Promoting bridge in your area with a dedicated web site

What does someone do if they want to learn bridge, or find out more about it, but do not have existing contacts in the bridge world?

Such people will likely turn to a web search and may end up contacting a local club, or finding the EBU’s site or one of any number of bridge sites out there on the web.

It can often be surprisingly difficult to get basic information on where you can learn bridge in your area, which is why we recommend having the county association, or a group of clubs, set up a web site dedicated to that purpose. General bridge sites and club sites tend to be dominated (understandably) by results, news of events, and information that looks quite specialist and perhaps off-putting to a casual visitor.

Here are a few examples. Learn Bridge Yorkshire was used in the Yorkshire membership development pilot and remains a very active site.

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You can see immediately the basic ingredients. It comes straight to the point: how can you find bridge lessons in Yorkshire. It has contact details, background on why learning bridge is a great idea, and schedules of where and when bridge lessons are available. It is also bright and friendly.

Another example is South Notts Bridge. This site was put together by four clubs in South Nottinghamshire who decided to do something about declining membership. There is news of an open day coming up soon, background on the game and its (inexpensive) cost, and clear direction on who to contact for more information.

Another up and coming site is from Norfolk. Play bridge in Norfolk sets out the options for playing bridge in the area, has background on the game, and explains what to do next in order to get involved.

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Tips? Here are a few:

1. Try to include some pictures. We can provide images to EBU affiliated clubs or county associations for which permission is clear, or better still, use your own (or a combination), to give a local feel.

2. If possible, support SSL connection which encrypts the traffic. Google will downgrade sites that do not work over https.

3. Make sure your site works well on tablets and mobile phones as well as PCs. The easiest way is to use a template that provides such support automatically.

4. Keep it simple. A clear message and immediate call to action is much more effective than long explanations.