YMCAs, JCCs, community centers and other nonprofits may think that because they are serving their communities they get a “free pass” on their web presence. In this digital age, that’s simply not true.
I recently heard a story about a long-time board member whose time and money has been spent at his YMCA for more years than he cared to admit. This volunteer was recently baffled when his son and daughter-in-law told him his grandson wasn’t going to the organization’s camp because their website was bad.
What does your website look like right now? Are your pictures of professional quality? Is content fresh and relative? Is the navigation easy to follow? Are there self-serve tools on your website like online registration, online giving, online information updates? If not, you could be losing business every single day just because your website is ugly.
Even if the aesthetics of the site are on point, the content has to be strong as well. I was looking at a YMCA’s group exercise page just this morning and the January schedule was listed.
It’s mid-March! Group exercise classes are typically the #1 searched page on a YMCA’s website which means that the hundreds of people a day who look at this page see January. What does that tell them about how you’re running your business? You can have the best looking website in the world, but if the information is outdated you can expect your site traffic as well — as your in-house participation and donations — to decline.
Here are 4 quick tips to position your website to attract rather than detract business.
1. Simple navigation – It’s unlikely that all of your content will fit on one menu, so consider at least two menus: primary (locations, programs, donation options) and secondary (spring fitness challenge, summer camp registration, annual report download).
2. Sharp content – The rule “less is more” applies to your web content. Present to the site visitor the most important details and provide him a way to read more details if he wants.
3. Smart pictures, fonts, and graphics – Design your pages to facilitate the ease of reading content through the effective use of colors, fonts, spacing, and images.
4. Self-serve tools – Don’t just tell them about membership, let them join online, register online, donate online, or update their membership information online. If you’re a Daxko Operations customer and want help optimizing these tools, contact us today!
Use your website to attract traffic to your sites and programs. The public’s expectations are high and they’re only getting higher. If this is your first impression make sure it’s a positive one.