by Frank Falcone

August 14, 2020

How Your Chamber of Commerce Website Can Benefit from SEO

Your chamber of commerce could be losing out on potential revenue and customers without an SEO strategy.

Your chamber of commerce’s member base holds certain expectations from their membership. Whether they’re looking to develop connections with other business owners or attract new customers with increased exposure, your members want to be sure they’re realizing real value from their participation.

A useful and cost-effective way to enhance the perceived value of the memberships you offer is via search engine optimization (SEO). At its core, SEO is an ongoing strategy employed by organizations to maximize traffic to your website from search engines. A proper SEO strategy can help both chambers of commerce and their member businesses alike. Chambers can grow their membership base and enjoy additional non-dues revenue through increased exposure, and members can similarly generate more potential leads and foot traffic to their businesses.

Recuperate Declining Print Advertising Revenue

Historically, a significant portion of revenues earned by chambers of commerce came from advertising sold in their phone books. However, much like the Yellow Pages, chamber phone book circulation has significantly declined, and advertising revenues have fallen as a result. Ideally, online revenues should be an increasingly larger share of overall revenue for your chamber of commerce. By boosting your website’s visibility on the major search engines and offering lucrative online advertising to members, you can more quickly shift revenue share to where your audience is – online. With today’s competitive online business environment, SEO isn’t just a fun idea – it’s table stakes!


Generate More Customers and Sales for Your Members

Businesses enjoy an instant credibility boost when they become a member of their local chamber of commerce. According to a recent study published by the Schapiro Group, once potential customers learn that a local business is a chamber of commerce member, those prospects are 44% more likely to have a positive impression of the business, and they are 63% more likely to make a purchase from the establishment at some point in the future.

By making an investment in SEO, your chamber can maximize the power of local search to assist your members in growing their own online presence and, in turn, generating more customers and sales. And once you’re able to prove that you can achieve impactful results for your members, you can begin to offer them online advertising options that will increase your non-dues revenue and help them build business.


Regain Control of Your Web Presence

Unfortunately, most chamber of commerce websites have been made irrelevant by highly trafficked third-party business directories and corporate webpages. Most chamber of commerce websites specifically cater to visitors who already frequent the site itself; they don’t generate much traffic from search. SEO can help reverse this trend. By better optimizing your website for search, you’ll be able to reclaim control of your local chamber’s web presence and ensure your chamber of commerce website is positioned as THE ultimate source for business information in your community.


How to Up Your SEO Game

Optimizing your chamber of commerce’s business directory for SEO can be trickier than if you were working with a simple website with only a couple pages of content. By focusing on both on-page and off-page search strategies, you’ll be on your way to boosting your chamber of commerce visibility on the major search engines. On-page SEO best practices include ensuring proper structure of your URLs and using descriptive meta tags with the right keywords. Off-page SEO techniques include accumulating links to your chamber of commerce site from other reputable, high-quality websites.

About the author 

Frank Falcone

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