Will Google’s New Rules Crush Your Nonprofit Website Search Rankings?

Things are changing… again.

In case you missed it, Google recently announced more upcoming changes to the way it indexes websites for search results. Those changes are now in full effect.

So what do you need to know related to your nonprofit website?

If you are feeling all nerdy (and that is a compliment) then you can check out the official Google Webmaster Central Blog notice here:

Mobile, mobile, mobile!

A few months ago, the digital world reached an important milestone: for the first time, more than 51% of initial email opens originated on mobile devices. That may not seem like a big deal, but it is. In fact, it is a very big deal.

Think about this: for the first time, we’ve entered a marketing and engagement world where an entire user experience must be fully enjoyed on a mobile device.

As an example, here’s a hypothetical donor experience scenario. The donor:

  • Opens the email on their phone
  • Taps link to the landing page for your appeal on phone
  • Watches the video on phone
  • Follows call-to-action (CTA) on phone
  • Enters gift information on phone
  • Selects the gift designation on phone
  • Enters credit card information on their phone
  • Finalizes gift submission on their phone
  • Receives “thank you” acknowledgement email on phone

How to not get crushed.

Simple: Go mobile.

In the world of search engine result listings, nothing is more important than usable results. Since Google realizes that the use of mobile devices is now more common than desktops or laptops, they are prioritizing search results from sites that are optimized for mobile devices.

So what should you do?

  1. If you have not already done so, make sure that all your marketing and communications assets employ a “mobile-first” strategy. We have been urging our clients for a long time to prepare for these fundamental shifts in engagement. Here is a blog article about responsive design from a few months ago.
  2. Find out how search engine bots “see” your website. Test a few pages using Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.”
  3. When appropriate, deliver your content through an app. Remember to only use an app when it makes sense. Many people spend a lot of time and money creating apps for their cause when a mobile-friendly site is often faster, cheaper, and provides a better experience for guests.
  4. Use mobile-friendly best practices such as responsive design. This is why all of our web facing products like our Online Fundraising Portal and Workplace Giving Portal are built from the ground up using modern, mobile, social, technology.
  5. Get your webmaster and your software company involved sooner rather than later… or simply reach out to us now.

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