What audience are you writing for on your ClubRunner website: the general public, your member Rotarians or for prospective members? These are all humans, but like it or not you are also writing for a machine, in fact, more than one machine.
Such machines have first names too, just like you do. Google, Yahoo and Bing are the biggies but Yandex, DuckDuckGo and SwissCows and others have their advantages too.
ClubRunner has built-in features to help you get found by machines doing searches. The first one of which you need to be aware of is a Meta description. This one is a must. See the ClubRunner Guide.
But my focus in this post is your stories. Like it or not you need to write stories, preferably weekly if you are going to develop an audience for your website.
It is the rare “public” individual who goes looking for a service club website. People look for doctors, dentists, optometrists, or trades specialists. But even they have to create websites that put their site at the top of the list among their competitors. And that means getting your name or business on page one of whatever search engine you are using.
If it is rare for a person to search out a service club website, what do you have to do to get them to your site? You have to write stories to bring people to your site. The go-to word among web specialists is CONTENT! Content is king. And the more content the better. In my opinion, most clubs do not have enough content stories but that is not my focus at this time.
My focus is ensuring that you write your stories in such a way that the machine audience finds your stories. So, what has ClubRunner done to help you, help the search machines?
The first thing you should do is start using the tags box at the very bottom of the Story Editor page. Tags are the keywords of your story.
This is where volunteerism over websites falls apart. I picked 36 ClubRunner Rotary websites at random, and even if they do not have “Stories” on the menu you can find the “Stories” by modifying the URL to find them to find out if a club is using tags with their stories. Of the 36 sites, only one was bothering to put in keywords. That is less than 3% of the websites sampled.
If they are not put into the tags box, then where are they? It likely means that you are not very aware of where to consciously put your keywords so Google and the other search engines can find them. They must be part of your headline and in your lead sentence or short opening paragraph. They may be there and you are not aware of them.
When I offer training on how to write for a website which is a special skill and/or genre akin to writing as a reporter for a newspaper or a radio newscast.  You have to know your audience and in this case, one of those audiences are made of search engines.
There are other writing techniques that both the web editor and a story writer need to be aware of when writing for search engines. Some are simple and some are very scientific. Nonetheless starting with ClubRunner’s tag box is where you should start, after using your keywords or tags in the title and lead sentence.