Special Report: 10 Ways to Make Your Web Site ?Fundraising Friendly
4. Design and user interface. You can't judge a book by its cover, but your audience can and will judge your Web site in this manner. Research has found that the appeal of the overall visual design of a site — including layout, typo-?graphy, font size and color schemes — is the No. 1 factor people use to evaluate its credibility.
5. Audience-centric design. Ensure that your design speaks to the needs, wants and desires of your audience instead of your own personal taste — but at the same time, it must represent your core brand. Your design should have a point of view that is consistent with the organization's mission and values. Work toward a design that creates an instant emotional connection with your audience. And finally, keep your homepage simple and engaging — tease your audience with little tidbits of information, and invite them to explore your site!
6. Search-engine optimization. When a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a noise? Well, it doesn't really matter because no one is there to hear it. The very same concept applies to Web sites. All the work that you put into building your site might not generate any traffic at all if your audience can't find you in the first place. Ensure that your Web site is search-engine friendly by applying the tips outlined below:
? Headings: Use proper heading tags. This allows search engines to understand what the page is all about. Simply bolding and enlarging the heading font does not tell the search engine anything about the title of the page.
? Link titles: Add titles to the link tags when linking pages together. Try your best to add a descriptive title that uses keywords from the title of the target page.