You may have a great, high-quality website already set up and running smoothly for your Charity or you may be wondering why you’re not getting the results that you want from it. You may even be setting up a completely new Charity so you still have the website on your checklist of things to do. Whatever your position, you can always improve on your website. To create a successful website and get the results that you want, here are some things that you should be doing (or not doing).
- Choose a good domain
This might not be possible if you’re an already well-established Charity, but if you’re new, your domain needs to be as short as possible and relevant to your cause so that you’re more memorable.
- Use a theme that is easy to navigate
Your supporters will be much more likely to donate online if your website is easy to explore, your call-to-actions are clear, and if your subscribing/donating methods are effortless. If you can make it as easy as possible for people to help you, this positive user experience will be more likely to end in a donation.
- Be clear about your cause and goals
Less is more, so keep your text short on your website and outline your mission statement, vision, and goals as clearly and succinctly as possible. The aim of your cause and goals is to capture the interest of anyone who comes across your website and to develop further interest so that they become your loyal supporters.
- Always keep your brand consistent
Your brand is the ‘face’ of your organisation. This is what people remember so it needs to be consistent across all of your channels. Take great consideration in choosing what fonts, colour scheme, and images best reflect who you are and what you do as there is great power in design.
- Fill your site with valuable and relevant content
People aren’t going to just stumble upon your site and donate to you, you need to build a relationship with them and when the trust is there, they will want to help and support you for the long term. The best way to do this is to write high-quality content that is useful. Research the keywords related to your cause that people search for on Google and try to write interesting content that they will want to read.
- Get caught up on fancy plugins
Some plugins or special features on your website theme may not be compatible with certain devices which can make your user-experience difficult. Only download useful plugins that will improve user-experience instead e.g. Yoast SEO.
- Fill your website with text or images
A text-heavy website will turn people off straight away and too many images will cause your website to load incredibly slowly. Always try to use as few words as possible to convey everything that’s necessary and choose a couple of images of the highest possible quality to communicate your mission. Both will add to your credibility and it will make the site look more professional.
- Use external content without permission
You may like the way a certain blog or competitor website page says something, but never copy and paste content. Always re-write in your own words or ask them if you can share their content instead and acknowledge them in the post that you publish. The same principle works the other way too, always add a copyright message at the end of your content so people have to ask for your permission too.
- Ignore analytic tools
Google Analytics is probably one of the most valuable tools for measuring where your traffic is going and what posts are working for you. Don’t ignore it! It’s easy to use and it gives you great insight into your target audience. After all, once you know what is working or not, only then can you improve on it!
- Just put up a website and leave it
The absolute worst thing you can do is to put together a slapdash website and then never do anything with it. If someone comes across your website and there are no recent updates or the website is difficult to navigate or it doesn’t look professional, that is a potential supporter lost.
Always make sure that your website is professional, of a high-quality, has regular content being published, and is always up-to-date as your Charity develops. A successful website can bring in so many organic donations without you even doing anything, so it is definitely worth the time and energy to get it set up right!