Reach even more donors with the proper relaunch concept
What’s the point of an elaborate website relaunch in the age of social media? It’s simple: social media acts as a teaser. It helps to promote your organization and attract leads. But a flashy teaser alone will not get you very far: people expect to get what it promises. This is where your website steps in: it’s the direct link to your visitors. It is here that you show who you are and what you do. It’s where you paint a complete and concise picture. You engage in a dialog with your visitors and build trust, which, ideally, is rewarded with a donation. So set your sails, know your course and get your donors on board to help you accomplish your mission. Join us on this relaunch journey and learn the following along the way:
1. What things to consider before creating a relaunch concept
A good relaunch requires time and experts
Welcome aboard! We will begin with one piece of good news and one piece of bad news. First, the bad news: A relaunch can be like sailing across stormy seas. You will be thrown off balance but still find a way to stay on course. You’re hit by one wave of data after another, and you’re gasping for breath as you pick yourself up again. This interplay tends to last for a while. In other words, you need a clear goal, stamina, strong nerves, and time. The good news: It will be worth it! At the end of your journey, your tamed boat will sail calmly through the seas of Google Analytics. Your Data Scientist is the compass that shows you the way because s/he sees what your donors need.
2. Questions you need to address in your relaunch concept
What and who do you want to reach with your website?
Before you set sail, you need to know where you want to go. Ask yourself: What and who do I want to reach with my organization? What is my Unique Giving Proposition? In other words, what makes my organization unique and how does the website help communicate that uniqueness? Which target group do I want to address? How do I gain the trust and thus the donation of the visitors? To answer these questions as concretely as possible, developing personas will help you. Construct fictitious archetypes based on your target audience and ask yourself which interests bring those personas to your website.
How do users behave on your site?
Of course, your personas are just helpful constructs and the assumptions about their behavior are purely hypothetical. To find out more precisely what your potential donors need to get on board, you should take a look at their past behavioral patterns. Google Analytics is your best friend when it comes to this. It allows you to see which subpages are particularly popular. Let this help you develop good landing pages. Good means: no matter from where people come aboard, you respond to the needs that brought your visitors to this landing page. At the same time, you make clear what your goals are as an organization and how you plan to achieve these goals. Make sure to also pay attention to your internal website search analytics. It will show you what your users are looking for, but may not be able to find quickly enough.
Do you know what your users need?
Adapt your website to the results of the user analysis. Provide as much information as necessary and as little as possible. Get rid of unnecessary information and tailor your website to the needs of your potential donors. Use a sitemap to define the information architecture of the website in a donor-centric way. This means donors know immediately what your organization does, what your mission is, and why people should support you.
Are you giving your users what they need?
Now you know what your visitors need to get on board. In the next step, with the help of a user story, determine if your website is guiding your visitors along the best possible route. Ask yourself whether your visitors navigate through your website in the most optimal way, reaching their final destination of interest and ultimately supporting your Unique Giving Proposition – by donating. And with that we have reached a very critical point: donation generation. . In the chapter below we will take a deep dive into how to adapt your website to suit the needs of your donors and how your website can be found by even more donors in the endless sea that is the World Wide Web.
3. How to optimize your website in terms of fundraising and SEO
Get the most out of your fundraising
As a fundraising organization, you face a particular challenge in the conception and design of your website: The website should generate as many donations as possible, even though very few visitors come to the website to donate. You must convince them to make a donation. The challenge is to walk the fine line between being impressive while not being too obtrusive.
A clear storytelling concept, as well as sophisticated design elements, help to find the right balance here. You should keep the following principles in mind:
For a personalized approach, individualized content can be designed as well. For example, the suggested donation amounts can be individualized based on the session data and, if the user can be identified, donor history. It is worth investing plenty of time in the conception and implementation of the fundraising section of an NGO website. Because each visitor is a potential donor. Depending on the total traffic, small improvements in the conversion rate are enough to significantly increase donations.
Make sure you are found
What is the point of having a carefully constructed and designed website with terrific content, if no one can find it? That’s right, it’s pointless. This is why search engines must be able to find you. The buzz word here is SEO (search engine optimization). The dreaded topic of search engine optimization often triggers unease. But it’s not that bad. First of all, you need to know what a search engine will look for to determine whether your website is worth being placed on page 1 of the search results. According to statista.com Google was the market leader in the global desktop search engine market in August 2020, with a market share of 86.81 percent in terms of page views. For this reason, we have summed up the factors– based on a study by the SEO tool provider SEMrush – that signal to Google that your website is of high quality:
With the points mentioned in chapters 1 to 3, you will stay on course, get your donors on board, and sail smoothly through the busy waters of the internet. To ensure that nothing goes awry and reach your intended goal, be wary of the pitfalls that need to be avoided listed in the last chapter.
4. Which pitfalls you should be aware of during your relaunch.
Always think about text and design together
It may be nice if your boat has a pretty paint job, but it won’t do you a lot of good if your steering wheel is missing and you can’t start your journey. In other words, don’t just look for a pretty design for your website, but always think about content and design at the same time. Do your visitors reach their destination quickly and intuitively or do they have to click through several menu items? Keep it simple and focus on the essentials!
Remain visible even during the relaunch phase
Renovation work is a thorn in the side of the search engines’ algorithms. There are no more links that lead to the desired destination. Pages with error messages frustrate visitors and search engines punish you with a poor ranking. To avoid this, it is even more important that the old pages forward to the new ones.
Make sure you work and look good on all devices
A good relaunch also ensures mobile accessibility and in doing so guarantees a pleasant user experience. That’s why it’s important to adapt your website to all end devices – it should also look pretty and be functional on mobile phones.
Keep your website up to date
A major relaunch is usually a lengthy and costly affair. You can steer around this challenge by always keeping your website up to date and optimizing it step by step.
What a journey! Let’s refresh our memory by revisiting the most important points:
And now we hope you have a joyful departure into the sea of the World Wide Web. Ahoy!