Backlinks are an essential part of boosting your website's traffic and search engine rankings. A backlink is a link from one site to another, which sends the user from the first site to the second. Having multiple backlinks from high-authority websites will help your nonprofit website become more visible in search engines and draw more visitors and potential donors.
In this article, we'll explore five strategies that you can implement right away to start gaining more visibility, organic traffic, and donations for your nonprofit. Let's get started!
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are vital components of a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. They are links from other websites pointing to your website or webpages, allowing search engines to find and index your content more easily. Backlinks not only increase visibility, but also contribute to the credibility and authority of your website in the eyes of search engines.
Backlinks are essential for small businesses as they help to increase visibility and improve search engine rankings. Quality content is the key to earning backlinks, so creating compelling articles, blog posts and other forms of content that are optimized with relevant keywords can help maximize their potential. Additionally, establishing relationships with other websites and publications in the same industry can be helpful for a backlink profile. But in this article, we'll focus on the low-hanging fruit first.
Why aren't my backlinks getting picked up by Google?
The number one reason why your backlinks aren't getting "seen" by search engines is because you're not getting them indexed. Google has to know about any link in order to count it. So every time you get a backlink, be sure that you're shouting that backlink from the rooftops. Publish it:
- On your normal website as a blog post or under your About Me section
- On any social media where relevant
- On any microsites or link-tree style sites
- Anywhere else that is NOT spammy and actually adds value. Unfortunately, "seeing" backlinks takes time. It can take a few days, weeks, or even months for spiders that crawl the web to get your new links. There's no real way to speed it up, other than publishing your links in a bunch of places where it's not spammy to do so. As with most SEO, patience is key.
What backlinks are already pointing to my nonprofit website?
I use ahref's free backlink checker tool to check for new and existing backlinks. You can also view them in Google Search Console under the "Links" section (lower left of your menu, it's a legacy item).
Alright, let's dive into some free backlinks for your nonprofit!
Easy Nonprofit Backlink: Set up a Patreon Account
Nonprofits can benefit from setting up a Patreon account in order to generate more donations and raise awareness for their cause. With a Patreon account, nonprofits can set up monthly subscription pledges from donors for their organization. This is beneficial for nonprofit organizations as it allows them to receive more consistent funding over time, as opposed to relying on one-time donations.
Yes, your other platforms may charge less for donations than Patreon. But we are mostly here for the backlink, so any donations via Patreon are simply a bonus.
How to get a backlink from Patreon for your nonprofit:
- You'll need to set up a CREATOR account, not a PATRON account. You can get your free Creator account here.
- Fill it out genuinely. Include your logo, a header image, and your mission in your About section. Have at least one Patron subscription level.
- Post at least once, and schedule a weekly or monthly posting schedule depending on if you want to use Patreon as a business strategy beyond the backlink. Either way, post at least once. It's easy. Slap a photo up and talk about your mission.
- In that About Us section, include a link back to your main webpage. This is where your backlink comes from. You can see my example here. I've decided to do a "sticker of the month" tier for my sticker business. It might make sense for you to make fun little names for your tiers, or not. Up to you.
- Publish that backlink. The backlink structure will be "https://www.patreon.com/YOURPATREONID/about" - sub in your business ID appropriately.
- Check that backlink for accuracy, then publish it across all your channels. On your website, on social media, in an email. You're trying to get Google to index it.
Easy Nonprofit Backlink: Set up your Google Business Profile
Setting up your Google Business Profile is an easy and effective way to increase your online presence as a nonprofit. From building an attractive photo gallery to posting regular updates, take advantage of what Google has for your nonprofit. Get listed with correct contact information, so customers can easily reach you. Being visible means you've got a better chance of reaching donors.
Choose words and descriptions that show what your business is about. Add links to your website or social media pages. Tell stories of customers who are happy with you. Ask yourself how you can make people stay longer on your profile.
How to get a backlink from Google My Business for your nonprofit:
- Go to the My Business portal. If you already have a listing, use it. If you don't, you'll need to set one up. You may need to verify via a postcard. Otherwise, don't include an address if it's not common for visitors to see your offices. No one wants strangers showing up during coffee hour.
- Set up and fill out your business profile (Logo, About Us, Hours if relevant, etc.).
- Then, you want to post an update! An update will show up on the Google My Business profile as your backlink, so be sure to include a link back to your site.
- You should schedule out an update once a month to keep your My Business site relevant. Just stick it in your calendar.
- SHARE that My Business profile, as it's the only way that the backlink will count for you. You can see my sticker company's latest post here on the right hand side. The basic URL structure is "https://www.google.com/search?q=Your+Business+Here" (put your business name in, and then open and verify it's correct).
Note: It's March 2023 when I've written this. Google My Business is constantly changing, so please let me know in the comments if something no longer works for you.
Free Nonprofit Backlink: Share some photos on Flickr
Every time I upload an image to Flickr, it feels as though I am inviting everyone to join me in my journey and witness all of the moments that make life extraordinary. From breathtaking landscapes to simple everyday scenes, our photographs can be shared with people from every corner of the globe. Through pictures we are able to bring our interests alive and create a strong connection between us and those around us - allowing us to tell stories which will never be forgotten!
If you're a nonprofit, Flickr is the ideal platform for you. It enables you to post pictures of works in progress, your office space, or whatever else adds flavor to your website. And better yet - it's free! A basic account can store up to 1000 photos which should be sufficient for any organization's needs.
How to get a backlink from Flickr
- Sign up for a Flickr account. Once verified, head on over to your Account Settings.
- Under Profile on the right side, you'll want to change your real name and your display name to what you want. The two links underneath are your backlinks that you'll publish everywhere! My example photos and profile links are here.
- Don't forget to share those links across social media, blog posts and your About section in order for Google to find them. Moreover, don't skip adding these essential links into any Link Trees you have already established.
Easy Nonprofit Backlinks: Develop Your Link Tree (& Other Microsites)
For digital marketers, influencers and content creators, an effective link tree is essential for escalating visibility, traffic and potential expansion. This is extra true for nonprofits, because it's much harder to "sell" donations. Link trees are a straightforward way to organize links that you wish to share with your viewers; this helps build trustworthiness, heighten interaction and develop leads.
Even with the advantages of having a link tree, many people still ignore this effective promotional tool. Although it takes effort and patience to create your own successful link tree, once it is built up, you can reach new heights of success. Investing in building your very own link tree pays off immensely as you reap its numerous rewards!
The most common link tree is Linktr.ee, but that style of site is available through many other platforms. I'll include instructions here, and then below, share other microsite style platforms that you can build concurrently.
How To Get A Backlink From Link Tree
- Set up your account. In most cases, a free account is totally fine and appropriate. I wouldn't recommend going all in on LinkTree.
- Build your LinkTr.ee. You want to include at least one link to your website. Your other links should be (a) sources of backlinks to help get them indexed by Google (b) relevant social media accounts. This is a great place to share your Patreon link.
- Let the world know about your Link Tree! Share it on social media, publish a blog post or add a link to your website's "about us" page. To cast an even wider net, broadcast this information via other specialized microsites like Link Tree.
Other Microsites That Provide Free Backlinks
Although Linktree is an excellent choice, there are also other platforms that offer similar services. Here's a selection of few places where you can use this strategy:
- Linktr.ee - my example
- Carrd.co - my example
- Taplink.cc - my example * (My antiviral software didn't like this one, but it's aggressively wrong sometimes.)
- Mssg.me - my example
It's time to explore the world of "social bookmarking" sites! Ensure that your pages are set to public or published depending on each site, and you will create backlinks like a pro. I am planning an article soon about these amazing sites - stay tuned for more information!
Free Nonprofit Backlink: Get your site on Feedly
Make your website more visible and accessible by utilizing Feedly. This is a simple, effective way to share your content around the web for maximum exposure. Not only that but you can organize various items into topics so visitor have no problem finding what they need quickly and easily. By using Feedly, you can expect greater visibility and higher traffic numbers on your site!
For our website, Feedly offers a straightforward solution to access the blog section. This link will only function correctly if you have an RSS feed on your site. In case you've set up shop with WordPress, chances are that you do! It can be found at domainname.com/feed so don't forget to check it out and make sure everything is running smoothly before continuing on this journey of ours together!
How to get a backlink from Feedly
- Sign up for a feedly.com account. It's free.
- On the left hand side, click the little satellite style icon that says "Follow your favorite websites". Type your URL (yourdomain.com/feed) into the search box. Add it to your list.
- Now your domain has a feed at feedly that is publicly available. You can access it by modifying this link: "https://feedly.com/i/subscription/feed%2Fhttps%3A%2F%2FYOURDOMAIN.COM%2Ffeed%2F" subbing in your website at YOURDOMAIN.COM. Examples: Sticker Crypt | Nonbeenary Designs | Sam Davis Ph.D. | Witchyverse
- Open an incognito window to verify it works when you're not logged in.
- Publish those links in all your usual places!
Final thoughts about easy backlinks
In conclusion, getting free backlinks can be a tricky process. Nevertheless, with the proper approach and technique, your website or blog will gain heightened visibility and experience greater SEO results.
Boost your website's visibility and search engine recognition by creating a Google Business Profile, signing up for Patreon, constructing a link tree, as well as submitting pictures to Flickr and Feedly. With these simple strategies in place, you will be on the fast track towards achieving top rankings with popular search engines such as Google!
Despite the fact that these steps necessitate constant effort and time, your website will undoubtedly be rewarded in the end. It may not seem worth it initially, but if you are consistent in your attempts to improve your search engine ranking then you'll soon see rewards. The hard work will soon pay off!
If this stuff blows your mind, I'm happy to help. Schedule a free consultation to see what I can help you do with your nonprofit today!