If you’re involved with a non-profit organization, you know that financial challenges are one of the biggest hurdles that your entity can face. The ever-growing presence and power of social media has helped many previously underfunded nonprofits exceed their wildest dreams, sometimes by posting something that goes viral, but usually by being educated about how to harness the power of the Internet, social media and search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is a crucial tactic for nonprofits to utilize, as search engine optimization is the actual process of how your page comes up in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo! and DuckDuckGo. Large companies have entire teams dedicated to studying search engines’ algorithms and assuring that their company stays high in the page rankings. As a nonprofit, that is most likely not in your budget, but SEO is a powerful tool and can help your nonprofit cause a few different ways:

1. SEO can drive traffic from keyword searches to your nonprofit website. Keywords are important to SEO, so you’ll want to make sure that you know what people are searching for when they are looking for your cause.

2. SEO can promote or highlight your non-profit cause if you continually add fresh content to your website. If you think that just having a website with keywords on it will make your nonprofit stand out, you’re wrong. SEO optimization works best when you are continually adding new posts and items to your website through a blog. Having a blog on your nonprofit website will allow your organization to post various ideas about your cause, including informational stories, press releases and other worthy items.

3. SEO can boost the credibility of your nonprofit cause if you encourage inbound links to your website. You can list your nonprofit cause with larger organizations and post on larger websites with content that links to your site. If larger sites refer to your nonprofit organization, your website will rank higher in search ratings.

4. SEO can boost the overall social media results of your nonprofit by allowing search engines to see the number of “likes” that your nonprofit has on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, etc. Search engines see the followers and likes that your nonprofit has and that can raise the ranking of your website with them.

5. SEO can give your nonprofit priceless data about who is looking for your cause and why. When you use SEO to analyze traffic to your site, you’ll find out who is searching for you, why they are searching for you, what pages they visit and so much more. Once you understand your audience, you can really unleash the power of SEO for your nonprofit to gain more followers and contributors to your cause.