Your website is your organization’s new front door. Think of it as your online curb appeal. It tells people that you’re either open for business or nobody’s home. It tells donors that you’re either worth of their donations or a waste of time. It tells volunteers ‘welcome’ or ‘get lost.’
Yep. It says all that in about five seconds or less.
Here are 5 signs that it could be time to enhance your website’s curb appeal:
1) It’s in Flash
If your website is still in Flash it has been outdated for the past 5+ years. Not only do iPhone and iPad not support Flash, but search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo can’t read it, which means it is terrible for search engine optimization. In addition, users have to install a plugin to see it, which really detracts from user experience. Flash is difficult to use and difficult to maintain.
If you still want the look of animations, HTML5 allows developers to create interactive and animated features without relying on Flash. Best of all, HTML5 is compatible with all browsers and mobile devices.
2) It’s Hard to Navigate
People browsing the Internet have notoriously short attention spans. A majority stay on a webpage for only a few seconds before clicking away. Your supporters need to be able to find what they want, and fast! Don’t make them dig around in endless drop-down tabs for your events calendar or hide your donation page away in some obscure corner of your site. You have a short window of time to get your audience to engage in your website — make it easy for them to find what they want.
According to KISSmetrics, 47% of visitors expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Having a fast-loading website will not only ensure that your visitors stick around, but also that they’ll have a great experience on your site.
3) It Doesn’t Work Well on Mobile
According to Smart Insights, over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device, and when it comes to local searches, more than half are performed on mobile devices. In the United States, over 1/4 of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device. If these stats tell you anything, it’s that the world has gone mobile, and if your website isn’t optimized, it’s officially time for a responsive re-design.
4) It Just Looks Outdated
Let’s face it: web design trends are changing rapidly, and if your website is a few years old, it may just look outdated. Maybe it’s an obvious thing like your copyright info still saying 2009, or you have a musical intro when a visitor lands on your site, or maybe it’s the whole site that’s the problem.
Bright patterns, lots of sliding and blinking photos, tons of separate text boxes and widgets can all send even the most dedicated donors into sensory overload. Keep your page simple, focus on quality media rather than quantity, and don’t overwhelm visitors on your page.
Your nonprofit’s website is the core of your online identity and brand. Make sure it looks its best.
According to a study by ResearchGate, 94% of people say that websites with good designs are more trustworthy. It’s important that your donors and potential supporters trust you, and a strong re-design can help make that happen.
5) Donating is Complicated
Donating on your website should be as simple as humanly possible. Make donate buttons easily visible; don’t hide them away in a menu or sidebar. Don’t make donors click through several pages to get to the donation form. Keep required fields to an absolute minimum; the more fields you have on your form, the more likely it is that donors won’t complete their transaction. The easier it is to donate, the more people will give to your organization. Keep it simple!