Here are just a few tips on making your website more effective:
1. Make your site social media friendly.
Include social sharing links on every page of your nonprofit website. Encourage video and photo sharing, link to your social media profiles, and make it easy for bloggers and social networkers to embed your videos and feature your images on their sites and profiles. This will attract new traffic sources, retain visitors, and build community around your cause.
2. Put your most compelling content front and center.
If you have video or photos showing the work you do, use them! Strong imagery can help you build connections in a way that is not possible with words alone.
3. Look at your website from the visitor's perspective.
If you were a first-time visitor to your website, would you understand the mission of your organization? Are the actions you want a visitor to take clear? Is the navigation easy to understand? Surveys are a great way to gauge your site's usability and keep it dynamic in a universe that is always changing. Sites like Survey Monkey allow you to set up a survey that is simple and inexpensive.
4. Email sign-up should be one of the most prominent items, and the easiest action for a visitor to take.
If you don't have an email newsletter, you should. You can build your list and strengthen relationships by maintaining regular and meaningful contact with people who have already shown an interest in what you do. It's also easier to collect emails if you provide interesting content in return.
5. Think about the home page description of your organization.
If you only had ten words to describe yourselves, what would those words be? Make sure the words you use on your site are accurate and descriptive. It also helps if those words mirror the keywords and phrases people are likely to use searching for you or your issues.
6. Prominently feature your 'Donate Now' button.
Visitors shouldn't have to think about ways to engage with you - you need to show them how you want them to engage. Putting a Donate button on your site doesn't guarantee anyone will use it. But if you make a compelling case for your work, you should make it easy for visitors to support you.
7. Don't hide your address and phone number.
Even in this high tech world, we still know that the best way to build a relationship is showing people that you're real. Phone numbers and addresses build trust and a sense of accessibility and is often the one piece of content people are looking for when they go to your site.
8. Three clicks and you're out.
Make sure everything you might want a visitor to do on your site is no more than three clicks away. Research indicates that you lose 40% of visitors with each click.
9. Build and test your search function.
A search function and site map is a quick and easy way to help users get to their destination as quickly as possible. Tools such as Google Analytics will tell you if users are finding what they need on your site.
10. Connect to your blog.
An organization's blog is an effective way to share your latest news and online engagement. Think of your blog as your website's little buddy. Only start a blog if you have something to say and are ready to make a commitment. If you aren't sure, try guest blogging for someone who already writes on similar topics. A blog also helps raise your ratings with search engines. (Read See3 blogs here.)
Learn more about see3's strategy services.