7 steps to making your website successful

As part of your 2020 Vision we believe associations should be focusing on getting their technology up with the play. An easy place to start is taking a good hard look at your website.

Does it do the job it’s meant to do?

You’ve done the hard work and attracted a new member to your website to find out more about your association - don’t let them slip away now. Your website is a 24 hour sales person and as such is one of your most important assets.

We’ve put together our top tips to making your website more attractive to potential members and the ultimate goal of converting more members.

1. USABILITY

Your website is likely the first contact for potential members, and will quickly inform their initial impression of your organisation. Make sure your website is user friendly by adopting a user centred approach, focusing on what your user needs to achieve their goals.

Navigation is one of the main reasons users abandon websites. Where you place navigation, how you name them, and how you differentiation between tiers of navigation should all be taken into consideration.

2. CONTENT

Take a critical look at your website. View it as someone who’s new to your organisation. Ask yourself:

  • Does it succinctly convey your value?
  • Does it address and answer common questions potential members might have?
  • Does it communicate what you do and why it’s important?
  • Are your contact details, membership costs and benefits easily found? For example, are your membership tiers clear? Are the differences easily understood?

It’s also important to make sure the language, tone of voice, and visual style is consistent and cohesive across all of your channels.

3. IMAGERY

The language and imagery you use are critical for creating an impression of what type of organisation you are. For example, cartoon characters might suggest light and relaxed, whereas professional images will imply a more professional environment. Stock imagery, while high quality can lack the personal connection. Images must good quality and properly optimised for web so they don’t affect speed and load time.

4. CALL TO ACTION

To make it easy for prospects to get in touch, sign up or join, it’s important to include call to actions (CTAs). These are links to your contact page, sign-up form, events or appointment page, and should be peppered throughout your site and presented in different ways.

Join Now”, “Get In Touch”, “Find Your Nearest...

CTA’s prompt engagement and make it easy to join your organisation and get in touch.

When creating buttons it’s important to think about the colour, it should contrast with the other elements on the page. And the actual words you use, they should promote an action and tell members exactly what they can expect if they take action.

Check out this article for a details look at CTA’s

5. BE ACTIVE

This is critical for both recruitment and retention of members as well as your search engine rankings. It’s essential that your organisation appears vibrant and engaged. A website that’s been allowed to stagnate sends the wrong message to anyone who’s thinking about joining your organisation.

So, it’s important to keep your content dynamic. Regular, up-to-date blog and news articles focusing around your membership community – in particular post-event wrap ups - provide a lot of insight into your organisation and help people understand who you are and what you do as well as giving them a reason to return. If you’ve got high-performing members, spotlighting them and their achievements is a great way to add credibility.

This content will also help your search engine rankings as google wants to see that you have a dynamic and active website.

6. MOBILE FRIENDLY

Responsive devices

It is imperative your website is responsive and mobile friendly now more and more people are reaching via smart phones and tablets. And even more so now that Google has launched it’s mobile first indexing, which means they index your website based on your mobile version rather than your desktop version as it used to.

A responsive website is designed to rescale to fit in the browser being used. When designing your mobile site keep it simple. Consider removing large images and and leave only vital information.

7. TRACK & MEASURE

It’s not enough to set up your website and leave it. To really make the most of your digital presence, you need to keep a close eye on your website traffic so that you can track the number of visitors, the most popular pages and what referrals you’re getting from other sites through links.

Measure the key metrics for your site to discover what needs to be changed to improve results. These metrics should include unique visitors, the amount of time visitors spend on the site, which pages cause them to click away, the most clicked-on pages etc. Get help from Google Analytics or similar services.

Once you get an idea of the typical visitor flows to your site, you have benchmarks to assess the changes you might make to your site and to set goals for improved results.

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