A website is one of your nonprofit’s most valuable assets.
For starters, your website is the hub of all nonprofit information — this includes any events you host, your mission statements, and the impact your organization has had so far. Additionally, it’s the go-to place for almost all of your online engagements, whether supporters want to give, register for an event, or contact your nonprofit for more information.
As you can see, your nonprofit website is an integral part of the donor journey. Without it, how will people know they want to support your cause and actually take action?
Looking to optimize your own nonprofit site? You’re in the right place. You’ll be learning our top 3 tips that you can apply to your own nonprofit website. Let’s dive in.
1. Take a continuous improvement approach
When it comes to maintaining your nonprofit website, many leaders make the mistake of leaving big maintenance tasks until major CMS version updates or conducting one large website overhaul every year or so.
While this might make sense of surface level, it actually comes with many detriments. For instance:
- Your site might not be functioning at peak conditions between those large updates.
- Certain modules or plugins might be on different versions and not work with your current CMS.
- Some web page designs aren’t consistent with new branding and confuse new prospects exploring your site.
- You lose out on potential prospects or recurring donors because of the reasons above.
You wouldn’t know about these problems until your next site overhaul. And those large website updates do take time and resources to conduct, especially if you have a long list of things that need to be fixed. This creates additional time where your site might be out of commission.
This is why many recommend taking a continuous improvement approach to site maintenance. This involves making small improvements and tweaks to your website on a more consistent schedule or as needed—as soon as you realize something can be improved or updated, you do so right away.
This is a much more sustainable and affordable approach to website maintenance and can increase your site’s ROI and provide increased value for your visiting supporters. With consistent small fixes, your website is always up to date and functioning at full capacity. Frequent updates extend the life of your site and avoid those huge overhaul updates.
2. Use KPIs to actively measure growth
When it comes to ensuring your website is always optimized, it’s best to look at hard data.
This is why many fundraising leaders will set key performance indicators (KPIs) to actively measure the success of their campaigns, strategies, and website health. KPIs are metrics that you can use to track the performance of your various nonprofit engagements.
When you set up KPIs for your website, you can not only determine how well various pages and content are doing, but you can also figure out the priorities and needs of your supporters. Do they seem to be on your volunteer page a lot? Maybe you should add more volunteer opportunities! KPIs also pinpoint things that may need to be improved.
When it comes to good KPI metrics to track for your website, we recommend:
- Time on site
- Bounce rate
- Number of pages visited
- New vs. recurring visitors
- Traffic sources
- In-site searches
Another good way to determine valuable KPIs for your website is to look at the fundraising data in your constituent relationship management. You might track metrics like: How many people are donating? How often do people donate? Are recurring donor numbers on the rise or falling?
3. Make sure your most popular landing pages and content are up-to-date
As mentioned earlier, your nonprofit website is a critical component of the donor journey. It’s likely the first place potential supporters will look to learn more about your organization and your mission and decide if they want to give.
That’s why it’s critical that you consistently make sure that your most popular landing pages and content are up-to-date. While this will also be unique to your organization and mission, the most common essential pages to watch out for are your:
- Blog roll
- Event calendar
- News pages
- Social media feeds
These are the pages that will most likely be rotating or changing content frequently, and are the pages that supporters will explore to learn more about what your organization does. When you regularly update your most popular landing pages, you can sleep soundly knowing that you’re providing the most up-to-date information to all site visitors.
To help keep track of your content updates, it can be helpful to create an editorial calendar and use automated tools that can schedule out posts weeks in advance.
If there’s one thing you should take away from this article it’s that the best way to optimize your nonprofit website is to consistently check-in and track its progress.
This continuous improvement approach is the most valuable way to ensure that your site is always in peak condition and prepared to engage supporters and inspire them to give. Need more specific guidance? Consider partnering with a nonprofit technology consultant!
By Anne Stefanyk of Kanopi Studios