Gone in 60 Seconds


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How to attract and keep visitors to your website

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Gone in 60 Seconds

  1. 1. Gone in 60 seconds How to attract and keep visitors to your website Simon Saunders Institute of Fundraising Institute of Fundraising National Convention 2007
  2. 2. Main objectives •attract and increase traffic •convert visitors to readers •build a readership
  3. 3. Know your medium •A website/page communicates meaning via a variety of media. •Think in terms of text and context - your site is part of a vast repository of information, not an autonomous text •Visits to your site are instantaneous and free; anyone, anywhere can visit and link to it
  4. 4. Know what you want to do •What do you want to achieve with your site/page. •Is it a:- •"brochure siteabout your organisation •a fundraising campaign •a membership-building site •What do you want your reader to do? •sign up •donate •contact you •send your URL to someone else?
  5. 5. Know the potential readership •Online readers are scanners, not readers •The internet is not so much a medium that people visit as a virtual environment that they move through •Other media can provide demographic information, this doesn�t apply to the internet in the same way •People use the web for different reasons, eg:- •business/commerce •entertainment/leisure •Social/romance/sexual •attitudes - and the value they apply - to online content are different to those on traditional media
  6. 6. Remember - online readers are...
  7. 7. An AIDA model for online marketing •attract traffic •Attention •maintain interest •Interest •motivate visitor •Desire •visitor joins, contacts, •Action or donates
  8. 8. Give me… a click to build a dream on Attracting and building traffic
  9. 9. Perfect and Protect your domain •To online readers, domain=brand name* •Protect your domain and your traffic •buy TLDs, combinations & misspellings of your brand •Use (additional) themed/slogan domain names; many domain names can forward to one site •cleanishappy.com •diy.com *although complex legal issues surround intellectual property and under British law, it's not always that simple
  10. 10. Put yourself about - the marketing campaign •Tell everyone •hold a launch event, even a virtual one; make something happen on launch day •electronic press releases & mailshots • links in email signatures •get links to your site, anywhere •email webmasters of relevant sites for links. Reciprocate. •Talk is cheap - use free sites •use blogs, social networking sites, flickr, youtube •eg. does it blend? The Living Tree •get visitors to forward a link to your site (viral marketing) •Cleaninghunk
  11. 11. Chain reaction - link & link again •Links direct and increase traffic to your site •Links from trade, press and peers' sites are references/testimonials •Links from other sites are as valuable, if not more so, than search engine results; the reader has already chosen you from your context
  12. 12. Search Engine Optimisation •Submit your site to engines •Links improve page ranking - be promiscuous •Syndicate content if you can. RSS is increasingly popular; Netvibes/iGoogle •Markup & metadata - make sure your developer marks up keywords, page titles/headings/links etc for usability and SEO
  13. 13. Love me - or leave me Turning your visitors into your readers
  14. 14. Hold that thought� •Remember that online readers •have no patience •are notoriously fickle •are scanners, not readers •Readers are always looking for content that will hold their interest, so let them have it
  15. 15. Content is... •� KING!
  16. 16. The implied reader •The "implied reader" is the (imaginary) person who will understand and appreciate your content completely •When writing content, speak directly and clearly to this imaginary person •Clear, concise copy is worth more to your reader - and to you - than $100,000 of flash animation
  17. 17. Mind-tricks for the non-Jedi •Memory studies show that:- •the amount of information that can be held in short-term memory is small •organise information into chunks, not hefty paragraphs •Use lists and bullet-points, images and diagrams for illustration, not just decoration •In lists, put important items at the end and the beginning to maximise the Serial Positioning Effect
  18. 18. Their loss is your loss •Lost visitors click elsewhere, so make your site supremely navigable with:- •menus to navigate throughout the site •menus to navigate within pages •external links open new windows/tabs •a link to get you home easily •prominent contact information •Usability = SEO; properly marked-up headings & page titles are recorded by search robots •Use "clean" or easily-remembered URLs/folder-based navigation, not esoteric file names.
  19. 19. Missing you already Getting readers back for more
  20. 20. We'll meet again: getting them coming back •Repeat visits will give you •referrals •a higher potential for business from that visitor •A readership from which you can create a community •The technology for retaining visitors has never been more sophisticated •Social bookmarking; delicious and digg •RSS •Cookies •Web 2.0 functionality
  21. 21. Consider yourself at home •Familiarity is a powerful ally. Stay in touch with your reader using:- •bookmark this site/post, delicious, digg etc. •newsletters/member signup •forums/bulletin boards •personal services - email/chat •RSS feeds
  22. 22. Content is king!(reprise) •If you think you haven't any news of your own •reassess: you may take for granted something that will be interesting to other people •comment on someone else's, as long as it makes sense to do so (ie you have authority) •Good, interesting and current content will keep your visitors returning, old content will turn them away. Use •a blog/news page/rss to keep them updated with news •a date/time element to show them today's date
  23. 23. Further reading email: simon@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk Related links are at: http://delicious.com/institute.of.fundraising All content in this presentation has been scavenged from online sources and is free for distribution. Please credit/mention friendlier projects