A summer camp that nurtures young hearts and minds.
A sports league that helps kids get out and get active.
A chance to lend a hand by volunteering.
No matter where your Clubs are in the country, people in your area are turning to Google to find exactly the kind of opportunities your Boys & Girls Club chapter offers. How nice would it be if one of their everyday Google searches—whether it's for a summer camp program, a youth sports league, or a community-oriented volunteer opportunity—eventually led them right to your Blue Door?
Making that connection is easier than you think. Here are three easy ways you can use your website and other online presences to connect Google searchers to your Clubs.
Create Website Content With Empathy and Clarity
Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT have to be an expert in search engine optimization (SEO) to rank well in Google search results for common searches related to your Clubs. (It's true! This is coming from our own SEO expert.) But if you don't need to be an expert, how do you make it happen? The answer is easy enough, so allow us just one brief paragraph to explain.
Google is an ever-evolving tool and no longer relies as much on connecting actual words on your page to searchers typing in similar words in Google search results. Rather, Google looks at your website page content as a whole. It looks at data that tells a story about how well existing site visitors like interacting with your website page content. It looks at how varied and informative your website page content is.
When all this information is viewed as a whole, it tells Google whether your website page content will answer people's questions—and whether your website pages deserve to rank well because it will be worth their while.
So, does it? If someone in your Clubs' region searches for something like day camps for kids, will your content about your day camp programs tell them what they undoubtedly need to know?
Look For Ways To Empathize And Clarify
If you can adjust to viewing your website page content with an empathetic lens and a commitment to communicating clearly, you will not only appeal to Google's method of ranking websites, but you will set the foundation for more people to get connected to your Clubs through entirely organic means (which is what really matters).
The task at hand is simple: view your website page content as if you were someone looking for that content's information. Questions like these will help:
- Does my website content begin with the most critical information, then dive into more detail?
- Does my website content tell website visitors what's in it for them?
- Does my website content try to answer common questions up-front?
- Is my Clubs' contact information available and easy to find?
- Is the action I want my website page visitors to take next clear?
- Are there easy opportunities for my website visitors to learn more about my Clubs?
- And most importantly: if I were searching for phrases describing what my page content offers, would I be satisfied with what I found?
Produce Content Freely—And Regularly
Another key way to connect Google searchers to your website—and earn a first impression that could send them to your Blue Door—is to let Google know you're an active, engaged website.
How do you show Google you're active and engaged? Easy: create content. Your website should be more than just a set-it-and-forget-it collection of pages—it should be a living, breathing hub of information that tells your story. Work with your team to create a manageable content calendar that contains prompts like these:
- Press releases that share Club news
- Articles written by other entities (like a local online publication), copied to your website with permission
- Testimonials and stories from and about your Club members, volunteers, and staff
- Blog posts that expand on what makes your Clubs and programs great
Don't feel chained to a copy quota, either. Mix up your content creation with photo galleries, videos, downloadable PDFs, and other media.
Regularly creating content has the dual benefit of also showing up in Google search results over time. What's better than one page potential volunteers can find about volunteering? Try one overview page, a collection of blog posts, and annual volunteer appreciation videos. The limit does not exist.
Use Google My Business
Our last advice whisks you away from your website and over to Google My Business, which is only going to grow as an important part of the Google search ecosystem.
What is Google My Business?
We'll let Google take this one: "Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to promote your Business Profile and business website on Google Search and Maps. With your Google My Business account, you can see and connect with your customers, post updates to your Business Profile, and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google."
To put it even more simply, Google My Business is the business profile that sometimes pops up to the right of regular old Google search results, depending on what you're searching for. If you have a filled-out Google My Business Profile, someone will see you when they search for things like Boys & Girls Clubs in your area.
To create and edit your Google My Business profile, go to business.google.com and follow any setup steps from there. (If you're really, truly starting from scratch, we recommend BrightLocal's guide, "How to Set Up Your Google My Business Listing".) You'll be able to create profiles for each of your Club's locations, which will then appear when someone searches for Boys & Girls Clubs-related keywords near your physical Clubs' locations.
For the greatest success, we recommend taking your Google My Business profiles to the limit so Google has plenty of information to glean:
- Add photos of members, volunteers, events, etc.
- Ensure your days and hours of operation are accurate
- Describe who you are and what you offer in every field available
- Encourage reviews—and answer them!
- Post occasionally—it helps to treat Google My Business as if it were a social media profile like any other
Clear, empathetic website content, regular content production, and the use of Google My Business is really all it takes to reach more Google searchers looking for what your Clubs offer—and getting them to land in front of your Blue Door.
A great website makes it easy to connect to your Club's audience. The Digital Blue Door can help.
The Digital Blue Door is a website platform built just for Boys & Girls Clubs, with customizable content and features that help you communicate with members, partner with donors and sponsors, and reach the community at large—all while being easy to interact with and easy to maintain.