SEO – So? Why Search Engine Optimization is Important For Your Club’s On-line Visibility

Do you want free advertising for your club? Connect with potential members to attend a meeting? Be more visible?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is your online promotion friend!

In simple terms, SEO is a process of improving on-line visibility. The more visibility your club has in search results (such as Goggle, Bing, or Yahoo), the more likely your club will draw on-line attention.

How does SEO work?

Search engines use bots to crawl pages on the web, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index. Formulas, called algorithms, analyze pages in the index. Algorithms evaluate using hundreds of ranking factors, then position pages in an order based on those factors.

Why is that important to you?

The more active your club is on-line, the more likely your club will rank higher if people search for topics related to Toastmasters.

Can you increase your club’s on-line visibility?

Yes, you can take simple steps to ensure your club will rank high in appropriate searches.

  • Ensure your club’s information is up to date. Check your website, all social media assets, and don’t forget about Toastmasters International find-a-club. Update as needed.
  • Search engines like Google consider expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness as top factors in rankings. Reviews go a long way. Ask your members to leave reviews on your club’s social and web assets. Encourage guests to do the same.
  • Posts from guests that backlink to your website, and mentions of your club on social media, help to increase rankings.
  • Links to your content from other websites help to boost your club’s search position.
  • Sign up for Google My Business (free) Manage your profile so you connect with your audience on Google Search and Maps
  • Use relevant keywords. These are the words or phrases that people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for. All areas of your online assets should include keywords.
  • Add alt tags (text description) to images. Screen readers decipher images with alt tags which helps with web accessibility, and alt tags make it easier for search engines identify images. Keep alt tags short and descriptive.

The following takes a bit more time, but well worth the effort:

  • Add new content, or update old content. If platforms are static, algorithms view them as “dead” with nothing new to offer. Search engines love new information. By updating your website with fresh content, adding articles, and swapping out photos on a regular basis, the more often a search engine will stop to visit. This means your club stays fresh in the rankings.
  • Do a website audit: look at your site from a non-toastmaster’s lens. Is the site very clear about what your club does? Is it easy to navigate? Visually appealing, polished, and professional? Allow for white space, an uncluttered layout, and quality photographs.
  • What is your website page-load speed? Google suggests a page should load between 1 to 3 seconds. If this is outside of your experience, survey your tech-oriented members for their help.
  • Optimize mobile. Look critically at each platform from your mobile device; is the club profile and about page strong? Are posts showing up well? Google ranks mobile-friendly pages higher.
  • Provide content that educates. Have “how-to” blog articles. Post tips. Brainstorm potential questions a non-toastmaster might have about what your club offers, then have that answer in your copy with back links to your articles, tips, or contact information. Internal links will give search engine more clues about what your page is about.

Improving your digital presence is a positive first step towards long term public relations benefits, and SEO is one of the easiest ways to reach your club’s promotional goals.

For building your club’s awareness on-line, reaching potential members, and positioning your club as an expert, trustworthy authority in communication and leadership, SEO is an important tool not to ignore.

The good news is, these are simple steps you can complete to adjust your club’s online visibility today.

Created by Nancy Movrin DTM Public Relations Manager 2021 – 2022