In this issue: Simple, quick and effective website upgrades
Recipe for a workout
When I started to exercise, I wanted three things:
- I wanted a simple workout routine I could do at home. That way, when I woke up every morning workouts were routine, not an effort.
- For the same reason, I wanted a fast workout.
- And I wanted to show results quickly so I would keep doing it.
Trouble with trainers
I tried a number of fitness trainers who acted like high-decibel cheerleaders or caffeinated football coaches. Not my style! Then I met Judy, a perfectly reasonable and effective fitness trainer who keeps things simple. I’ve worked with her now for over 15 years.
Website fitness: 6 simple upgrades
Improving your website may not help you lose weight, but it can be simple, quick, and show results fast. Did I mention inexpensive?
Here are six simple upgrades you can make without tearing the whole thing down and starting all over. These upgrades give you maximum impact for minimal effort. Some of them you may be able to handle in-house, especially if you have a website built on a content management system (CMS), like WordPress.
Your website won’t do you much good if your users can’t find it. So your website needs a high rank in Google search results. Make a list of keywords (search terms) for all your important pages. Then write a short paragraph summarizing what each page is about. Have your coder embed this content in the source code for each page
- Staff and board photos
Looks do matter! Your users connect to professional looking and consistent leadership photos, not snapshots. Engage a photographer to set up a half day shoot at your office and photograph everyone
- Program/mission photos
Same deal – if these photos don’t persuade, your site will be less effective. Skip the yearbook-type group shots and get close-ups of actions that convey your mission
- Calls to action
Here’s our 3/3 rule: What are your 3 key user groups? What are the 3 actions you want them to take on your website? Place these calls to action prominently on your pages. Feature them in your header and footer. Don’t be shy! In addition, if you handle online payments the system should be easy to use – and should explicitly reassure users that it is secure. When the payment is done, users need to see a thank you page
- Core content
Does your home page give your users what they need? Don’t assume they know all about you. You need to tell them who you are, what you do, and why they should care. This content is benefit driven, about your user’s needs, and doesn’t sound bureaucratic.
- Use “you”
A website should sound like a conversation. That means you address your audience directly, and sound like a real person – because you are! You won’t change hearts and minds if you sound like the IRS
FACT OF THE MONTH
In 1939, an advertising employee at the department store Montgomery Ward wrote the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for a store promotion. That year the store gave away 2.4 million copies of the story.