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4 Website Mistakes Your Association Could Make (And How to Fix Them)

A website is a great way to keep in touch with existing members. But if your website is outdated or overwhelming, you could be losing out on new members.

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Running a website is a great way to keep in touch with members and interested individuals all over the world. But if you aren’t presenting a website the right way, you could lose out on a ton of valuable engagement. First impressions are vital - especially online. In fact, 75% of consumers claim to judge a business and/or organization’s credibility based on the appearance and functionality of their website. And while that’s scary enough, studies show you really only have about 15 seconds to give an impression to website visitors before their attention span leads them elsewhere.

If you aren’t sure what your audience’s first impression is when looking at your website, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise. There are of course best practices and great ways to make your website stand out among the rest and be a hub for industry information. But unfortunately, the counter side of that is there are also major mistakes - and you could be making them.

Getting a grip on how you run your association’s website can be tough on your own. That’s why we’re showing you four easy mistakes to make when designing and running a website of your own. Learn from these mistakes and you should have no problem creating a welcoming online environment for your association’s audience!

Mistake #1: You have outdated information

Your association is constantly making changes and updating the way it works for members. Therefore, you should have a website that reflects all of your recent changes. Keeping outdated information on your website can confuse audiences who are visiting to learn more about who you are and what you do. You may miscommunicate important things about your organization, from your mission statement to your staff directory and everything in between.

Keeping outdated information on your website is painting a picture about your organization that may not even be true anymore. With that being said, making it a regular routine to update your website monthly (or quarterly if your updates are few and far between) can help minimize any confusion website visitors may have. If you add new staff to your association, be sure to add them into your staff directory as soon as possible.

If you have a change in your mission statement, brand, logo, or other key aspects of your association, they should always be changed and addressed on your website. Keep web visitors up to date and say goodbye to confusing, mismatched website information.

Mistake #2: You don’t have a 404 page

Sometimes, website visitors try to go somewhere that just isn’t available on your website. In order to keep them from getting too confused, generally website owners will set up a 404 error page to direct users back to a web page that exists. But if your association doesn’t have this in place, people may lead themselves into an online ‘dead end’. Creating a 404 page that fits with your association’s brand and functions as a directory to another existing page on your website can lead visitors to places that make more sense. This way, you’ll have a way to redirect visitors back to more relevant pages on your site- possibly even to your membership page to convert more visitors into members!

The design of a 404 page is important. You want your 404 page to be a seamless transition from your website, fully branded the same way. It should feel just like an extension, even if it is a nonexistent page error. A friendly 404 page will guide visitors towards the right places and lead them to a better web experience.

Mistake #3: You aren’t showcasing content

Want visitors to stay a while on your website and get acclimated with your association’s offers? Try giving them content to enjoy while they’re visiting. Not hosting content on your website is a major misstep if you want to retain visitors and engage those interested in your organization. Creating content is smart for marketing, engagement, retention, and practically any other part of running an organization that you can think of.

What kind of content should you host? Any kind you feel like making. With so many varieties of content available to your association- blog posts, infographics, video tutorials- you have a plethora of options to choose from when you decide to bring it on board for website visitors.

Mistake #4: You don’t have a career center

While we’re aware this is a shameless plug, it is a mistake if your association is looking to rake in more non-dues revenue and give members an extra benefit to amp up their professional experience. Consider adding a career center to your association’s website to give members and employers a place to meet and create a budding professional relationship!

With our help, you won’t make these 4 crucial mistakes on your association’s website, hopefully scoring you a better traffic rate in the future.