Your nonprofit's website should be all about all about getting your website visitors to take the next step.
Whether your goal is increasing donations, increasing sign-ups for services, getting more volunteers, getting more visitors to sign up for your newsletter, or anything else, the way your website is set up makes a difference as to how many visitors "convert".
The conversion is the culmination of all the marketing your organization has worked so hard on: Your social media, content, local listings, email newsletters, direct mail, fundraisers and everything else.
Although the goals of every organization are different, every website is a bit different, and the target audience for your nonprofit is unique, there are still some 'best practice' techniques you can use to get more conversions. We'll look over a few of these tactics here.
I've boiled down the process of honing your website's conversion funnel here:
Step 1: Make Sure That Each Page of Your Website Has a Call to Action
You absolutely need to provide a way for website visitors to take action.
Whether that is by donating, signing up to volunteer for an event, finding out more about the services you offer, signing up for email alerts, buying any products you may have, or just asking a question about your organization, the key is getting them involved.
- Tip: Take a look at the upper right of the sidebar of this page. You'll see a form requesting that you add your contact information if you have a question about any of the information on this website. Having a form on each page is one of the most important things you can do to make it easier for visitors to contact you. Only displaying an email or phone number adds a step that can cause a visitor to fail to sign up.
Step 2: Create Specific Landing Pages for Each Action You Need
Unbounce defines a landing page as "...a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective." So if you have multiple objectives, you need to create a landing page for each. The components of a strong landing page are as follows:
- A Dynamic and Distinct Headline: "Donate Now to Feed Hungry Children in South America".
- A Sub-Headline: "Your $10 donation provides a weeks worth of food for 10 children!"
- Compelling Statistics: Back up your words with stats on what your organization has done in the past.
- Make Sign-up Forms Succinct and Easy to Complete: Don't ask for too much information up front. If it's a donation page, give multiple ways to donate.
- A High-Quality Image: For the image to resonate, make sure it's high quality, and relates well to your organization's mission, and/or the action you're asking for.
- Few Unnecessary Links. According to Neil Patel of QuickSprout, "Every link on your page that doesn’t represent your businesses’ conversion goal is a distraction that will dilute your message and reduce your conversion rate."
- A Benefits Statement: The benefits of participating with your organization may be obvious to you, but you need to concisely delineate them to your website visitors.
Step 3: Split Test: Try Variations of Those Landing Pages to Discover What Converts Best
What To Test: Here are a few landing page elements that can be tested:
- The headline
- Your call to action
- Any graphic you use in direct correlation to your sales efforts
- The sales copy or product descriptions
Homepage Conversion Optimization Examples
Peta provides a good example of a homepage that lets visitors know exactly what the organization wants them to do, and makes it easy for them to do it.
There's no need to scroll further down the page to get to the things that matter most: Donations, email signups, and social connections.
Let's take a look at how this page looks on a mobile device, in this case, an iPhone 3g.
You can see that it's much more difficult to squeeze what you need to display on a smartphone. You really need to make sure that your most important points are made, because there just isn't space for everything you'd like to add.
What Not to Do!
Here's an example of an organization that really isn't giving us much of an idea what they need from us. This is an above the fold look, and to be fair, just below the fold is a 'donate' button. However, the donate button should be one of the first things a visitor sees when we arrive at the site.
If visitors need to search for ways to donate, volunteer, connect socially, or get involved in other ways, they will give up and try somewhere else.
Donation Page: What Not to Do
This is a great organization, and like most nonprofits, they rely heavily on volunteer help to get their crucial work done.
However, as you can see on this page there is a LOT of information, but no way to easily sign up or get specific information about volunteering! Landing pages with a specific purpose need to be concise: What is the page about, what is the benefit of getting involved, how can the visitor get involved NOW.
Too much information and the need to click away to find contact info could lose you a volunteer!
Getting website visitors to take the nest step may be the most important aspect of your website to focus on.
Improving site layout, wording, and ease of use are all incredibly important if you want to increase the number of visitor interactions on your website. If you need any extra clarification, or a quick evaluation of the landing pages on your site, let me know!