How’s your club website looking these days? Are you still running the free site you threw-up several years ago? Have you even looked at it lately? While it seems you have-to-have a website for your club these days, are you really making the most of it?
In today’s post we will look at the value of having a club website and how it can help your club management, as well as aid member recruitment, communications and retention.
The Value of a Club Website
The digital age is well and truly upon us and today most of us will look online for the information we require. When it comes to your club, be it big or small, the value of having a website should not be overlooked. In brief let’s look at some of the benefits a club website can bring:
- Online visibility – allows people to find you quickly be it on a desktop or mobile device.
- Information – a well fleshed out website should provide visitors with the information they require, as well as providing valuable information to your members.
- Member recruitment – as well as having plenty of information promoting your club, adding a registration form to your website allows new members to join quickly and easily.
- Contact – many of us prefer to make contact via online means, rather than face-to-face or over the phone. A contact page which includes email and form options will allow them to contact you quickly and easily.
- Improve club administration – a website is the perfect medium to post notices and communications, recruit new members, provide complete information about your club and allow people to contact you.
- Promotion and Marketing – if you spend time on your website you can place your club at the top of the search results for related search terms and phrases, this means potential new members will click on you first over the other club down the road. Add in social media accounts too and you will have a powerful and effective means of promoting your club.
The Importance of Look and Feel
How your website looks and feels is important too. There was a time when having a fancy looking website was a considerable investment and well beyond the means of most clubs. However, the website design and hosting market is fiercely competitive and there are many cost-effective and even free options available.
Here are our top tips for creating a website which will wow:
- Choose a paid domain. Paid domains are good for your online marketing efforts and will earn you credit with the search engines. Free domains are often difficult to remember and you run the risk of losing your entire site should the provider go under.
- Choose a domain name which closely matches your club name. If your club is ‘Droitwich Youth Football Club’ then make your domain the same or as close as possible. Avoid choosing a name which closely matches that of another club. You can use abbreviations or nicknames if they are commonly known.
- Choose a simple theme and make sure your site is branded with your club logo and colours.
- Show who’s behind the curtain by including a fully fleshed out About Us page with names, roles and pictures of all involved in running the club.
6 Things An Effective Club Website Should Have
Your website needs to be more than just one page with a brief description of who you are and where you are based. Give visitors plenty to look at by including the following pages:
- Pages – Aside from the homepage, your website needs to include pages which describe who you are and what you do (About Us), a Contact page which details your club address, phone number, email, contact names and a contact form. If your site has nothing else, make sure you have these 3 pages at least.
- Blog – Blogs are invaluable for providing information to visitors, be they members or not. Use a blog to report on club activities and achievements, welcome posts to introduce new members, important notices and other communications.
- Online registration form – PaySubsOnline.com gives you the ability to integrate your club registration on your site. This means new members can easily register to join and the administration involved for you is greatly reduced.
- Member information pages – Include pages which provide important information for your members, such as dates and times, events, news, club rules, meetings. Your blog could be used for this but as new posts to your blog will push older ones further down the page list, it is better to create static pages for important information which is updated less frequently.
- Member login page – PaySubsOnline.com gives you a page where members can login, keep their membership information up-to-date and pay money outstanding. A must if you want to cut down on that membership admin.
- Social links – Always include links to your social pages in a prominent place on your pages. As we discuss below, social media is a great partner to your website.
Social Media vs. A Website
It can be tempting to think that a Facebook page is all the online presence your club needs. However, great as Facebook is for promoting clubs and organisations, it lacks the scope to add in the breadth of information and utilities of a website. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great partners to your website and add value to your online presence.
Check out this article for more on how social media can help promote your club and drive people to your website. Combining both mediums online really can help you recruit, retain and communicate with members. You can also download our free guides to Facebook and Twitter for more useful tips and advice.
Avoid the mistake of merely throwing up a website and thinking that is all you need to do. A club website can be a highly effective, cost efficient means of marketing your club. Not only can it help make your club more visible, it can also help you manage your membership.
For information on how PaySubsOnline.com can further help your club management, download the free Whitepaper below.