Category Archives: Membership

The Chamber of Commerce Opportunity

I came across this blog while conducting some bench marking for a marketing project I’d undertaken. Blog author, Phil Buckley, was able to succinctly drill down to the main point behind my project: Chamber membership makes GREAT sense and should be viewed, at least in part, as (very) SMART advertising/marketing. Brilliant!

Here’s Phil’s blog:
When you run a brick and mortar business one of the places you would like to be listed at is your local Chamber of Commerce.

The links that come from your Chamber of Commerce site offer two real values. First is a local citation that is a trusted organization that is over 100 years old. Second is a link that has the potential to bring both customers and better rankings. I’ve looked at about 10 chamber of commerce pages and noticed some strengths and some areas that could be improved.

Raleigh, North Carolina has a very typical Chamber page. It has a few featured members, some news and a way to search their membership for companies. What I want to focus on is what a company can get from a Chamber of Commerce membership that impacts their rankings in the search engine results.

As with almost any website, the Raleigh Chamber’s homepage offers the biggest bang for your link building buck.

There are only 21 outbound links on their homepage. According to Open Site Explorer, the homepage has high page authority (73/100) and domain authority (67/100). Those are exactly the type of pages you want to get back links from. The fact that they are not properly canonicalized makes the link even better than it first appears. The page metrics are almost as strong for the domain without the www.

A link from the homepage of Raleigh’s Chamber of Commerce website is going to pass 4.6 MozRank to your website. That’s extraordinary. There are very few opportunities to get such a powerful link that is viewed by Google as natural. Those companies who have their businesses highlighted in the right rail have made a smart investment.

But what if you don’t have the budget to put an ad on your Chamber of Commerce homepage? There may be additional opportunities that are slightly deeper in the site, but still a step up from your basic listing.

Member directory
Many visitors will make their way to the member directory to see if a business is listed or to search for a business in a specific niche. As you can see from the screenshot on the right, there is not a single member taking advantage of the second best opportunity on the site.

The member directory has only 3 outbound external links. The MozRank passed from this page is 3.39 That doesn’t mean that a link from that page is 75% as good as the homepage (because it’s a logarithmic scale) but it’s still an excellent backlink.. I would imagine that the opportunity to get your company listed on this page would cost significantly less than the homepage, and the link love is immediate for your website.

The drop off
If all you’re doing is filling in the details of your business on Chamber’s website, you’re missing out. By the time you drill down to that level, those pages are not sending any MozRank for the link you have included.

Good enough isn’t good enough
Like most everything else in life, the standard version isn’t giving you the best bang for your buck. You need to step up your game if you want to outrank your competitors.

Joining your local Chamber of Commerce is a smart move. Joining and then taking advantage of the additional exposure, traffic, branding and backlink juice from the front page is even smarter.

Here’s what I found across the US Chamber of Commerce websites:

Every Chamber of Commerce site is different, so make sure you do your homework first.If I was an advisor to a Chamber of Commerce I would suggest:

  • Let your members know about the linking opportunities available from your website
  • Make sure you have areas available for “featured members” to upgrade to.
  • Try to construct your site so that even the basic membership offers a valuable backlink

If I were advising a local company I would suggest:

  • Get your company on the homepage
  • Get your company on the directory page
  • Think of the Chamber as an advertising opportunity. Don’t just send in boilerplate and wait for magic to happen.

Chamber Launches New Tiered Membership Investment Structure

It’s all about choice…and improved membership benefits.

After careful consideration by The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, staff and the Membership Committee, The Chamber is  changing the way members will invest. Like many chambers during the past decade, we are moving to a tiered dues system which provides benefits based on the investment level a member selects.

In the past, businesses joined and paid membership dues solely based on the number of employees in their organizations. This criteria is still applied but in the new structure, members choose the benefits that they want and need,  then invest accordingly.   The Chamber’s new “tiered” system provides increased benefits with comparable  dues – plus many new benefits, even at the Classic entry level .


You’re probably wondering why The Chamber would make such a change in the way we do business. Continue reading

Utilizing The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Website

Next week I will enter my fifth month of working for The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. In my short time we have made great strides improving the look, content and capability of our website. However, all that progress means nothing if our visitors and users don’t know what we have to offer. Whether you’re a Chamber member, resident of Bloomington, or visitor from out of town, The Chamber website can help you with many of your needs.

  • Business Directory- The Chamber sends out a print business directory once a year, but for a real-time directory, our website is the place to go. When you visit our site you can click one of the various links on the front page to take you to the directory, or search it directly with the Google Site Search located in the upper right hand corner. If you decide to go to the directory page you can search by organization name, category, or choose from a list of all of the categories.
  • Coupons- The Chamber website features an excellent coupon section. There is both a public and members only section featuring coupons that can be used for discount on great products such as a visit to Beams Health and Wellness Spa or Zumba classes at BloomZum Dance Studio. You can download the coupons by following this link, or visiting the Chamber Website and clicking coupons on the right side. For Chamber Members, you can also post coupons to your business. All you have to do is go into the members only section and click add coupon, or call or e-mail us here at the chamber with the information and we can post it for you.
  • Job/Internship Board- Another seldom used, but excellent resource is our job/internship board. Under the employment tab on The Chamber website, businesses can post open positions which anyone can see.  Just like the coupon section, businesses can either post the jobs themselves through the members only section, or they can contact us at The Chamber to do it for them. Many individuals looking for jobs view The Chamber’s site, and unlike other job posting services, ours is free.
  • Members Only Section- The final section I will detail is the Members Only section. As I explained earlier, this is a member’s portal to post coupons or jobs/internships. There are a lot of other capabilities through this section as well. You can sign up for events, update your profile information, and look at your referral report. A referral report is one of the most valuable tools for a Chamber member. It detail how many people have seen your companies listing in the directory, how many times it’s been clicked, and how many people have mapped the location. This is a great tool to use to make sure your maximizing your membership investment.

For more information, or help using any of The Chamber’s online features please e-mail me at We’d also love for people to start using the comment section below, so if you have any ideas to improve our site and its functionality please post.

10 Things You May Not Know About The Chamber

As I approach my ten year anniversary with The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, I find myself reflecting on the last decade of my professional life and the many experiences I’ve had working for a Chamber of Commerce. Heather Robinson One of the most important lessons I’ve learned, is that once you’ve seen one chamber you’ve seen just one chamber.  Chambers are some of the oldest organizations in the world and are connected by the name “Chamber of Commerce”, and are typically an association of business people.  That’s about where the similarities end.  Chambers are a uniquely diverse group of independent, membership organizations that serve their communities in a variety of ways.   I have also learned that such diversity can lead to confusion about what chambers do.   I have often heard the phrase “I’m not sure if you can help me, but I thought to call the chamber first.” Continue reading

Marketing, Advertising, and Measuring Your ROI

Just yesterday, I was emailing a brand new Chamber member of only a few of weeks. I decided to attached their referral report – a handy-dandy report that details how many times their business information was viewed on The Chamber’s on-line directory, how many times their website link was clicked, and how many times people mapped their business location.

As a marketing person, I was really excited by what I saw in their referral report!

This brand new Chamber member’s listing had already been viewed 212 times!  Of those views, 14 people actually clicked the link taking them to the business’s website and 12 people mapped how to get to the location!

Real-numbers, measured in real time.  A marketing person’s dream-come-true, and something that every business should look at.  Thanks to the referral report, this Chamber member can easily quantify the results of their Chamber membership investment in terms of marketing because, “numbers don’t lie.” Continue reading

The Bottom Line Favors Chamber Membership

When asked by potential, and current, members of The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce what value membership brings to their business, we have an arsenal of information that can demonstrate the proven value it brings.  Whether it is The Chamber’s ability to represent your business interests through promotion, be an advocate at the local and state level for a pro-business environment or relaying to consumers that your business has credibility, we bring it. Continue reading