Online marketing matters. We all know that. We know the Internet isn’t going away anytime soon, so for nonprofit organizations, having an online presence allows you to connect and engage with potential and current constituents through a platform they can easily access anywhere, anytime.
What builds the biggest advertisement for online marketing efforts? Your website. Websites have become the most powerful online communication tool for small businesses and nonprofit organizations (NPO) alike. So what does it say when your website is… not so great? How do you know when your website needs an update? Let us take a look at how you can find the five signs it’s time for a website redesign.
1. The website is not responsive.
First, if your organization’s website is not response, then it is definitely time to look into getting a new one. What does responsive mean? Responsive means the site is mobile-friendly, or it adjusts to whichever screen it’s viewed on: desktop computer, tablet or smartphone.
Recently, Google updated its search engine to prioritize responsive websites on its search results pages. This means if your website is not responsive, and someone searches a keyword related to your mission or cause, then your page is going to get pushed to the bottom of the pile. In other words, a responsive site is a necessity to keep up with changing technology and stay relevant to Internet users who may be interested in learning about your organization. For more insight into responsiveness, check out our past article on why responsive design is vital to your nonprofit’s success.
2. The website is outdated.
If your NPO’s website was made back in 1997—or even resembles the era—then it is probably time for a redesign. Your website reflects your nonprofit organization’s values, mission and personality, so if it appears outdated, it in turn makes the nonprofit look outdated, uninformed and even unprofessional.
If constituents go to your site and have a negative experience like this, then they will be less likely to donate or want to get involved in the cause. An outdated website is a sure-fire way to get visitors to run away as quickly as they came, so if you want your website visitors to actually stay, then your website should be current and inviting.
3. The website doesn’t match your brand.
Perhaps you recently—or maybe not recently—updated your nonprofit’s brand identity or logo, without updating your website to reflect it. If the website is immensely different from your NPO brand, it can create a confusing experience for constituents, and make the organization look less professional.
While you do not want to redesign your website all the time, it should reflect where your organization is in its mission and principles. Update your design whenever necessary to match the current brand and voice you strive for. If you wonder when the right time is brand your organization, check out our article on nonprofit marketing: does your nonprofit need a rebrand?
4. The website loads slowly.
If you can take a nice long walk around the building while your website is loading, then it might be time for a new design. Slow loading rates frustrate and annoy website visitors, which makes them more likely to close out of your site. Constituents will not connect well to your brand or mission when they sit waiting for it to load, which can hurt volunteerism and donor retention rates. A new redesign can help to boost your loading rates and make your site more engaging for future volunteers, donors and clients.
5. The website has a high bounce rate.
What’s a bounce rate, you ask? A bounce rate refers to website visitors who come to your site and leave quickly, rather than browsing and clicking through multiple pages. If your nonprofit organization has website analytics, the bounce rate is something you can learn through those. The goal is for your bounce rate to be as low as possible, so if yours is obnoxiously high, it may be time to consider a new website. An engaging, interactive, interesting website is more likely to draw visitors in and invite them to stay awhile, making it more likely for them to connect with the cause and want to get involved with your NPO.
For your nonprofit organization, a clean, crisp and current website design is the key to bringing in site visitors and growing your cause. If your website falls into any of these categories, it may be time for an upgrade. Give it a shot to see how it can grow your mission and further your efforts to impact the community.
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