The Digital Doorway

 

I just got off of a webinar hosted by The Nonprofit Times and Rachel Clemens of Mighty Citizen that was chock full of great reminders and new ideas about what a nonprofit website should include.  I would venture to add that some of these tips that Rachel shared would also translate nicely for small businesses.

Here is a summary of my takeaways from the session. Things and ideas that really hit home for me when it comes to simple ways to maximize your website, your digital doorway to your organization.

There’s no getting around it: more and more people are using the website to donate, especially using their mobile phones.  Some clear questions about how easy is it for that visitor to give you money and in some cases, how easy is donating to your organization if they are using their phone.  The more work they do, the less likely they are going to do it.

The messaging of you are conveying on your site must hit three points:

  • Why are you doing what you are doing?
  • How is it making a difference?
  • What can I do to help?

One point that Rachel shared stopped me in my tracks: your website is NOT a tool to use to bring awareness to your organization.  There are other things that do that by bringing people to your site. Once there, the job of the site is to get them engaged based on what you prioritized as the key message point.  What the real question is, why do you need to grow awareness?  This ties right into your ‘why’!

I was also fascinated to hear her recommend that those (pesky – my word) sliders or rotating images on websites are actually a real no-no because they are too distracting to visitors.  I know from my own experience, I’ve been sucked in to try and recapture one of the passing images and clicking my way to find it, temporarily why I even came to the site in the first place. She shared a URL to check out to make the point. Click here to check it out.

There were several other great ideas that were shared in today’s session.  Here is a link to their summary of the best websites they have spotted this year. You can also easily navigate to other pages on their site to learn more about their services. Start with this general information today to get your digital doorway ready for your next visitor. If I can be of service, please drop me a line!

 

 

 

 

The Basics of Your Website

Without a doubt, no matter what the size of your organization is, you must have a website.  I recently read that 55% of people will search online for reviews and recommendations before making a purchase with 47% visiting the company website. If you do not have a web presence, you are missing out on a lot of connections.  Your website is your digital front door and in order to do business, you must have one.

The following are the key ways to create the best digital presence:

  • Have a least a basic website
  • Make sure it is visually appealing
  • Must be usable on mobile devices
  • Make transactions as simple as possible
  • Your content must be interesting and updated on a regular basis
  • Engage with the community on social media

Hiring someone to build a website for you doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get your digital presence established.  There are several website builders that offer an assortment of visually appealing designs.  It is also important to invest in a domain name that represents your work in the world. Some basic things to include in the design is placement of your logo, the colors and fonts you use, and quality photography.  All of these things lead to an exciting first impression for visitors.

Social media channels are also a must when building awareness about your services and mission.  There are several channels out there and some work better for certain types of services.  For example, if you are a property manager or real estate broker, Instagram is a must, where as if you are a consultant, LinkedIn is your best bet.

As you start creating your digital presence, have a clear idea of what kind of messaging your are trying to convey in your images and your text.  There are many options for people to check out but the first step is making sure you are in the (digital) neighborhood!

Resources
https://trust.guidestar.org/nonprofit-web-design-6-user-experience-best-practices
https://wpforms.com/the-ultimate-list-of-online-business-statistics/

 

Creating A Website That Keeps Them Coming Back For More

Sometimes it is a challenge to keep up-to-date on the latest best practices when it comes to your website.  I am always looking at ways to improve my client’s sites to be more engaging and to boost their SEO.

Photo by Crew on Unsplash

If we all had a million dollars, we could hire someone to work on that stuff 40 hours a week (and if you do have a million bucks and are looking to hire someone to help with your digital presence, please drop me a line!) but the reality is, most small businesses or nonprofits don’t have that kind of capacity.

That leads me to the purpose of this post: what are some of the easiest things you can do to at least be in the game of relevance?  Well, I look to the internet myself to find new ideas and I want to share them with you here.

I came across this site – Double the Donations – that offered some solid common sense on the topic and here is a bit of a summary for you, but to read all the details, here is the link.

#1 – Get a CMS
Bite the bullet and invest in a content management system so you know how to connect with the visitors to your digital front door in a thoughtful way. It will help you manage your data so you can do more of what you really want to do.

#2 – Be Mobile Friendly
I don’t know about you, but if I am looking up someone’s website on my cellphone and I can’t read it because it sin’t formatted for such a device, I just close it out and move on.

#3 – Make It Easy
Another thing I look for is how easy it is to click around a website and if the tabs or menu is a challenge to find, I feel frustrated and might you go looking elsewhere for my information.

These are the top three points made in the online article.  There are 11 more tips to consider as well.  Read the entire article here.

There is no getting around it: every business and nonprofit MUST have a website and it MUST be user-friendly.

“A successful website does three things:
It attracts the right kinds of visitors.
Guides them to the main services or product you offer.
Collect Contact details for future ongoing relation.”
― Mohamed Saad

Your Organization’s Front Door

I work with several clients who own small businesses.  It is a one person shop so they don’t have the resources to hire a full-time content creator to manage their website and social media, let alone produce a podcast about their services.  In my role, I review their websites for link issues and write blog posts to up their SEO presence.  There are many ways (and many hours to do them) to up your SEO game, but small businesses don’t have the bandwidth to dedicate resources to that effort.  However, your website serves as your digital front door for anyone in the world to access your organization’s offerings. But if they don’t find, how can they knock and stop by for a visit?

My philosophy is, if you just do a few things, it goes a long way.  You have to keep updating your site so it relevant in the ever-changing digital landscape.  And, from what I hear, Google adores fresh content. Content also represents your brand, your message to potential clients.  Don’t get me started on algorithms! Using keywords and tags will also deepen your presence on the internet.

If you are looking for support for a website audit, blogging, or social media support, drop me an email.  I’d like to talk with you about some strategies that may help your business!

RESOURCES

https://harnessmedia.net/news/top-7-reasons-update-website/

https://seositecheckup.com/articles/5-reasons-why-fresh-content-is-critical-for-your-website-and-seo

Content Creation

Every organization needs a web presence. Whether your are a small business or a non-profit, having a visually appealing website is a must have.

There are easy approaches to create a basic presence, as well as, an assortment of bigger sites.  I work with various platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix sites to help your message stand out.

Since your visitors will stay on your site for less than a minute, your messaging must catch their eye immediately upon arriving. And, donors and clients expect to find you on the internet with 55% of people looking for sites to find out more about businesses and organizations.

Once you have your site up and running, it is imperative to keep the content new and fresh.   In either case, I can update your current content and keep it compelling so visitors are excited about connecting with you!