Top Ten Website BestPractices Every School Should Employ Jaime Lassman, Director of Technology Integration and Curriculum – The Lexington School Kelley Jarrett, Market Manager – Guide Creative A Blackbaud Production!
Resonate with your Audiences “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, 10 A Blackbaud Production!
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? A Blackbaud Production!
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! A Blackbaud Production!
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? A Blackbaud Production!
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.com A Blackbaud Production!
Have a Focused HomepagePrioritize Content • Wireframes are key for visual hierarchy • Remember YOUR goals • Remember your AUDIENCE’S goals A Blackbaud Production!
Have a Focused HomepagePass the 3-second test • Is your homepage scannable, understandable, intuitive in 3 seconds? A Blackbaud Production!
“Design your website around your school’s actions and purpose. Make the mission statement clear as day.” - Blake McCreary “Non-Profit Web Design.” A Blackbaud Production!
Share Your MissionTell your story clearly & succinctly and make it actionable • Most prospectives check out your website before they engage • 60% of all donors view an organization’s website before donating - tell them why they should give… A Blackbaud Production!
Share Your MissionShow your story … visually • Infographics, typography, links, video, imagery, photography • The style should fit your voice and brand • Prospective families want to be “wowed”! A Blackbaud Production!
Use Compelling Imagery“Regardless of what your content actuallysays, the design around it controls whatthe users see first and how their eyesmove across the sections of the page.” - Jason Gross “The Role of Design in The Kingdome of Content, www.smashingmagazine.com A Blackbaud Production!
Use Compelling ImageryEngage with eye contact … Make a personal connectionShow real stories of impact to gain credibility A Blackbaud Production!
Use Compelling ImageryMatch Imagery with your brand, mood and voice - Does quality, composition and candor of your imagery jive with your user experience? A Blackbaud Production!
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.com A Blackbaud Production!
Ensure Ease in NavigationNavigation 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? A Blackbaud Production!
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,” A Blackbaud Production!
Include Clear, Bold Calls-to-Action Remove all obstacles to action from anywhere “Apply Now” should take them directly to application. A Blackbaud Production!
Include Clear, Bold Calls-to-Action Calls to action should be clear and compelling Don’t Say: “Click Here” Instead Say: Visit Us Apply Donate Learn More A Blackbaud Production!
Showcase Your 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.com A Blackbaud Production!
Showcase Your Stewardship A Blackbaud Production!
Showcase Your Stewardship60% of donors visit a nonprofit’swebsite before making a gift. - Show the impact (eg. stats, infographics) - Be transparent (eg. share your annual report) - Say “Thank you” A Blackbaud Production!
Keep Content Fresh“…You need to remember that the Internetis a dynamic place, and make sure yoursite is constantly changing as well.” - Randall Mains “Good Non Profit Website Design Principles #5 of 5,” blog.pathmakermarketing.com May 21, 2009 A Blackbaud Production!
Keep Content FreshAlways have something new to offer to your students, parents, alumni - Utilize automatic feeds - Add dates to content posted to the homepage A Blackbaud Production!
Keep Content FreshGather user-generated content A Blackbaud Production!
Be Social “Integrating the social experience into yourorganization’s web site will help promotethe channel, engage supporters, andprovide a constant source of dynamiccontent …” - Melanie Mathos & Chad Norman“101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide.” John Wiley & Sons, Inc. A Blackbaud Production!
Be SocialSocial media is a valuable tool incontributing to site traffic andbrand exposure - Make it easy to connect, interact and contribute A Blackbaud Production!
Be SocialShowcase all social activities everywhere - Encourage viral sharing - Integrate social activities everywhere A Blackbaud Production!
Provide a Personal TouchThrough Multimedia“Many of today’s most successful websites are interactive, meaning they allow people to participate in the content in some way. - Randall MainsRandall Mains, Strategic Web Communication Principle #4: Interactivity” blog.pathmakermarketing.com A Blackbaud Production!
Provide a Personal TouchThrough MultimediaAllow users to consume information in multiple ways - Users want to consume information in various media channels and formats. A Blackbaud Production!
Provide a Personal TouchThrough Multimedia A Blackbaud Production!
Ten Best Practices1. Resonate with Your Audiences2. Have a Focused Homepage3. Share Your Mission4. Use Compelling Imagery5. Ensure Ease in Navigation6. Include Clear, Bold Calls to Action7. Showcase Your Stewardship8. Keep Your Content Fresh9. Be Social10. Provide a Personal Touch Through Interactive A Blackbaud Production!
Questions? Test Your Own Site! www.guidecreative.com/topten A Blackbaud Production!