As a nonprofit association, your website is often the first point of contact for potential members, and leveraged as a value proposition for existing members. Yet, many associations don’t have a process in place for maintaining this valuable marketing and engagement tool.
A lack of fresh and updated content on your website can leave visitors wondering “Is anybody home?” When your members are relying on your website to provide timely news and updates, keeping your site in good shape is critical. Adding updated, relevant content is also critical to your site’s SEO, so prospective members can easily find you.
Review your site on a consistent basis, and follow the guidelines below to make a strong first impression with prospects and stay relevant to current members.
- Keep it fresh
Make sure all the latest news and upcoming program or event details are posted. If your website is still displaying the same images and announcements it was 2 months ago, it is time for a change. Give visitors a reason to keep coming back. Change is good.
- Focus on the user experience
Take the time to evaluate the user experience of your website. How easy is it to find information on becoming a member? What about how to register for your upcoming conference? Do you provide all the necessary information, or just the bare minimum? Be thoughtful in both the organization of your menu items and page content so that visitors can easily access the information they need most.
- Be vigilant in checking for errors
Check your website for errors and check often! Errors are not limited to spelling and grammar mistakes – make sure all links are working and are pointing where they should be. If your website uses registration forms, test them to be sure they are functioning correctly. It can be easy to miss mistakes on a site that you see on a regular basis, so employ the buddy system and periodically ask someone else to review the site with a fresh set of eyes.
- Archive old content
If you have information that is too useful to remove from your website entirely, but not recent enough to stay top of mind with your audience, set up an archive area where links to this content can live. You might even consider making access to archived content a member benefit.
- Make note of areas for improvement
If you become overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done to get your website in tip-top shape, make note of the changes you want to make in the near future that don’t require immediate attention. Then, make sure to delegate the work to others or set a deadline for yourself to go back and make those changes.
Five bonus tips for optimizing your association’s website content:
- Post all documents as PDFs and ensure all documents and links to outside URLs open in a new tab.
- Use font styles and colors consistently and make sure they complement your organization’s branding.
- For content related to revenue-generating programs, include a strong call to action and make good use of eye-catching buttons.
- Add hyperlinks in line with your text and avoid using the words “click here.” For example, link your event registration form to “register now” instead of “click here to register.”
- Resize large image files so they load quickly. Using a photo editor, resize or crop photos, logos and images to the width and height in pixels that you want them to appear. (Not a design whiz? Try a free online editor, such as Pic Monkey.)