Excellence Online: Association Website Best Practices
Five tips to take your website from a clunky experience (at best) to one that users will love.
Member engagement, and recruitment, starts with your association’s website. It’s where members go to follow association news, get answers to questions and stay connected to their organization. It’s also one of the first resources that prospective members seek out when deciding whether to commit.
It’s no exaggeration to say that your website can make or break your membership engagement strategy. A strong website invites visitors to learn and explore, while a clunky, outdated one quickly turns people off. With so much riding on the success of your association website, you can’t afford to ignore this critical engagement tool.
Not sure where your digital presence stands? Ask yourself these questions to make your association’s website as appealing as it is useful to members:
Does It Match Your Current Branding?
From colors to logos to font styles, branding is how people recognize your association across a range of products and platforms. Your website should be no different, with all the same association branding found on any official letterhead or social media account. Inconsistent branding not only looks sloppy but is also confusing to people browsing your website. Make sure that all association branding matches that found on your website, down to the last web banner, and change anything that looks amiss.
Does It Look Professional?
It only takes a few missteps to make a website look amateurish. Grammatical errors, out-of-date information and antiquated graphic design choices are all unpleasant to come across and will unnerve members who expect excellence from their association’s website. Thoroughly scan your website to ensure that your copy is clean and all information has been verified. Once you have the basics down, you can move into more ambitious web design.
Does Everything Work?
No matter how impressive it may look, a website is only as good as its functionality. So when a visitor to your website encounters a broken link or is redirected to the wrong page, some credibility is lost. Ensure that all your current and prospective members don’t encounter any error messages or faulty redirects that will spoil their browsing experience. Check that your website is flawless on every page by clicking all links and buttons, and shelve any features that aren’t working properly. It will take some time to go through your entire website, but you need to catch any glaring mistakes before your members do.
Is It Easy to Navigate?
There are few situations as frustrating as looking for a specific piece of content on a website and coming up empty. Help people quickly and easily find what they need on your association’s website by clearing the barriers to searching. Think about what you would want in your own web experience. The simplest way to make digital life for members? Find an association management software vendor to make a top-of-the-line member portal for easy access to anything and everything a member might need.
Is It Optimized for Mobile Users?
You can safely assume that many, if not most of your members, will be accessing the association website from a mobile device. So if your website is only attractive and navigable to people looking at it on a desktop, you’re alienating a good chunk of visitors. Ensure that your website is well adapted to a mobile interface, with easy scrolling capabilities, plenty of white space and larger text. It’s not so much shrinking content to fit a smaller screen as it is creating an entirely different user experience.
Your website serves as a reflection of your association. How do you see yours? As an innovator? An industry leader? Let your website do the talking, and be sure it’s making the right statement.
-From the experts at Protech Associates
Protech Associates proudly provides member-based organizations with association management software built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. To learn more, visit ProtechAssociates.com, or stop by Booth #429 at the ASAE Technology Conference & Expo.