By Arpita Biswas – CIMGlobal Executive – Association Management
A website is not only for the mere digital appearance of an association. It caters to a lot of essentials which an association should be careful about and should incorporate in their website. Studies have shown that 60% of people, who have had problems with a website on their mobile device, left the page.
We’ve been told since the dawn of time that first impressions are important, and it isn’t any different for websites. Your website is often the first point of contact for potential members and leveraged as a value proposition for existing members. Not only can your website help retain and engage current members, it also serves as a means to attract new association members. The Internet is a global platform, and this allows your association to reach more audiences and demographics than ever. Here are some quick steps to improve your website and keeping it up-to-date:
- Keep it Fresh: Change is good. Make sure all the latest news and upcoming program or event details are posted. If your website is still displaying the same images and announcements it was 2 months ago, it is time for a change. Give visitors a reason to keep coming back.
- Keep it Error Free: Errors are not limited to spelling and grammar mistakes. Make sure all links are working and are pointing where they should be. If your website uses registration forms, test them to be sure they are functioning correctly. Having bugs on the website can be a nightmare for an association and they might also lose their interest in return.
- Mobile Friendly: As technology continues to improve, so does your website. Mobile-friendly websites are not an option, they are a necessity. You don’t necessarily need to create a mobile application for your association but making sure your website is mobile-friendly is a huge plus. If your association’s website isn’t catering to mobile users, it might be time for a website refresh.
- Social Media Links: This may seem like a no-brainer, but in order to connect and engage with your audience, your association’s social media links should stand out on your website. It is suggested that social media icons should stay with the visitor as they navigate through your site so that accessing your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page is always just a click away.
- Archive Old Content: If you have information that is too useful to remove from your website entirely, but not recent enough to stay top of mind with your audience, set up an archive area where links to this content can live. You might even consider making access to archived content a member benefit.
- Turn Your Users as Advocates: Your users are your biggest promoters. It’s time to promote your website by making it user friendly but also take suggestions from users what potential changes you can make in your website. It can be good or bad, but it is always essential to take a note about how your users feel about your website.
By following the above steps, you can be sure potential members will look to your website for more information before committing to a membership.