Being placed in your organization’s online directory is an important benefit to membership. It gives members exposure to the rest of your membership (and the industry or community at large), it means that you have endorsed this member and their expertise, and it’s a huge source of business referrals.
Beyond including each member in your directory, what else are you doing to really help them gain visibility and take advantage of those perks? It can be pretty easy to do, given that most member-based organization directories are online these days! We have a few thoughts you may want to consider:
What is included in a listing?
Each member listing should have the same, standard information (unless they’ve bought into additional directory details - but more on that later). Try including a couple different points of contact - like a mobile phone number and office, or a phone number and an email address - to give any of their prospects multiple ways to reach them.
Equally (if not more) important is how often you have members review their listing and make appropriate changes. Be proactive and reach out to members regularly to make sure nothing has changed, or give them the opportunity to update anything that has! Food for thought: This could be an easy addition to your member renewal process.
How do you promote it?
Actively promoting your online directory means actively promoting your members, which only increases their loyalty to your organization. Think about the various ways you could promote your online directory, like:
- Including it in your social media strategy
- Asking your board members to share with their expansive network
- Talking about it at speaking engagements
- Placing reminders in your newsletter or other publication(s)
What are your SEO practices?
A part of actively promoting your online directory is making sure you keep search engine optimization (SEO) tight. This will help drive Internet users to find your members (and ensure they’re doing so through your organization’s website so YOU can enjoy some website traffic yourself).
In order to help make your members more easily found on your website, make sure that your category descriptions include the right keywords. Think about what you would personally search for when looking for businesses within these categories and find ways to incorporate those words into copy on your directory pages.
These are only a few small things to think about in your overall strategy, and there are far larger opportunities to squeeze even more out of your online directory – like letting them buy-into the additional enhancements I mentioned earlier. Our guide, Getting the Most Out of Your Chamber’s Online Directory, uncovers how you can easily build more member value into your directory, all while adding streams of non-dues revenue to your organization’s bottom line.