This is a guest post from our friends at Squarespace.
At Squarespace, we believe that your online identity is every bit as important as your in-person identity. This is why our goal has always been to help our customers create the most stunning websites possible, bringing even their most ambitious dreams to life. And when it comes to nonprofit organizations, we know how beautiful your dreams are.
We’re proud to have made the process of designing and creating a website easier than ever, but there are still a few tips and tricks that we want to share to ensure that your non-profit’s site is as stunning and impactful as its goals. As #GivingTuesday 2017 inches ever closer, putting together a great site, whether it’s a simple landing page or a full-fledged site may seem like a daunting task. But if you take these 10 steps over the next few weeks, we believe you’ll have a digital identity to be proud of. With over 1.5 million registered 501(c)(3)s in the U.S. today, here are a few things that you can do to ensure that your presence stands out in the crowd.
1. Have a clear objective
It may seem obvious, but knowing what the purpose of your website is before you start building is key to your success. Are you spreading the word about your nonprofit, asking for donations, looking for volunteers, educating, or something else altogether? Spend some time figuring this out, as it will set the tone for the rest of your site.
2. Wireframe your site
Wireframing, a term we use to describe sketching out the pages you’ll include in your site and how they relate to one another, can be a huge help before you start building online. Have a clear site architecture in mind so that you know how your audience will get from one page to another.
3. Pick a template
We value simplicity at Squarespace, and we’ve found that many of the most effective websites are clean and sleek, preventing visitors from getting confused. Pick the template that gets the job done in the most straightforward way so your mission is kept front and center.
4. Have a clear call to action
When you’re ready to build your site, the call to action on your homepage is the most important aspect of all. What do you want your audience to do when they visit? Should they be moved to contact you, donate, serve, or otherwise help? Once you’ve decided this for yourself, make sure it’s apparent in your website.
5. Have great assets
This doesn’t just mean high-resolution photos (though those are important as well). All of your content should look as professional as possible, so make sure your copy is clean and edited, and your images are sharp and crisp. Populate your site with photographs and text that you’re proud of.
6. Integrate social media icons
Having a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram button on your site can serve as a to action, and Squarespace’s integration with the vast majority of social channels makes this an easy one to implement. With an increasing proportion people using social media as a major source of news and communication, it’s more important than ever for your non-profit to have a presence across channels.
7. Be consistent
Both in terms of style and messaging, make sure that your website maintains a cohesive narrative. Our style editor allows you to customize your Squarespace site to your liking, and you can easily ensure that you’re keeping the same fonts, colors, and sizes across your pages.
8. Be reachable
Make sure that your site allows for two-way communication. Especially when it comes to a non-profit, it’s key that your supporters have an easy way to get in touch. Our contact forms make this a breeze to set up, and you can choose either MailChimp or Google docs as storage options for newsletters.
9. Keep track of your metrics
Squarespace Metrics, available both on your desktop site and as an app, is a great way to keep tabs on your visitor numbers and other key data points. Stay informed about who your supporters and interested members are, where they are, and when they’re visiting.
10. Keep to good SEO practices
While Squarespace’s templates already have SEO best practices built in, it doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile. Being discoverable makes your non-profit all the more likely to achieve its goals, and you can do simple things like ensuring your photos have captions, your pages have page descriptions, and providing as much information as possible for Google search purposes.
One reason we at Kindful love Squarespace is that you can easily include a donate button right on your website. With Kindful and Squarespace you’ll have the tools you need to crush this #GivingTuesday.
Schedule a live demo with our team, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.