Like peanut butter and jelly, non-profits and social media seem to have struck a harmonious chord when it comes to cost effective interactive marketing tactics. But social media alone will not sustain a growing non-profit organization. For non-profits with websites, perhaps the next area of opportunity is search engine optimization (SEO) or web optimization.
At The Net Impact, we conducted a short study pitting the SEO efforts of our local St. Louis non-profits against national powerhouse non-profits. In other words, we graded their websites using HubSpot’s Website Grader tool.
HOW WE DID IT
Through a Google search, we selected 10 recognizable St. Louis based non-profits for our St. Louis SEO sample. Then we selected the top ten non-profits from a 2005 Forbes list of the Top 200 national charities (we verified that all 20 organizations in our sample still exist and have websites).
Using HubSpot’s Website Grader tool, we analyzed all 20 non-profit URLs. Then we averaged all the statistics to compare St. Louis SEO to national SEO. Here are the results:
WHAT WE MEASURED
Average Website Grade. This is a HubSpot scale from 0 to 100 (100 being the best). Hundreds of thousands of websites make the top 5% (scoring 95-100). An average score of 77.1 means there is a huge opportunity for St. Louis non-profits to improve their overall SEO efforts.
Average Indexed Pages. This metric is the average number of pages that Google indexes from each website. Google indexed as many 37,000 pages for the top indexing St. Louis non-profit in our sample and as low as 58 pages for the lowest indexing St. Louis non-profit in our sample. Interestingly enough Google indexed only 32,000 pages for the top indexing national non-profit. And the average page index of 5,742.2 pages nationally versus 4,552.1 pages here in St. Louis, is fairly comparable.
Average Linking Domains. Perhaps the largest gap in performance is the number of inbound links to St. Louis non-profit websites versus the average number of inbound links to national non-profit websites. St. Louis SEO fell short with an average of 1,063 inbound links compared to the national average of 15,256.2 inbound links.
Best Traffic Rank. Traffic rank is a statistic that defines a website’s overall rank in terms of site visitors compared to all indexed websites. The top ranked website of our entire 20 website sample hailed from St. Louis as the 1,422nd most visited website (which is actually pretty darn good). The top national traffic rank was 8,547 (hint: it was the Red Cross).
% Sites With Blogs. Only 4 websites in our sample contained blogs that Google recognizes. One non-profit in our St. Louis SEO sample had a recognized blog. Three national non-profits hosted a recognized blog. So on this metric, everybody gets a big fat…Eh….
MozRank. Yet another linking measure. The Moz Rank weights inbound links not only by quantity but by the popularity of the referring website. For example, one referred link from CNN.com might be worth as much as many referred links from a small blog.
Overall, St. Louis SEO is growing among local non-profits, but we can do better and we’re well on our way to competing with huge national non-profits. If your non-profit is looking for an SEO solution or any other type of interactive marketing solution, check us out at http://www.thenetimpact.com/.