The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

What Do Visitors Really Think of Your Website

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Mon, Dec 03, 2012


According to Jakob Nielsen, the average website visitor spends less than a minute on any page in your site and decides whether or not to stay on your site in about 10 seconds.  With such a short time to convince them to read your association’s great content – much less to get them to join – you need to make an impression and get them to hang around a bit.

That’s the point of my upcoming education session “What Do Visitors Really Think of Your Website” at the ASAE Technology Conference this week.  Fellow presenters Linda Chreno CAE, Amanda MacEvitt and I will present an overview of how people use the web, identify some best practices and then review a few sites.  Audience members are welcome to suggest sites for review.

But if you can’t make it and want to take a fresh look at your site, where should you start?  Here are the top questions to ask as you look at your site:

    • Do you know who I am?

        • Do you have content I want?

        • Can you solve a problem I have?

    • Do I know what to do?

        • Where do I find the information I want?

        • How do I discover what you have to offer?

Of course, the key is to answer these from an outsider’s perspective. Too many association websites are built around the association’s org structure rather than the user.  And let’s face it if I’m looking for a networking event or continuing education class, I don’t care it it’s being managed by the meetings or learning departments.

To help with your review, we have a quick checklist you can download and walk through.  Be objective and frank with your assessment, it’ll help you identify a path to create a compelling online experience that meets your members’ (and potential members’) needs.

Download the Website Review Checklist

If you’d like an outside opinion, we welcome you to sign up for our Complimentary Website Review.  We’ll take some time to review your site and give you a written assessment of our findings.

Of course, stay tuned to this blog as we share more content from our presentation and tips on how to manage your association website.

Topics: web strategy, Ray van Hilst, Websites

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