Is a Great Website a Worthwhile Investment?
Do you think your digital presence is vital? Most of your potential donors, employees, volunteers and people who need what your organization offers will find you through your website. As a specialist in the nonprofit digital marketing field, one of the biggest issues I face with clients is their website. I understand why some clients might not want to update their website due to limited funds or manpower; some simply don’t understand how their outdated website might be negatively impacting them. An inadequate website may be hurting you more than it’s helping you, and some search engine marketing tools, like Google AdWords, will even penalize you if your site is awful. It is vital to have a quality digital presence!
The following tips can help you improve your website for little to no cost!
Tip No. 1: Utilize WordPress
WordPress is a solid, easy website builder that allows you to create and customize a website without knowing any coding. YouTube has quite a few free, step-by-step videos to give you guidance as you build your new WordPress site. Claiming your domain while building your site will have some cost associated with it, but it’s extremely inexpensive and worth the investment if you haven’t already done so.
Tip No. 2: Determine How Your Website Was Built and Who Built It
Unless you or someone at your nonprofit built your existing website, you likely contracted another company or used a program different than WordPress to build your original site. If your organization contracted someone, check with them to see if they’ll help update your website for a discounted cost. If you used a program, check to see if you can update your website by changing the theme or other content for free or a nominal cost.
Tip No. 3: Aesthetics
While focusing on the way your website looks may seem shallow or inconsequential to your nonprofit’s goals, it needs to look as presentable as you would for a business meeting. People will be more likely to trust you and engage with your nonprofit if your website looks clean, professional and up-to-date. When choosing a new theme, layout or color scheme, think about what it says about you as a nonprofit and how your target audience might see it. Choose graphics and other content with this in mind, also.
Tip No. 4: Clarity and Organization
As you build your new website, ensure that your message is clear. Whatever your mission is, your target audience should know what it is, no matter what page they're on. If you have any navigational tabs, clearly label them and any subpages. If people have trouble finding information, they may give up, depriving you of donations or the chance to assist them.
Tip No. 5: Contact Information
Make sure your contact information is visible and easily accessible. Many successful nonprofits have their phone number at the bottom of every page, along with their email address, physical or mailing address and any other significant contact information. This ensures that those who want to contact you about donations, employment, volunteering or the services you offer can easily find that information.
Tip No. 6: Utilize the Google Ad Grant
Once your website is polished up, utilize the resources around you to share it with others! Google AdWords, one of the many resources for advertising your site, is the most effective way to drive traffic to your website. AdWords works by inserting your ads into Google search results. When a potential donor, employee, volunteer or an individual you could be helping searches for something related to your cause, Google puts your ad in front of them! Did you know that Google offers nonprofits a grant of $10,000 a month in free advertising? Here at Nonprofit Megaphone (NPM), our specialty is that grant and AdWords. When NPM works with your organization, your money will work harder for you, and your message will reach the right people. We are honored to equip nonprofits to thrive!
Updating your website takes some intentional time and effort, but it’s a worthwhile investment that will reap rewards. In this digital age, your website is just as important as the other ways your nonprofit represents itself, and having a quality site is essential to your success.
This article was written by Sam Ernest, Donna Yearyean and Grant Hensel of Nonprofit Megaphone.
Grant Hensel is the founder of Nonprofit Megaphone, an agency focused exclusively on acquiring and managing the Google Ad Grant for nonprofits. His team takes pride in their 100 percent success rate helping nonprofits receive the grant and in helping dozens of organizations use the funds to make a difference.