First impressions matter, especially in the digital world. More and more nonprofits are realizing the importance of maximizing their digital potential. How? By having a fresh and interactive website with engaging content. This will help leverage the organization’s image, drive traffic and potential support for programs and services, as well as getting more volunteers to spread the word about the organization’s mission and vision.
Maintaining your website fresh, interactive and engaging shouldn’t be a hassle. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important things to take into consideration to make your website look fresh in terms of design and interactive in regards to your content.
Let’s take a look at the structure
As we mentioned in a previous blog post, think of your website as a car. When you go to the car dealership, how do you select it? Do you choose the old and worn-out car that will require a lot of repairs? Do you get the most expensive and luxurious model? Or do you look for a car that meets all of your expectations in regards to comfort, budget-friendly, and adaptable to what you truly need it for?
This same train of thought should also be present when it comes to your website, where you need something fresh and professional-looking yet that will be within your budget and organization’s needs. Yes, it may seem like there’s a lot to juggle, however, it is part of a balancing act necessary to adapt to this new digital environment.
When it comes to how your organization image, it is essential to make sure that you’re offering a good first impression to potential donors and volunteers both online and in person. In regards to your online presence, some of the most important elements that should be considered are:
- Update your web design
- Make your site mobile friendly
- Website functionality matters
Update your web design
Like fashion trends, website design trends also change from time to time. Your website’s appearance says a lot about your organization and it can quickly become outdated as trends change every two or three years. Changing your website design not only will help attract new visitors but also keep old visitors engaged.
A great way to get started and update your website’s appearance is to update the theme and layout. Some content management systems like WordPress offer standard theme templates for free or you can also have a custom theme designed and developed tailored to meet the website’s best practices in regards to user experience while at the same time helping accomplish the organization’s goals and objectives.
Make your site mobile friendly
As technology advances, the use of mobile devices has become more common in today’s society. According to Google, people spend around 70% of their time on mobile. Google also mentioned how a recent report highlights that mobile conversion rates are 47 percent of the levels achieved on desktop. This not only shows that conversion (donations, volunteer sign-ups, etc) rates are important, but that having a mobile-friendly website is necessary.
Website functionality matters
You have already upgraded your website design--either by yourself or with a web design agency--and made sure it is mobile-friendly. So that’s it, isn’t it? Not so fast! Now that you already have the structure, it is time to stay on top of good website practices so that your site can be searchable by Google and other search engines, and your site’s speed and security performance meets Google’s standards in regards to user-friendliness.
Keeping your website well-maintained and updated is crucial. Like a new car, websites also require maintenance to continue properly working and remain a valuable asset for the community.
Let’s talk about content
When it comes to website design and maintenance, content is often an afterthought and even overlooked yet very important. Stale and boring content can cause visitors to leave your website and look for other relevant sources of information.
Having fresh and engaging content can not only get you new visitors but also make your site more relevant for search engine bots, which will crawl your content more often as long as it is new and easy to read. When it comes to content, it is important to take advantage of the following:
- Create, update and repurpose your content
- Keyword Data and Search Engines
Create, update and repurpose your content
The number one reason why visitors go to your website is because of the content, whether it is the blog, news section, or client testimonials. How fresh your website directly correlates with how often new pages are created and content is updated.
As you create new and unique content for your website, your content archive will also increase. A great way to make sure your content remains relevant is to repurpose it or update it. You can bring back old content to the user’s radar by:
- Creating a relevant content feature that will display related posts at the bottom of your page.
- Updating old posts (6 months or more) that have performed well with new content, such as images, infographics, and more. This will not only increase your organic search traffic but also keep users engaged with new information.
Keyword Data and Search Engines
When it comes to website freshness and relevance, keywords play a vital role. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing help users find the information they are looking for through ranking systems. Among the most important factors, they take into account is the quality of the content and that the keywords in your content are relevant to the user’s query.
There are different resources that can help you determine the most relevant keywords users are looking for when looking for content similar to yours. Google Search Console offers data regarding the most popular keywords visitors are using when they find your website. This will help increase your position in search traffic. Another great resource (especially for nonprofits) is the Google Adwords Grant, which offers eligible organizations $10,000 in in-kind services and helps organizations appear at the top of the search for paid results whenever a relevant keyword is used.
For organizations across industries, but especially for nonprofits, having an online presence is very important nowadays. Maintaining your website updated and your content relevant will help bring awareness about your programs and services, recruit volunteers and attract potential donors.
We hope that this article helps when considering how to improve your website’s structure and content. If you would like to recommend other providers for us to consider and evaluate, or if you would like to learn more about our services, please feel free to reach out.