website strategy

I was shaken by new stats on a crucial shift in online user behavior–only 5 to 15% of your website users are coming in through your home page. Tip of the hat to Gerry McGovern’s take on the decline of the home page for clarifying what works now for nonprofit marketing online .

As a result, your site users:

  • Won’t be “introduced” to your organization (as happens when they enter via the front door, or home page).
  • Aren’t likely to know the breadth and depth of content and tools on your sites.
  • Won’t be asked to give or subscribe to your e-news (usually buttons featured on home page).

What to do about the decline of your nonprofit’s home page:

  1. Feature Donate and Subscribe (to e-news) on every page throughout the site, above the fold (e.g. visible without a user scrolling down).
  2. Label navigation elements (buttons, menu bar) to be broadly accessible and include on every page.
  3. Write/revise content to provide context, so users understand and can act, no matter what page they’ve come from (which may be Amazon, a competitor’s site, or another page on your org’s site).
  4. Include a site search engine window on every page. It’s the easiest way to reduce user frustration level.

This is just one of several critical shifts in site usage patterns I’ve been meaning to share with you. I’m in the process of reconfiguring my consulting site, Nancy Schwartz & Company, and have reviewed current trends in site usage to make it as effective as possible. I’ll be sharing other tips on site design out with you in posts to come.

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today .

Nancy Schwartz in High-Impact Websites | 2 comments
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NetSquared's Website Redesign Process -- Strong Model for Your OrgI’m continually on the prowl for strong nonprofit communications models to share with you since there’s no better way to learn how to strengthen your own initiatives. And I have a great one for you today., the “online landing pad for social changemakers leveraging technology for social change”   has been working hard on the redesign of its website. The site is the core of the NetSquared community so its effectiveness is vital to the success of the organization. The redesign goal is to provide users with easier ways to connect to useful tools and each other.

NetSquared has excelled in engaging site users in shaping its redesign, a powerful strategy to ensure your site works for your base and reinforces their loyalty. People like to be involved.

Here’s how the NetSquared redesign process works. The team:

  1. Solicited input on site improvements via an online voting form. Received input from 100+ users.
  2. Crafted a wish-list of redesign wants and needs from that input, and shared next steps with the community.
  3. Creates redesign mockups, one site section at at time — and inviting the community back into the conversation.
  4. Solicited input on home page ideas
  5. Solicited input on the challenge gallery.
  6. Will solicit input on additional site sections in the weeks to come.

To follow the rest of the story, and see the outcome, read the Redesign thread on the NetSquared blog.

This is audience research at its finest — succeeding in harvesting vital info from site users and further engaging them with NetSquared at the same time. Win-win, NetSquared!

Nancy Schwartz in Audience Research, Case Studies, High-Impact Websites, Nonprofit Communications | 2 comments
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