Organic search drives 53% of website traffic.
Yet nonprofits often focus their efforts on paid media while ignoring search engine optimization (SEO).
Not only does SEO help drive organic traffic to your nonprofit's website, it's also an extremely cost-effective tool to further enhance your existing paid media strategies - increasing brand awareness, visibility and authority.
In an effort to give SEO the spotlight it deserves, RKD Group conducted an analysis of more than 2,500 regional, national and international nonprofit websites to establish a benchmark for nonprofit SEO standards.
To see how your organization measures up, drop your domain below for a personalized assessment.
As you review the report, you will see how each sector stacks up in key areas, including domain rating, organic traffic, backlinks and more.
Throughout the report, we'll frequently utilize the following SEO terms:
The charts below include data from more than 2,500 nonprofit organizations across the nation and are broken out by nonprofit sector and location.
It's important to note that while conducting our research, six nonprofits stood out far above the rest: Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, The Smithsonian Institution, AARP Foundation, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and American Cancer Society.
These organizations have spent decades building their brand and reputation as a knowledge resource. Because these organizations had significantly higher SEO rankings, and therefore skewed benchmark findings, we have removed them from the charts below.
Now, let's dive into the results.
Domain ratings are scored on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the strongest.
Ranked at the top are relief & development, health & disease, environmental and veterans causes. Ranked among the lowest are regional causes, including rescue missions, animal welfare organizations and food banks.
The number of quality backlinks has a direct correlation with strength of domain rating, which is why it's no surprise to see similar sectors sitting at the top of the rankings.
A couple of sectors that stand out with higher backlink totals compared to their domain rating are education & culture and faith-based. On the other side of that coin, service animals have few backlinks despite a higher domain rating.
When broken out by location, we see a wide variance in number of backlinks. Five of the top 10 states/districts are located in the Northeast, but Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, California and Colorado round out top 10.
Our benchmarks revealed a significant gap in average organic traffic—the average number of monthly visits from organic search—based on industry and location.
On average, health & disease, hospitals and environmental nonprofits drive significantly more organic traffic to their websites. Food banks, recue missions and service animals ranked among the lowest.
Similarly, we see a great disparity between average organic traffic by state. The top three states/districts are concentrated once again in the Northeast, but states like Washington, Illinois and South Dakota also rank high.
Once again, we see a significant variance in the average number of keywords ranked in the top three across both industries and locations.
If you're curious to see how your nonprofit compares to others in your nonprofit industry, drop your website domain into the field below for a personalized assessment.
RKD Group is a leading fundraising and marketing services provider to hundreds of nonprofit organizations. With five decades of experience, RKD Group's omnichannel approach leverages technology, advanced data science and award-winning strategic and creative leadership to accelerate net revenue growth, build long-term donor relationships and drive the best return on investment. RKD Group creates breakthroughs never thought possible.