The Development and Relief Foundation (DRF) of Fresno, CA and Dearborn Heights, MI manages multiple charitable missions in Iraq to improve the life and opportunities for disadvantaged people. KO Websites has built a new website for the foundation to help it spread the word about its work and attract financial and in-kind support for its programs.
Search Engine Optimization the Key for Non-Profit Website Performance
The DRF came to KO with a project to develop a new website that achieved multiple missions:
- Attract more donations for all of its in-country Iraqi humanitarian missions
- Present the results of their development work to the public
- Encourage interested people to follow the DRF and volunteer time to support various programs
- Present their story in both English and Arabic languages to reach their audiences in the U.S. and around the world
The DRF has an ambitious set of projects targeted at specific underserved Iraqi populations. Some of these programs are:
- Medical Services that meet developed world standards, including the construction and maintenance of a new hospital in Karbala.
- Educational programs for orphans, young women
- Financial support for poor people and widows, including in-kind donations of clothing and food
- Assistance for refugees, including educational programs, food distribution and financial support
- Loans for young Iraqis to pursue higher education or start businesses
With a tight budget that is typical of all non-profits and non-governmental organizations, we knew the website had to work very hard to generate interest through organic SEO, as paid campaigns would be infrequent.
Fortunately, all the programs that the DRF runs provided a robust resource for creating content that could be optimized using the keyword strategy we created with the DRF. Leveraging their extensive content library we created these key website design elements within a WordPress template that allowed easy updating by DRF whenever new content became available:
- A portfolio gallery for each project
- A financial section to display fully transparent operating disclosures
- Easy connection functions for donations, volunteers and newsletter sign-ups
- DRF Team pages to present the foundation’s leadership team and advisers, along with key partners like the Khaki Foundation, the Sepaus Foundation, Zaman International and Michigan State University
- A blog section to share news about their programs’ progress in Iraq
- A robust language translation plug-in that allows full editing capabilities in each language. KO Websites chose WPML as its plug-in. A key feature is the ease with which a third language could be added – DRF has plans that would require the addition of Urdu in the future.
- FAQs to answer the most popular questions interested supporters have about working with the DRF.
Attention to the on-page SEO of every element of each page has reaped great rewards. After just five months, a majority of the terms are appearing on page one of search results (SERPs), which has brought the right sort of visitor to the website.
“The new website has hit it out of the park this year,” says Seyed Ghazvini of the Development and Relief Foundation. “Our current key contributors and volunteers find that it represents the DRF well when discussing our mission with potential supporters. And site visitors come away with a favorable impression when they are considering adding their time and financial contributions to our efforts.”
In addition, Mr. Ghazvini emphasizes that the WordPress administrative tools allow his staff to easily and regularly update the site to keep it current and fresh.
“We can edit the English and Arabic pages separately so that each page is accurate in its own language,” notes Ghazvini. “This is a huge improvement over the previous site that used automated translation tools. Contributors very much appreciate seeing the quality of the presentation in either language. This has had a huge impact on the impression we leave with prospective supporters.”
Every website is unique in how it must leverage SEO and other digital marketing tools to maximize its ability to help the organization fulfill its business goals or social mission. The DRF Charity website is a classic example of how flexibility in website design allows the customization each organization needs to make its website work well.