Welcome back! Here is part two of the website health check. Check out part one if you missed it last week.
How many forms do you have on your website? How long are they? Are you asking your audience for information that you believe you need, but is not crucial to the actual process itself?
Generally speaking, the shorter your forms, the easier it is for your audience to fill these in. Don’t risk losing potential donors by creating donation forms that are too long!
Pay particular attention to donation forms, and double check the following elements:
- The use of donations/contributions is mentioned on the top of the form (in one paragraph or less)
- The form is clean, clear and easy to fill out
- The donors main questions have been answered, and no terms are confusing/ambiguous to your potential donors
- Error messages appear directly above they fields they are related to
- Pre-defined contribution amounts are being used, with ‘other’ always an option
- Donors can go back steps if they make a mistake
- Your payment processes are contained within the same website – donors don’t have to go off on to a third party payment provider
- A confirmation page, confirmation email and e-receipt are all provided to the donor
Try to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ donation forms. Use different forms for different purposes (e.g. recurring giving vs. corporate gifts), and ensure that these are as simple to fill out as possible.
Ensure that the images being used enhance your website. Ensure that they are related to the subject matter of the page that they are on, that they are not causing any pages to load slowly, and that they all have alt tags.
Your privacy information
Your search engine presence
Given that many Australian websites have up to 80% of visitors finding them through Google, take a look at how your website is actually ranking on the major search engines. Can you find your organisation when you search on your brand name? What about other terms that you believe you should be ranking highly for? Can you be found on these?
Key elements to focus on are:
- Keywords and key phrases – these need to be unique per page, and placed in both the page text itself and the meta data.
- The structure of your website (information architecture) – can your audience and search engines find the content they are looking for?
- Growing links into your website from external sites.
- Unique content.
Once you have optimised your website, you need to keep a constant watch over search activity, and tweak your website accordingly. You should also be checking in your Google Analytics account to ensure that the keywords you are ranking on are helping you to convert visitors via your online forms.
See A Recipe for Search Engine Visibility for further information on search engine visibility.
- Ensure that there is a link to your main donation form form every single page of your website
- Ensure all of your online properties are linked into your website (Twitter, Facebook etc.)
- Ensure that the mission and goals of your organisation are clearly stated on your website, and in a place where they can be easily found.
So how does your website stack up? Which elements do you think you can easily enhance and improve?