The growth of your nonprofit is essential and an incredibly helpful tool for growth is a well-designed, polished website. When you navigate through your current website, what do you feel? What do you think your members or donors feel? If your website no longer represents your organization or no longer makes you excited about your organization, it may be time for a redesign.
A website refresh every three to five years is fairly commonplace, but how do you really know when the time is right?
Yes, an easy way to know if your website needs a few updates is to look at it on face-level, but, there are other factors to consider that run more than skin deep. Here are a few of the most important aspects of your nonprofit’s website to review when considering a redesign.
Remember that your website design should always reflect your goals and current market positioning. Over time as your nonprofit evolves, so do your audience and main objectives. These objectives should be the main consideration when designing or redesigning a website.
Who are you currently trying to attract to your organization? What kind of website can you maintain with your current staff and volunteers? Is your current website generating the interest that you’re currently seeking? Questions like these may lead you down the redesign path.
Small changes may only require content updates while rebranding or other larger shifts in goals might benefit from a more complete redesign. Take a good look at your current goals and make sure your website is helping move them forward!
Your website should be a key component of your marketing and sales engine. If you’re not seeing traffic or engagement from your current site it could be time to think about a redesign.
Does your site have enough opportunities for visitors to convert? Do the design and content represent your organization well and portray your brand and service offerings attractively? Do visitors engage with your site? More so than that, is your audience aware of your digital presence?
While the goal is to have a high performing site that brings you engagement and awareness from your target audience, judge your site’s performance based on sound benchmarks. If your nonprofit is relatively unknown to your target market, make awareness a benchmark goal and keep that goal in mind when conducting a redesign.
Websites are like houses. Even if you’ve got a beautiful paint job you won’t want to live there if the roof leaks and there’s water in the basement. A website built on a shaky foundation may look passable but will cause headaches and extra expenses.
Is it difficult to add new content and features? Has your website remained stagnant because of the cost of adding changes? What is your mobile experience like? Is the site slow and prone to showing errors or crashing? In the modern age, your visitors will not accept issues like this, especially when so many great nonprofits have exceptional websites.
There are so many great website CMS (content management system) platforms to choose from you should have no problem finding a solid website foundation that meets your needs. Open source choices like WordPress and Drupal are great for tech-savvy teams or your marketing agency to build the site on.
Also, marketing automation platforms like Hubspot offer the ability to create your website, blog, landing pages, and email marketing content in one place. Systems like Hubspot also offer features like chat, popups and document management in one unified CMS.
Sometimes a market will pivot dramatically, and you need to reevaluate your website just to stay relevant. If new website features are sweeping your industry it’s time to reevaluate your site.
It may be that high-resolution product photos are now the norm, or competitors are adding chat and other interactive features. Whatever the evolutionary changes are, make sure your site is still up to snuff. Periodically take a close look at what competitors are doing with their websites.
Keep a close eye on search rankings as well to see how new changes impact the organic search landscape. If you do a good job of staying on top of your own analytics, and really listen to what your visitors are looking for, you may even be ahead of curve and have competitors playing catch up with your website.
Creating a compelling and effective website is a sure fire way to take your nonprofit to the next level. Digital marketing is essential to success in this age of the internet, so use these tools to their highest potential by polishing your website and showcasing the best of your brand online.