One of the questions my clients ask me most frequently is how they can increase the number of visitors to their web site. The answer is usually pretty simple: build a web site worth visiting. Sadly, the execution is a little more complicated.
Here are some tips to building a visit-worthy web site:
- Include content that's interesting to your target audience. You wouldn't invite guests over to your house and then talk for hours about your great-aunt's linen closet. If you do, then don't expect them to rush over again any time soon. So don't take your web visitors through agonizingly boring content and then expect them to return or bring their friends.
- Update your content frequently. Keeping fresh content on your site improves your rankings in search engines, but it also builds goodwill and trust with your visitors.
- Include content that builds up your visitors. As nonprofits, your mission is double: to serve your target population and to serve your supporters. Giving to you is uplifting to your donors (or it should be), and you need to foster that. Encourage your supporters and visitors with uplifting, positive content that helps them to grow.
- Build a good blog. Many clients ask me if they should have a blog or not. While the true answer is, "It depends," the most frequent answer is, "Yes." Every nonprofit that I can think of could benefit both itself and its supporters by building a good blog. Many fewer nonprofits have the staff, time, or know-how to do that. But it's worth working up to. If you already have a blog, SEO expert, Rand, has some excellent tips on how to increase web traffic.
- Make your visitors comfortable. I don't know about you, but few things deter me from spending time in a home more than a dirty, messy, ugly environment. It makes me uncomfortable, and it makes me feel unwelcome. You didn't care enough about my visit to wipe the cat hair off your kitchen counter. How does that make me feel welcome? The same holds true for your web site. Give it a fresh, clean, well-ordered design. Organize the content and pay special attention to navigation and presentation. Your visitors will reward you by spending more time on your site, returning more frequently, and bringing along some friends.
At Turnbull Marketing Group, we understand the challenges facing nonprofits online. Web design and development can be cost-prohibitive and the maintenance is a time luxury too many organizations feel they don't have. But the truth is that your web presence is an investment you can't afford not to make.
If you're web budget is nonexistent, see if a volunteer can't help you (but make sure they're competent first or you'll have a lot of bad feelings all around). Contact us to see what we can do to help you. We build easy-maintenance web sites starting at under $1,000. And nothing makes us happier than helping you help others.