The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

5 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Website Now

Posted by Chris Bonney on Sat, May 21, 2011

    

1. Title Tag

Help Google find you. The title tag of your page (the words that appear in the very, very top of your browser in the upper left) is one of the major elements that Google considers. It should include the keywords you hope people are putting into Google to find you. It shouldn't just say "Home" or "About Us". Make it like, "The best karaoke enthusiast organization in the United States," assuming you believe people might be searching "karaoke enthusiast organization" in Google to find you. Simple fix, big results in your search engine ranking.

2. Lessen Copy

People don't read the web, they scan it. Text-heavy pages are not read. A rule of thumb as shared by Steve Krug in the book Don't Make Me Think is to take your existing copy and cut it in half. Then take that amount and cut it in half again. Then maybe you're where you need it to be. Bullets are nice, too. If you're information is important, why not put it in a format that your constituents will want to read?

3. Start A Blog

Go to wordpress.com or blogger.com and be up in minutes. What should you blog about? Who should do the blogging. Good questions. Check out this quick-read ebook to find out. All the "whys" are answered there.

4. Get Mobile-Friendly

It's much easier to do than you might imagine. The key here is to make sure that members (or more importantly, potential members) are getting a good first impression from your organization on their mobile device. If you haven't checked what your standard website looks like on a BlackBerry, I encourage you to take a look. It may not be pretty. To see how it's done correctly, try the International Special Events Society's website on a BlackBerry or iPhone (www.ises.com).

5. Make A Content Plan

If you're managing your home page's content on an ad hoc basis, you may be finding that you don't have time to get to it as regularly as you'd like. Write a plan. Create a calendar. Assign people to the plan. Running solo on the website? All the more reason to write it down. Schedule a meeting with yourself in Outlook. Whatever it takes. Updates at least once a week ensure that returning visitors get a comfort level that the site is being attending to.

Five easy fixes without spending a lot of  money. Nice.

Feel free to comment below if you have any other ways you've spruced up your site on a dime.

Chris Bonney is Vice President of Client Experience and Marketing at Vanguard Technology. Connect with him @chrisbonney or cbonney at vtcus.com.

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Topics: usability, Chris Bonney, website redesign, members only, mobile, blogs, associations, Websites

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