SEO for Rotary Clubs

Posted by Pixelhead

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.

2011 Rotary Logo

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 Or even worse, I find an out of date site that is from 2005.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.

 

Written by Pixelhead on September 18th, 2011 with comments disabled.
Read more articles on Charitable Organizations and SEO and Uncategorized

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39 comments

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#1. September 19th, 2011, at 6:00 AM.

most interesting SEO rotary strategy. Appreciate the most valuable thinking.

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#2. September 21st, 2011, at 12:53 PM.

Good suggestions there, it’s nice to know you are thinking of so many different ways to contribute to the betterment of the community, and thereby the world. Every bit we can do counts.

Would recommend that during link building the various rotaries use exact strategic anchor text for their location, like “anycity rotary” as the anchor text.

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#3. September 22nd, 2011, at 6:48 AM.

Organization like the rotary club really needs help and even in our on little way just by helping out in their SEO we can help abit for our community

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#4. September 22nd, 2011, at 10:10 PM.

I think the offsite work such as encouraging members to promote the link is essential. Difficult to do but it will pay in the long term.

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#5. September 23rd, 2011, at 8:41 AM.

If the organization is around the world, SEO won’t be a problem. Each town must provide links (depending on the quota needed) so they would go in rank.

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#6. September 23rd, 2011, at 7:09 PM.

I think every business institutions and non-profit organization now takes website SEO to sustain continuity in the long time

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#7. September 23rd, 2011, at 10:30 PM.

Becasue Rotary Clubs (Actually not onyl rotary clubs but also some foundations) weppages are non-profit, they genereally just create a website and don’t follow any seo issue. For example a religion foundation website that i am following, had google pr:4 and had domain age 2005. They changed their site theme last month. But redirection of it’s url to www doesn’t work. This site lose all its backlinks and they still are not be aware of this. I e-mailed them but they did’nt understand what i am telling.

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#8. September 25th, 2011, at 10:37 AM.

SEO has been an effective way to advertise and to create traffic to one’s site. And with this, I guess clubs and organizations who are aiming to help the society must be given same support as well.

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#9. September 27th, 2011, at 9:28 AM.

Apart from Corporates, Not profit org. are also looking for SEO for more recognition, Thanks for your wonderful sharing and discussion on the same.

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#10. September 27th, 2011, at 10:21 AM.

Thank you for making the effort to line this all out for all of us. This kind of article was in fact quite helpful in my opinion. I think it’s first firm which is non-profitable in Seo.

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#11. September 27th, 2011, at 1:18 PM.

These are great SEO tips and they are not only for rotary clubs. I find it amazing that clubrunner is able to charge that much a month and have additional charges if you have more members. That is just not cool. It doesn’t take much to manage a CMS especially if it is built properly. I think you are right when saying this could be a great smaller niche for a small seo company and the best idea I think you had was to have the members go out on the net and comment on blogs and drop their link in there. If you have many people doing a small thing each it can be even more effective than hiring someone. Plus like you said, if you can get optimized you can get extra money to go towards your projects.

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#12. September 27th, 2011, at 10:54 PM.

SEO may work well for these non profitable in revenue generation, many person wants to contribute for the society.

thanks.

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#13. September 28th, 2011, at 6:12 PM.

Integrating social media is very important for every web in the days we live, and not only for search engine optimization…

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#14. September 28th, 2011, at 8:41 PM.

@Worker – Wow, what a shame! That would have been so easy to prevent, too.

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#15. September 30th, 2011, at 2:09 PM.

I have read one article that says that adding social media widgets doesn’t help in terms of SEO instead of that keep your home page clean and with unique content.

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#16. October 1st, 2011, at 2:02 AM.

Actually, SEO is the best way to market a website effectively. There are several techniques to do so, rotary would be great if they would know such things.People would know what rotary aims if the site is well-optimized both on-site and off-site Great insights!

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#17. October 1st, 2011, at 7:28 AM.

SEO can be used by any organization or any business owner. It’s one of the best tools online that can make you popular overnight. Thanks.

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#18. October 1st, 2011, at 10:50 AM.

Yes, the Rotary club community is a vast one. And the kind of work they do for community benefit makes them special since they being non-profit organization. I think if all regional clubs create a Wiki page of their own, with their url embedded, I think it will help their ranking to quite some extent.

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#19. October 1st, 2011, at 3:26 PM.

most interesting SEO rotary strategy. Appreciate the most valuable thinking

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#20. October 3rd, 2011, at 5:44 AM.

SEO is the basic requirement for any website whether it is organisation or a company to get traffic and google page rank.

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#21. October 3rd, 2011, at 1:00 PM.

It’s nice to know you are thinking of so many different ways to contribute to the betterment of the community, and thereby the world!

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#22. October 4th, 2011, at 10:11 AM.

It’s true, Rotary sites should integrate social media into their site. This could generate a considerable amount of traffic.

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#23. October 5th, 2011, at 5:42 AM.

These area great tips, but I don’t think they are only meant to be used for Rotary Clubs, right? I mean, you can apply them to any website in order to get more traffic, not just for a local Rotary Club webpage…just my two cents, but still great tips though!

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#24. October 5th, 2011, at 12:03 PM.

There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. All are good pints to consider for. I now consider the thoughts above as general inspiration.

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#25. October 5th, 2011, at 6:16 PM.

My dad is in the Rotary club in Guadalajara, Mexico, with this ideas I will make a proposition ot them, thanks for the input!

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#26. October 6th, 2011, at 10:57 PM.

I agree it would be difficult for individual clubs to appear at a relevant ie high point of their local search.
Making this easier for such powerful local helping communities like the Rotary is a great idea, nice share!

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#27. October 7th, 2011, at 5:45 PM.

Rotary clubs are in a great position to drive a lot of rankings for themselves and for their members. None of them get it though.

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#28. October 7th, 2011, at 5:47 PM.

We did this for a chamber of commerce (kind of like Rotary) and had a lot of success. It was tough to get them to pay for the service though because you can’t see a direct connection to increased traffic with SEO.

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#29. October 13th, 2011, at 9:56 AM.

These are great SEO tips and they are not only for rotary clubs. I find it amazing that clubrunner is able to charge that much a month and have additional charges if you have more members. That is just not cool. It doesn’t take much to manage a CMS especially if it is built properly. I think you are right when saying this could be a great smaller niche for a small seo company and the best idea I think you had was to have the members go out on the net and comment on blogs and drop their link in there. If you have many people doing a small thing each it can be even more effective than hiring someone. Plus like you said, if you can get optimized you can get extra money to go towards your projects

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#30. October 13th, 2011, at 6:34 PM.

Our rotary club is not optimized well and I truly agree with your statement that rotary club needs optimization. Mine when I search our rotary club it has a lot of searches and I can’t find our organization.

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#31. October 14th, 2011, at 4:25 AM.

Well all sites need SEO (if you can’t afford PPC) LOL!
I love link building with all the techniques..

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#32. October 14th, 2011, at 2:16 PM.

I commend you for helping the Rotary Club with their SEO strategy—as well as us too. You are right that many non-profits need help in this area. I love the Rotary Clubs in my area—the members all do so much for the community. I’m going to look into helping the clubs in my area with my area of expertise—blogging. Thanks again.

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#33. October 19th, 2011, at 2:10 AM.

Link building is one of the best technique to market a site. Using Social media nowadays is the most effective way to get a lot of hits. I salute your goals! hope you achieve them in no time. God Bless!

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#34. October 19th, 2011, at 5:57 AM.

SEO has been an effective way to advertise and to create traffic to one’s site. And with this, I guess clubs and organizations who are aiming to help the society must be given same support as well.

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#35. October 21st, 2011, at 7:07 AM.

I agree with you, if you want your Rotary sites to appear on the top each website must be done with SEO. SEO is the best way to promote each website in specific keyword, you already mentioned above some tips on how to do SEO.

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#36. November 11th, 2011, at 9:09 AM.

Linkbuilding for Rotary clubs? Develop and maintain relationships with local blogs and news outlets and get mentioned frequently, and get all website owners that belong to rotary to link. Rotary clubs already do “newsworthy” things that deserve to get linked, they just need to do some outreach about what they’re doing.

Is there anywhere in the country where ranking for “cityname rotary” is harder than that?”

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#37. November 25th, 2011, at 11:08 PM.

If the Rotary Club gives you a scholarship, do they expect you to eventually join the Rotary? I understand that it would be a nice gesture, but what if it’s something you don’t really want to do?

Thanks

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#38. November 30th, 2011, at 3:00 PM.

The link build campaign seems like it would be a hard sell with individual. I think a lot of education would be needed to sell the importance of this to the individual members, SMO would probably easier to sell however there would still a learning curve involved to get it going.

Thanks for the article it brings up a lot of interesting points with the challenges SEO and SMO with small nonprofits.

The link building campaign is an interesting idea, is this something that you have tried?

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#39. December 15th, 2011, at 10:11 AM.

I think seo has an effective way to promote any site. I love this link building technique, And also its like a link tree in other sense.

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