Even with the advent of social media, websites are still one of the first places people go to in order to get information. That’s why your nonprofit organization needs one that’s welcoming and audience-centered.
What is one of the first things you do before you have people over to your home? You get rid of clutter. Make sure your website’s home page is clutter-free and easy to read (actually,all your pages need to be this way.) Pictures and graphics are great, but go easy with these. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include pictures on your home page. Put up a few engaging photos of people that can tell the story of what your organization does. Include your logo and tagline or mission statement, too. You can add more information on your About Us page.
Different people will be visiting your website for different reasons. Some folks will know you well, and others might be visiting for the first time. Either way, your home page needs to be audience-centered with up-to-date information on events and whatever else you want to highlight. In this day of instant information, you can’t have content that’s outdated.
You don’t want to include too much information on your home page, because you have other pages people can visit. What you do include needs to pique your visitor’s interest, so they will want to click on your links to find out more. Think of your home page as an entryway.
Engage your visitor by offering them the opportunity to sign up for your newsletter and follow you on social media. Conversely, when you are communicating via social media, invite people back your website by including links in your tweets and status updates.
Your home page should include a Donate Now button that leads to a user-friendly donation page (I’ll write more about this in a future post). If you are recruiting volunteers, post a captivating message, such as Make a difference today and volunteer at our food bank.
Make sure you have a navigation bar that’s easy to use and good titles, so your audience will want to visit your other web pages. You can also include a search button. And, all your links must work!