Top Ten Elements Your School's Website Should Employ

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Top Ten Elements Your School's Website Should Employ

  1. 1. TOP TEN WEBSITE BEST PRACTICES EVERY SCHOOL SHOULD EMPLOY Kelley Jarrett, Market Manager – Guide Creative10/22/2012 Footer 1
  2. 2. @kelar #bbdesign10/22/2012 Footer 2
  3. 3. WHERE ARE YOU TODAY?10/22/2012 Footer 3
  4. 4. TEN BEST PRACTICES10/22/2012 Footer 4
  5. 5. RESONATE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE “Your website does not exist as a boutique just to show off information about your organization. Instead, it’s actually a tool to mobilize your audience...” - Raheel Gauba “Design for Good: 4 (More) Nonprofit Design Principles” Netwits Think Tank, 1010/22/2012 5
  6. 6. RESONATE WITH YOUR AUDIENCES Focus on your audience needs - Who are your audience groups and who is most important? - What do they care about – need, goals and aspirations? - How do they interact with you on and off your website?10/22/2012 Footer 6
  7. 7. RESONATE WITH YOUR AUDIENCES Speak the right language - Discuss, decide and use your key messages consistently - Listen for feedback on what’s working and what’s not through social media, blogs and surveys - Know that writing is an art…AND a science - Avoid jargon, too little or too much content - Test!10/22/2012 Footer 7
  8. 8. RESONATE WITH YOUR AUDIENCES Meet users where they are - In less than three years mobile will be the #1 way your audience will access your website … Are you ready?10/22/2012 Footer 8
  9. 9. HAVE A FOCUSED HOMEPAGE “The Web is a world of first impressions, and quick ones at that. Users form an opinion of a website within the first few seconds of loading it.” - Jason Gross “The Role of Design in The Kingdome of Content, www.smashingmagazine.com10/22/2012 9
  10. 10. HAVE A FOCUSED HOMEPAGE Prioritize Content - Wireframes are key for visual hierarchy - Remember YOUR goals - Remember your AUDIENCE’S goals10/22/2012 Footer 10
  11. 11. HAVE A FOCUSED HOMEPAGE Pass the 3-second test - Is your homepage scannable, understandable, intuitive in 3 seconds?10/22/2012 Footer 11
  12. 12. “Design your website around your school’s actions and purpose. Make the mission statement clear as day.” - Blake McCreary “Non-Profit Web Design.”10/22/2012 Footer 12
  13. 13. SHARE YOUR MISSION Tell your story clearly & succinctly and make it actionable - Most prospectives check out your website as a first step to engagement - 60% of all donors check out an organization’s website before donating - tell them why they should give…quickly before they change their mind10/22/2012 Footer 13
  14. 14. SHARE YOUR MISSION Show your story … visually - Infographics, typography, links, video, imagery, photography - The style should fit your voice and brand - Prospective families want to be “wowed”!10/22/2012 Footer 14
  15. 15. USE COMPELLING AND ENGAGING IMAGERY “Regardless of what your content actually says, the design around it controls what the users see first and how their eyes move across the sections of the page.” - Jason Gross “The Role of Design in The Kingdome of Content, www.smashingmagazine.com10/22/2012 15
  16. 16. USE COMPELLING IMAGERY Engage with eye contact … Make a personal connection Show real stories of impact to gain credibility10/22/2012 Footer 16
  17. 17. USE COMPELLING IMAGERY Match Imagery with your brand, mood and voice - Does quality, composition and candor of your imagery jive with your user experience?10/22/2012 Footer 17
  18. 18. ENSURE EASE IN NAVIGATION “User-centric design has become a standard approach for successful and web design. After all, if users can’t use a feature, it might as well not exist.” - Vitaly Friedman “10 Principles of Effective Web Design”, www.smashingmagazine.com10/22/2012 Footer 18
  19. 19. ENSURE EASE IN NAVIGATION Navigation Systems should be intuitive and precise - Provide multiple interaction paths - Ensure context for users who come in through search or links - Does it take two-click or less for key tasks?10/22/2012 Footer 19
  20. 20. INCLUDE CLEAR, BOLD CALLS-TO-ACTION “Assuming that you’ve written a brilliantly persuasive page, it’s still next to worthless without a strong call to action…” - Brad Shorr “Five Copywriting Errors That Can Ruin a Company’s Website,”10/22/2012 20
  21. 21. INCLUDE CLEAR, BOLD CALLS TO ACTION Remove all obstacles to action from anywhere “Apply Now” should take them directly to application. Calls to action should be clear and compelling Never say “click here” Say for example “visit us“10/22/2012 Footer 21
  22. 22. SHOW STEWARDSHIP “Stewardship comes down to being able to show donors how their dollars were used and what impact their contributions had…” - Cynthia Gomez “What Is Stewardship for a Non-Profit?” www.eHow.com10/22/2012 Footer 22
  23. 23. SHOWCASE YOUR STEWARDSHIP 60% of donors visit a nonprofit’s website before making a gift. - Show the impact (eg. stats, infographics) - Be transparent (eg. share your annual report) - Say “Thank you”10/22/2012 Footer 23
  24. 24. 10/22/2012 Footer 24
  25. 25. KEEP CONTENT FRESH “…You need to remember that the Internet is a dynamic place, and make sure your site is constantly changing as well.” - Randall Mains “Good Non Profit Website Design Principles #5 of 5,” blog.pathmakermarketing.com May 21, 200910/22/2012 25
  26. 26. KEEP YOUR CONTENT FRESH Always have something new to offer to your students, parents, alumni - Utilize automatic feeds - Add dates to content posted to the homepage10/22/2012 Footer 26
  27. 27. KEEP YOUR CONTENT FRESH Gather user-generated content10/22/2012 Footer 27
  28. 28. BE SOCIAL “Integrating the social experience into your organization’s web site will help promote the channel, engage supporters, and provide a constant source of dynamic content …” - Melanie Mathos & Chad Norman “101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide.” John Wiley & Sons, Inc.10/22/2012 Footer 28
  29. 29. BE SOCIAL Social media and viral sharing are highly valuable tools in contributing to web site traffic and brand exposure - Make it easy to connect, interact and contribute10/22/2012 Footer 29
  30. 30. BE SOCIAL Showcase all social activities everywhere - Encourage viral sharing - Integrate social activities everywhere10/22/2012 Footer 30
  31. 31. PROVIDE A PERSONAL TOUCH THROUGH MULTIMEDIA “Many of today’s most successful websites are interactive, meaning they allow people to participate in the content in some way. - Randall Mains Randall Mains, Strategic Web Communication Principle #4: Interactivity” blog.pathmakermarketing.com10/22/2012 Footer 31
  32. 32. PROVIDE A PERSONAL TOUCH THROUGH INTERACTIVE MEDIA Allow users to consume information in multiple ways - Your audiences’ preferences for consuming content varies, just as their browsing and navigation styles do. Users want to consume information in various media channels and formats.10/22/2012 Footer 32
  33. 33. TEN BEST PRACTICES 1. Resonate with Your Audiences 2. Have a Focused Homepage 3. Share Your Mission 4. Use Compelling Imagery 5. Ensure Ease in Navigation 6. Include Clear, Bold Calls to Action 7. Showcase Your Stewardship 8. Keep Your Content Fresh 9. Be Social 10. Provide a Personal Touch Through Interactive10/22/2012 Footer 33
  34. 34. Kelley.jarrett@guidecreative.com @keljar QUESTIONS?10/22/2012 Footer 34
  35. 35. 10/22/2012 Footer 35
  36. 36. @kelar #bbdesign10/22/2012 Footer 36

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