Running an audit on your website is one of the most important tasks you can do for your association. Your website is the common ground in which all your members (and potential new members) look for information and resources. If your website content and layout is unattractive or difficult to navigate, then you run the risk of decreasing your engagement and losing members.
Auditing your website also tells you what pages are performing well, any technical issues you might be experiencing, and much more that can help you best serve your web page visitors. After all, first impressions are the most important!
Step 1: Information Updates
The first step after auditing your website should be to make any updates to old information. This includes event calendars, industry news, facts, and statistics, or any other outdated information about your association.
Since your web page is a resource for members and other visitors, you want to have the most up-to-date information available to ensure they have an exceptional experience gathering information. This also helps cut down on your staff’s time answering questions that could easily be answered on your website.
Step 2: Design Updates & Content Positioning
Next, you’ll want to upgrade your website’s design and content placement to make it more visually appealing.
A simple – and cost-friendly – fix that goes a long way is updating your typography. Choose fonts that create a statement to direct visitors to specific pieces of content or information you want them to notice.
However, you can’t just rely on your font to direct traffic. You’ll need to invest time and resources into creating visually appealing graphics that will drive visitors to specific destinations or content pieces.
Use information from your audit to determine what pages your visitors spend the most time on and showcase relevant content they would be interested in learning more about. Create thumbnail images, attractive CTS buttons, or banner images and position them in places your visitors can easily find them. If you have a blog, make sure you have a CTA leading your readers to other types of content you provide!
Step 3: Add a Member Testimonial Page
To increase your association’s authenticity, you’ll want to have a web page dedicated to member testimonials. User recommendations are a powerful tool that can convince non-members to join your association. Plus, it’s a great free marketing opportunity!
First, you’ll want to reach out to your most engaged, long-lasting members and ask if they’d be willing to participate. All you need is a quick quote or written statement about their member experience. If you want more specific information, you can ask their opinions about member benefits they’ve used, content pieces they enjoy the most, or anything else that would be helpful to prospective members.
After you’ve collected your testimonials, compile them into a page on your website that is visually appealing and easy to understand. To take it a step further, you could turn these testimonials into a video to fully capture the member experience.
Step 4: Mobile Optimization
We all know how aggravating it can be to visit a website that isn’t optimized for mobile use. It’s difficult to navigate and you have to spend too much time zooming in and out, just to be able to read quick pieces of information. Then ultimately, we leave the site without a second thought.
If your website doesn’t display properly or functionality is poor on a mobile device, you risk losing a potential new member. Everyone wants information to be easily accessible, so you don’t want to frustrate them when they access your mobile site.
Also, you’ll want your mobile site to have the same functionality as the traditional web page. It can be damaging to your visitors’ experience if they can’t access or use a certain tool on your mobile site that they can on the traditional web page. Remember, consistency is key for website success!
Most importantly, optimizing your site for mobile use can increase your web page traffic dramatically.
Step 5: Add Non-Dues Revenue Generating Resources
Now that your website is visually appealing, has updated information, and is easily accessible on a mobile device, it’s time to add in resources that will increase your non-dues revenue.
One option is to sell advertising space on your website. You can do so by selling directly or through an affiliate. You’ll want to make sure you have enough website traffic in order to keep these advertisers as strategic partners and continuously generate revenue from them. It’s also important to align your associations values with that of the advertisers so you don’t annoy visitors with spam-like ads on your site.
Another way to increase non-dues revenue through your website is to host a job board. A job board is a great career development resource to provide your members with, but is also an important pieces to the non-dues revenue puzzle. Although a job board is typically viewed as a member benefit, you have the option to provide it to non-members and increase platform usage, making it more attractive to employers looking to hire. Since your association is full of highly qualified professionals, you have the upper hand when it comes to attracting employers to post on your job board.
Your association website is one of the most influential resources you offer to your members and general public. It’s the first thing potential new members reference when looking for an association to join, so it’s imperative to make a good first impression. You won’t regret taking the time to revamp your website – we promise!