Special Report: A Walk Through ?a Web Site Audit
That's why I begin a Web site audit by first looking at overall content, design and navigation. Does the site use minimal copy and short paragraphs? Does it use easy-to-read fonts? Is it graphically designed to lead the eye to key information and images? Whenever possible, does it enable content to be "above the fold," which means visible and readable without needing to scroll down the page? Is the main navigation bar clearly ?visible? If so, are all the site's primary content pages clearly and logically ordered on the navigation bar? Does the site employ pull-down menus on the home-page's navigation to facilitate viewing primary- and secondary-page content headings without clicking to the pages? Does the site's navigation employ the "three-click rule," meaning can you get to any page on the site by making no more than three mouse clicks?
While the "three-click" rule is more of a guideline, adhering to it as closely as possible will force you to prioritize and edit your site's content and the navigation of that content for more clarity and ease of use. Let's not forget that the attention span of most of us on the Web is like that of a caffeinated finch.
Keep it quick and easy
After answering the preceding questions covering content, design and navigation, I then move on to reviewing the Web site's fundraising elements ?themselves.
On the homepage, is there a highly visible "Donate Now" (or some similar phrase) button that is separate from the navigation bar and residing in a prominent place on the page itself? Is this button replicated on each and every page throughout the site, preferably in the same location on each page? The reason for this is primarily due to the fact that you'll never be able to predict what pages and in what order people might view your site. And search engines might link a visitor to any internal page, not just your homepage. Once a visitor makes the decision to become a donor from whatever page she might be on, you want to make it as easy as possible for her to start the process.