Web Watch: Simply Successful
In terms of cutting through the clutter, if I were a potential supporter of an organization (e.g., a community-relations manager at a local corporation or a foundation officer reviewing its letter of inquiry), I would want to understand the bigger picture of what it does before diving into program details. Sheltering Arms’ tag line, “The Source for Senior Services: Preserving dignity and independence of Houston’s elderly since 1893” says it all. While it might not be as sexy as, say, “Just do it,” it tells visitors everything they need to know: The organization has a defined approach, it’s focused on seniors, it’s in Houston, and it’s been around a long time (perceived credibility). The tag line rotates at the top of every page, so as visitors move to different areas on the Web site and learn more about Sheltering Arms, they’re constantly reminded of the bigger picture that unites its work. This might feel heavy-handed, but it actually helps keep audiences focused.
Including a downloadable video clip of a client’s story and newsletter on the home page reassures visitors that Sheltering Arms is a credible, competent organization.
Some room for improvement
As for improvements, I’d like to see more real content on the home page. Right now, it provides a list of links to other areas (for instance, Home Health Care), but since many visitors never go deeper than the home page, this is a good place to draw them in with recent news, the mission statement, an opportunity to sign up for the newsletter, etc.