6 Things Your Association’s Website Should Include
Websites for associations should be sleek and flawless, offering visitors a seamless user experience to connect them with one another and the services you provide. You website is your organization’s digital footprint. This is why each page should be carefully designed with an underlying mission and call to action to guide visitors to your webpage to everything they need to know, how they can sign up, and how they can get involved. Trade associations, professional associations, and non-profits all have this in common. Here are six things your association’s website should include:
Start with a Newsy “About Page”
Your association’s website should include in-depth information about your history and mission. It should explain what you do, who you serve, and why individuals should join you. This information is critical when it comes to attracting and retaining members and long-time supporters.
People look at your “About Us” page as a starting point and look here first to learn more about your association’s credibility and reputation. Search engines will also be looking carefully at this page, too.
Carefully include your keywords into your text naturally. If you represent an association in Virginia advocating for bicycling, then it makes sense when you’re writing about what you stand for and what you do to have keywords about bike trails and transportation will naturally emerge. If you write as if you were telling a friend about what your association does, your content should be appealing to both the human audience and the search engines.
Make Membership Information Prominent
Not only should your association’s website offer the benefits of becoming a member or getting involved, but also it should offer all the details about membership and make it easy to sign up! Your website’s visitors will want to know about the perks of membership and how much it will cost. All of this information should be clearly defined on a designated “Membership” page.
Make sure your call to action is very clear on the membership page to encourage website visitors to take action.
Consider Strategy When You Create Content
A robust content strategy on your website can keep members returning to your website again and again. But content means more than just a collection of words. Clearly outlined pages with strong content keep readers – and search engines – coming back.
Your association might have a blog, podcast, digital magazines, webinars, whitepapers, resources, member-only area, and much, much more. Creating new content regularly can be a great way for search engines to take notice. The challenge is to be strategic about what content matters most to your members without overtaxing your staff. Creating content takes time and dedication, so make it count by focusing on what members may want or need most.
Search engine optimization is another way to ensure content on your website is more easily consumed by visitors and bots alike. It’s no longer enough to have good content; your target audience needs to be able to find it when they are searching for it using a search engine like Google.
Fill Your Events and Training Pages with Fresh Content
Many associations, especially member associations, host conferences, events, webinars, and trainings throughout the year. If you have an events page, you’ll want to share the details about your upcoming events, who the speakers will be, how to register, and which sponsors and exhibitors may be in attendance. If you do not have all the logistics settled, even explaining what the event was like the previous month or year can be helpful.
Think about how you can populate your events page, so it always has helpful content about events that are coming soon. If you can, try to avoid mostly blank event pages that have “coming soon” messages that stay up most of the year.
Employ a Newsletter or Email Strategy
What are the goals of your association’s website? If you want to spur return visitors, then you need a way to gather leads. Having a newsletter or set email strategy can be one way to push out news to your membership and pull in new and returning visitors.
With a small “Subscribe” box on your website, people can sign up with an e-mail address to receive the latest happenings, news, and perhaps even a newsletter. No matter what form your communication takes, the news you provide can be a way to drive new memberships, attendance at events, and volunteers to join in your mission.
Because you’ve done some strategizing about what content is most valuable to your members, a newsletter or email strategy can deliver what they need straight to their inboxes. Not only do you get a list of valuable leads, but you also get a long line of visitors who will be engaging with your website and your mission time and time again.
Offer Something for Free, a Lead Magnet
One marketing tip that many associations and businesses use is giving a valuable piece of content hosted on your website for free in exchange for a visitor’s email address. What better way to catch their attention than with a freebie? Sometimes marketers call these lead magnets. On your association’s homepage, you could offer a free exclusive white page or report in return for your visitors’ e-mail addresses. Or, you could host a giveaway to offer something to the people who leave a review or subscribe to your newsletter. Sometimes lead magnets can come in the form of a quiz that will give individual personalized results and help show them how your association can help them.
Does Your Website Deliver Results for Your Association?
Implementing great content into your association’s website design will yield a better user experience for members and future members, which can lead to a higher conversion rate. Building modern association websites that are easy to navigate, look great, are optimized for search, and accomplish your biggest goals is what we do. Contact the experts at Intelligent Evolution, Inc., and set up a complimentary consultation today. Located in Alexandria, Virginia, our web design firm has served associations from the DMV area and across the United States.