What Does Your #Association Website Say About You? – Part 1
Members are proud to be affiliated with their associations. It’s a badge of honour that some literally “wear” by featuring association logos on their websites, business cards and other marketing material.
Doesn’t it only make sense then, that your association looks its best? We suggest starting with a website that’s pressed and primped. Populate it with words that engage your members and reflect your organization’s unique “voice.” And make it seamless to navigate with easy-to-use tabs; your members don’t want to waste time trying to find your latest white paper. Include “call to action” buttons like newsletter signup forms.
A performing website will yield benefits for your membership recruitment and retention efforts, as well as help drive your sponsorship and exhibitor sales. A poorly functioning website can do just the opposite. It can be a warning sign screaming “This association doesn’t have what you need.” How can you tell which situation you are in? Here are a few warning signs:
- You are still living with someone else’s idea: In many cases, the website was a predecessor’s idea; it contains dated views or methods of bringing in traffic, and now you are paying the price! If your website has not been reviewed and revised in the last 12-18 months, it is your first warning sign.
- Proper Branding: Often organizations focus first on revising the look and feel of “other” marketing materials: business cards, document templates, and print newsletter layouts. However, does it still match the look and feel of your website? Consistent branding is key; and if there is a disconnect, it is another indication that a re-design or facelift is required. At every touch point, people should know immediately that the information was produced by your organization.
- Are You Searchable? When was the last time you conducted general research online to determine where your organization is listed in search results? If you search keywords that a potential member may be using to find more information, and you do not appear on the first page of the search results, you are in need of an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) overhaul. SEO rules and functionality can and have changed overnight, and it is important that your organization stays on top of these changes to ensure that you stay competitive online.