Medicines for Malaria Venture

Meta tags for malaria: doubling organic search traffic and goal completions on an NGO website

At the start of 2021 our client, Medicines for Malaria Venture, commissioned us to undertake a search engine optimisation exercise on two of their websites with the objective to boost organic search traffic. Here we zoom in on one of these websites,, a knowledge sharing platform for the severe malaria community.

Keyword research and on-page optimisation

In February, an extensive keyword research was carried out in two languages (English and French). From this exercise, 142 relevant severe malaria related expressions were identified. Next, on-page elements were optimised for these search terms, including titles and meta descriptions as well as h1 and h2 header tags. Upon client approval , these on-page elements were implemented in March and started being ranked in search results. We are now 4 months down the road and 115 of the selected terms rank on the first page; 90 of these are in the top three search results. A staggering result. Our client now even outranks established websites such as World Health Organization (WHO) and on a series of very relevant search terms.

How did this affect strategic goal completions on the website?

Prior to the optimization exercise in March/April, the website saw about 10.000 monthly sessions coming in from organic search traffic. This has increased steadily since then and in August, for the first time, organic search sessions doubled to 20.000, within just four months of implementing optimisations.

How did this affect strategic goal completions on the website?

Goal completions saw the same evolution. Prior to the website’s optimization, around 3.000 goal completions were generated per month. In August this was well over 6.000 goal completions. This means, we didn’t just generate more traffic; we generated higher quality traffic through SEO optimisation, which translates into an increase in key outcomes for the content on the website: more pageviews, more video views, more document downloads, and more newsletter subscriptions.

For years, we were struggling to capture our current and new audiences with the content on our website. Through the SEO optimization work undertaken by Lone Wolves, we exceeded our goals within months. This gives us the confidence that we have a website that our main audiences can easily reach and crucially, that they appreciate our content.
Abena Poku-Awuku PhD
Advocacy Manager, Medicines for Malaria Venture