I just got back from attending my second Rotary Leadership Institute class. As an officer of the Boyertown Rotary, I feel it is my duty to learn as much about Rotary International as possible.
Note: Many of the tips in this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) post could apply to any non-profit or company site.
What is Rotary?
Rotary International is a non-profit service organization. There are clubs all over the world, and there is probably one or more Rotary Clubs near you. Many towns have multiple Rotary clubs.
Each Rotary Club operates a little differently, although most meetings have many of the same elements such as sharing info, doing service projects, and networking.
Service projects vary from doing local community projects like student mentoring, park development, or projects that are unique and needed in each clubs town.
In my town, one of the service projects done by the Rotary was a “playground for everyone” which is a playground that is handicapped accessible.
But Rotary is much more than service..if you are lucky enough to be asked to join, check it out, you’ll be glad you did.
Why do Rotary Club Websites Need SEO?
When I search for a town’s Rotary, I expect it to come up. Often times, I am looking for a town’s Rotary to see when and where it meets, and I can not find the chapter or any info about it. Or even worse, I find an out of date site that is from 2005.
Additionally, I think the Rotary Websites should be optimized so that when someone searches for the club’s town name, the club should be on the search engine results page right at the top of the list. So if I was to optimize my club site fully, it would show up for terms like “Boyertown, PA” ‘Boyertown Service organization” in addition to “Boyertown Rotary”.
Lastly, if the site were to truly become an authority in the town, it would make selling advertising to reputable businesses with the town so much easier. What club wouldn’t love to bring in some extra revenue for service projects?
How Can Rotary Clubs Optimize their Sites?
First, they can use content management systems that are SEO friendly and which can be updated easily and regularly. ClubRunner, the system we currently use is not SEO friendly, but it does have a ton of features that make it good for Rotary clubs and it is pretty easily updated. I am thinking about doing a blog post that compares different platforms for Rotary Clubs. I believe providing platforms for Rotary Club websites is a huge niche that a web development company could do well in. My small club pays maybe $35 a month for the site. There is a club in almost every small town, and in some towns there are multiple Rotary Clubs. Additionally, Clubrunner charges more if your club has more members. But I digress…
The second thing that Rotary Clubs can do to optimize their sites, is to integrate their sites with Social Media. Having social media widgets for your Social Media profiles does affect search rankings.
The third and most important thing that Rotary Clubs should do is to undergo a club link building campaign. This can be as simple as getting each club member to comment on one blog per month, and drop their club’s site url into the website field. Additionally, if the members have websites of their own, they can link to the club on their site. One way links are what it’s all about.
Easy Rotary SEO
These three tips are not a complete SEO strategy, but they are a start. If your club is in a competitive market like Las Vegas or New York, to show up at the top in the search engines, it may take a bit more work. If you need some help, let me know by dropping a comment with your contact info.
Rotarians: Drop your club or district’s url in to the web page field in the comments section to get a link to your site.