5 Steps to Improve Your Rotary Website
Imagine you have a guest from out of town coming to stay with you at your house. What would you normally do before they arrive? Vacuum, clean, shove random items in closets? We’ve all done it, we want our home to be a good representation of us. Your Rotary club’s website is no different. For many prospective members, your club website will be their first glimpse at your club. You want them to get a good impression of you and want to come to a meeting. You don’t want to leave them with a bad impression before you have had the chance to actually meet them!
Do not fear, I’ve put together 5 easy steps anyone can take to do a quick check on your website just to make sure your ‘house’ is looking the best it can.
There is nothing worse than finding something you really want to read about, clicking the link only to find the link is dead. I have been on numerous Rotary club websites where links send me nowhere. What message is this sending to potential members? That no-one has spent the time to do basic housekeeping on your site and clear out the cobwebs. That would not in still faith in me about your club. Error messages happen but you have to stay on top of them. Do a check on your site and make sure your links go somewhere. Then set up a schedule maybe once a month for someone to keep an eye on things especially if new content is added.
Is Anybody Here?
Imagine a potential member looks you up online and finds your club. Congratulations, you have someone on your site (this is easier said than done but that’s for another blog post) and they are actively seeking out your content. Fantastic, you know you have lots of information on your website. He/she wants to see what you have been up to, so they click on your calendar…hang on it’s empty. No events, no meetings, no socials, absolutely nothing. Does this leave the best message to a potential member? Probably not. The solution is really simple either fill it with content or remove it. Go over your site and look for pages with no content. If you find some you will have to decide whether you assign someone to add content or you remove it. Basically, it’s better to have no’ calendar’ than an empty one.
What Year is This?
“Umm, their last photo is from 2013, I guess they aren’t doing much any more”. This is one of the easiest things to keep on top of and makes such a difference. If your website is not up to date, prospective members will think your club is out of date! Don’t be the club who is still advising members that “mankind is our business” from 2001. Have your PR committee assign someone to be in charge of making sure your website has your club’s current information. This may involve uploading photos every week if you have a gallery or going through the site making sure your website realises it’s 2015. It’s simple: be present and up to date.
Members Needed Over Here!
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that all Rotary clubs want more members. There is a high chance that a potential member will probably look for information on how to join your club from your website. They may be looking for criteria, prices, procedure for application and how they can come to a meeting. Is this information clear on your website? Most Rotary club websites I have seen either go two ways. First- way too much information, paragraph after paragraph of rules, criteria with no pricing. You just need the basic facts: we are looking for these types of people, it costs this much, this is how you come to a meeting and here is how you apply. Second- There is no information at all. If I’m looking to join a group it makes sense that I want to know how to join the group. If I don’t easily find the information, I am probably going to lose interest and not go out of my way to find the information. Your club website needs to be doing the work for the potential member, not expecting them to spend 15/20 minutes searching the dark recesses of your website looking for the membership information.
This Club is Mobile Friendly
Recent mobile marketing statistics are showing that the majority of online browsing is done using mobile devices. What does this mean for your clubs website? Well, in a nutshell it means that your site has to be responsive and mobile friendly. Does your website have built in intuition to respond to the device the viewer is using? Here’s an exercise: view your club website on a mobile or iPad. Does it adapt and make the site fit into the size of the viewing platform? If you site adjusts this is being responsive. If your site doesn’t it will be a real pain for a mobile viewer to see the site. Getting your club website to be responsive is essential as you don’t want to lose all those potential members using mobile devices.
There you go! Simply being online isn’t enough you have to make the effort. Don’t expect your potential members to do all the work for you. It’s your club’s responsibility to make a good first impression and following these 5 steps to improving your club website is a good step in the right direction.