What Your Nonprofit Webpage Must Have
Your nonprofit webpage -- your home page -- must entice readers right away. Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen reports that 17% web page
views last 4 seconds. That’s not a lot of time.
When I’m web surfing my index finger stays poised on my
mouse, ready to click off a site that doesn’t answer my question or grab my
Your visitors are the same way.
That’s why your home page is so important. Readers
intuitively use certain criteria when visiting your site. Take steps to make sure
your nonprofit webpage - or any website that you write, for that matter - pulls in visitors and keeps them reading.
Must-Have Elements on your Home Page
- A quick summary. This is THE most important element on your homepage. Who are you? What do you do that makes a difference? What special niche do you fill or need do you meet? Visitors should be able to see your identity summary above the fold - as soon as they get to your page - and understand you immediately. Keep it short.
compelling hook. This can be a powerful statistic, a heart-wrenching
story, or an outrageous trend that your organization addresses. (Tips for writing a hook.)
navigation. Organize your information in a logical way for your readers –
not for you. Navigation bars and box links should take visitors to key
pages that interest them the most and answer there questions.
- A sign
up box. According to entrepreneur phenom Ali Brown, 99% of your website’s
first-time visitors will not contact you. Instead, they’ll click away and
you’ll have lost them forever. But if you capture their names and email
addresses with an enticing invitation in an obvious box, you’ll have them
in your communication hopper for a long time.
- A “Donate”
button. Make it easy for visitors who come to your site to give to do so.
The Donate button should be above the fold and obvious.
third-party endorsement. A beneficiary testimonial, celebrity endorsement,
membership logo from ECFA or Guidestar, or a rating from Charity Navigator
to engage. Link visitors to lots of volunteer opportunities and upcoming
media links. Connect visitors to your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
pages. Studies also show that home page video gets and keeps visitors at
your site longer.
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