You can’t turn on your TV without seeing the widespread Bing marketing campaign: “Take the Bing Challenge!” To answer this surge of competition in online searching, Google is continually revamping their search algorithm to filter more spam and make the results as close to EXACTLY what you need as possible.
I’ll be the first to admit: it’s all very confusing.
And frankly, you probably don’t care as long as you can hit “search” and get what you want on the first few pages.
But you SHOULD care. Your SEO (search engine optimization) factors in hugely with your association’s reputation online; it’s ability to be found, which translates to your ability to distribute information to your members and other interested parties.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1) Quality Content Rules
Sophisticated search gives higher ranking to higher quality websites. That means regularly updated, unique content is king. Be careful about ads and promotions; you don’t want to come across as spammy and get blocked. Also, while link-sharing and content-sharing is a good idea, if you repeat too much material you could also risk being blocked in search because of “duplicate material.”
2) Update regularly
In an effort to filter out low-quality websites, search engines discriminate against website that haven’t been updated recently. So one of the best things you can do for your association’s website is keep it fresh. Regular blog posts will often do the trick, but also make sure you have current information on your normally static pages. Update the leadership and membership as it changes and make sure the other features of your website, while possibly “evergreen” are still relevant to the present social, political, and local culture.
3) So so social media
Search engines weigh pretty heavily on social media presence, and it makes sense. The first two points are automatically fulfilled: regular, unique content (although the quality of a lot of social media posts can be debated.) It also makes sense that Google would lean heavily on their social media: Google+ and YouTube. If you can have a presence on those sites, it might be worth it.
Please remember that these are not hard and fast rules to bumping up SEO. These search algorithms change constantly, and you never know what the future holds. However these three tips for online engagement are always a good idea.