellness and in a particular area code or zip code or information uh, that that will be in my article. I’m gonna put it in [your content], I’m gonna go to Google and search something like Children’s activities research on Children’s activity or whatever keywords that I’m gonna use. So if you’re at the top of that in that [for a] research paper that you’ve done is indexed in Google search and it’s at the top of the index. I’m more likely as a journalist to read that content to mention you in my article and provide a natural back link to your website for that article in that content [that the nonprofit has] written. And this is what we mean.

The people are at the search is that people are looking for certain information. And if you can answer that person’s search, then you’re more likely to get more back links. You’re more likely to get uh, be more helpful. They’re more likely to recommend your content to other people if they have found it helpful people um, do this. So this is why Quroa, Reddit, [Stackoverflow] and other sites like those are popular.

And uh, other sites and forums rms are so popular and can rank higher in Google is because because people are asking questions and getting relevant answers in these forum rooms that they more than likely can’t find anywhere else. So when we talk about people being at the heart, this is what we mean by people being at the heart. This is why if you have the best content, but you’re hiding your best content and you’re not sharing your best content. This is why you can’t get found because you’re not sharing that content.

Okay, so that’s one of those things when we’re talking about back linking. Um and that is again, like I said, back lending is one of those complex task because it takes a lot of work to get back links. And but non profits are at an advantage where you already have built in trust because of your nonprofit status and people finding to trust your resources and what you have more readily than they trust for profit resources.

Content Marketing Can Help Build [Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust -EAT] For Nonprofits

Okay, so let’s say you’re, you have a research and the for profit has a research study that they say the same thing. They’re more likely to get more credit to the nonprofit organization than they are the for- profit because they found them for the nonprofit is probably not as biased as the for profit. So taking trust into consideration when we’re talking about people search, that is a major factor. Okay, so back linking is a great way and I’ve seen it work. It can work using your own content to get back to your website to build trust and to get to the top of the search engine works.

But what does this do for your non profit organization? Like I said, want to build trust too .It helps you get those back links, you get you to the top of it can get you to the top of the search engines on page one. And maybe other people have a similar question that that journalists had and they may find that a relevant answer with your nonprofit organizations information versus someone else’s information.

So because those three key benefits to content marketing for non profit organizations, especially for in search engine optimization for nonprofit organizations, but also helped build brand awareness and brand equity for your organization that most nonprofits really are trying to build and it would take a lot of money to actually do this if you are a for profit. But as a non profit you have, you are an advantage to build your brand strategy with your content and really get your nonprofit out there and it’s name out there.

Search Engines Are Behavioral Based -Plain & Simple

So I want to move on to my next topic and that is #3. Uh search marketing is a behavior based. So Google is Google [an] algorithm. Algorithms [that] have been quantified from behavior traits and what these algorithms have done is taking all of these behavioral traits and quantify them. And if you understand that from that concept, you understand that AI [artificial intelligence] tools, the artist or the art of artificial intelligence that Google is using, its really based off human behavior and the machine learning is all based off the statistics from artificial intelligence and human learning. This is not data that they can’t come up with out of the blue. They have been watching our search behavior for many years and being able to take key pieces of the search behavior and plug it into their algorithms. And if you can understand people and how people search again, you’re above your way above most people, most other companies or organizations 60, of the time because you understand how people search why they search and how they search. So if you can understand those three concepts, you’re doing excellent.

You build content around those three things. You’re doing a great job. And when we talk about building that content and we’re talking about people search, you have to build content to how people consume information. So people can consume information by listening. They can um, consume information visually. And some people consume information both ways, which is visual and auditory. So what we mean is sometimes you may have to present image, maybe you have to present an audio piece, like a podcast or something and maybe it needs to be a video.

And then there’s all other kinds of ways to present content. Written content can be present in a million different ways. It can be presented as a compiled of is a blog post, written white papers, a number of ways. So you’re just not locked into these, these solidity, these solid content types, you have to figure out what content types work for your audience or your target audience and build those content types out and then promote that content to your target audience. And if you do that well, you can you can you have a very good content marketing strategy which will harness in on search engine optimization and work with people and to find the people that are more likely to read your content.

Okay. And this is one thing I want you guys to understand that I’m not talking about fundraising, what I’m talking about people and search engines. I have specifically let this concept out because there’s this rule that we are doing marketing, but we’re not necessarily doing marketing for fundraising.

Yes, it’s great eventually to get people into your fundraising flow. But what we’re talking about is building content to get people into [your nonprofit and] build trust with people to cultivate those people. [The goal is to] and get them into, uh, and to use permission based marketing in order to cultivate those individuals. [Cultivate users ] into long term subscribers on your email, your podcast or your Youtube subscriptions and then think about monetization and how you monetize those resources later.

But really it’s about building a level of permission based marketing with those individuals in the way you build permission based marketing is with email marketing and email marketing automation. And If you’re getting people on your website and your answering those questions and you’re answering the next question that they have, they’re more likely to sign up for your email.

This because they find your content engaging and that is the primary key is to get them to sign up for your email list because they like your organization and they truly like the content that you’re producing. And What you want to do is you want a segment that those individuals from your donor list because these individuals may not be ready to donate at this point. And that is where email marketing automation can help you kind of send out trigger emails to these individuals at time sequences and say, hey, maybe, um, you like this piece of content like this piece of content and maybe it takes five or six or 10 or 20 different, um, emails and touch points in order to get that person into your donation flow or your fundraising flow?

But you have to cultivate that relationship and you have to cultivate a people relationship and you have to cultivate trust. Okay, so this is one of those bigger topics and I can go on and on for days. But when we talk about search engines and building content for search engines, these are the bigger concepts that we’re talking about. These are the bigger issues that we’re talking about. And, and in my and all of what I’m discussing with you guys, you can read my blog post, you can read, you can come visit me on, um, all through social media and, and kind of discuss these topics with me and it’s okay. Um, but yeah, when we’re talking about people who are talking about building that trust and cultivating and uh, getting people to kind of get into those email marketing flows.

So the next thing I really want to talk about is, and we’re still on point number three, which is uh, search engine marketing is a behavioral based tool. And I really want to say that when we’re talking about behavioral based tools and behavioral based algorithms. It’s figuring out why people are engaging with your website while there and get why are they engaging with your content.

This is gonna be this is the biggest question. This is this is a huge question for nonprofits and for every business out there. Why are people engaging with us? How are they engaging with us? Why aren’t they engaging with us? What can we do to build more engagement? And it really behavior people’s behavior is really a part of that. So if you guys, I think I’m going to stop there and if you have questions or you want to reach out to me, you can reach out to me on Linkedin. You can search me out, Jackie Mason on linkedin. I’m also on Twitter [Jodie Mason on Twitter], I think what my handle is on twitter and I think I’m gonna enter their questions. You can also reach me on my website at

Thank you guys and have a good day.

Jodie provides auditing, restructuring and building PPC campaigns for nonprofits. She focuses on driving awareness to content, events, and important areas of your nonprofit organization's website. In her spare time, she loves baking awesome cookies, reading, and learning new tech topics! What question is she pondering at the moment: Are Hexa- chocolate (5 types of chocolate) chip chunk cookies, too decadent?