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Top Ten Website Best Practices Every School Should Employ


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Top Ten Website Best Practices Every School Should Employ

  1. 1. Top Ten Website BestPractices Every SchoolShould EmployKelley Jarrett, Market Manager –Guide Creative
  2. 2. Where are you today?
  3. 3. Ten Best Practices
  4. 4. “Your website does not exist as a boutique just to show off information about your school. Instead, it’s actually a tool that you have employed to mobilize your audience...” - Raheel Gauba “Design for Good: 4 (More) Nonprofit Design Principles” Netwits Think Tank, 10
  5. 5. Resonate with your audiencesFocus 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?
  6. 6. Resonate with your audiencesSpeak 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!
  7. 7. Resonate with your audiencesMeet users where they are – In less than three years mobile will be the #1 way your audience will access your website … Are you ready?
  8. 8. “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,
  9. 9. Have a Focused HomePagePrioritize Content – Wireframes are key for visual hierarchy – Remember YOUR goals – Remember your AUDIENCE’S goals
  10. 10. Have a Focused HomePagePass the 3-second test – Is your homepage scannable, understandable, intuitive in 3 seconds?
  11. 11. “Design your website around your school’s actions and purpose. Make the mission statement clear as day.” - Blake McCreary “Non-Profit Web Design.”
  12. 12. Share Your MissionTell 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 mind
  13. 13. Share Your MissionShow your story … visually – Infographics, typography, links, video, imagery, photography – The style should fit your voice and brand
  14. 14. “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,
  15. 15. Use Compelling ImageryEngage with eye contact … Make a personal connectionShow real stories of impact to gain credibility
  16. 16. Use Compelling Imagery Match Imagery with your brand, mood and voice - Does quality, composition and candor of your imagery jive with your user experience?
  17. 17. “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”,
  18. 18. 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?
  19. 19. “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,”
  20. 20. 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“
  21. 21. Include clear, bold calls to action Calls to action are strengthened by - Testimonials: - Urgency: It worked; It’s now or never; - Credibility statements: - Conversational: It’s reliable; get in touch; - Warranty or guarantee: It’s risk-free; - High value: It’s worth having;
  22. 22. “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?”
  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”
  24. 24. “…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,” May 21, 2009
  25. 25. Keep Your Content Fresh Always have something new to offer to your - Utilize automatic feeds - Add dates to content posted to the homepage - Gather user-generated content
  26. 26. “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.
  27. 27. 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 contribute
  28. 28. Be Social Showcase all social activities everywhere - Encourage viral sharing - Integrate social activities everywhere
  29. 29. “Many of today’s most successful websites are interactive, meaning they allow people to participate in the content in some way. - Randall Mains Strategic Web Communication Principle #4: Interactivity” July 12, 2009
  30. 30. Provide a Personal Touch ThroughInteractive 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.
  31. 31. 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 Interactive
  32. 32. @keljarQUESTIONS?