5 Website Improvements to
Make in 5 Minutes (or less)
Date: June 17
Time: 3:15 PM
Hashtag: #MMCCon ET1
Checking In
• How many of you are in charge of your
organization’s website content?
• How many have other jobs?
• How many...
Just like Tron… we fight for the users.
Oops, we mean your members.
Hat tip/Credit to John Mills for the original use of t...
Why This Matters
• More members (and prospective members)
will interact with your website than any other
association progr...
Improve each page every
time you touch it.
Photo Credit: Flickr, Ed Schipul
Create standards:
• Provide checklists
for content
creators
• Educate on best
practices
• Review annually
Photo Credit: Fl...
UPDATE 1: ENSURE VISUAL
HIERARCHY
The biggest
monster is
usually the
one you
need to
fight first.
Keys to Visual Hierarchy
• The more important
something is, the more
prominent it is
• Things that are related
logically a...
F-Shaped Web Reading Patterns
• Users first read in a horizontal
movement, usually across the upper
part of the content ar...
Layout Considerations
• Create a visual hierarchy within the viewing
pattern
• Communicate user value quickly
– Base navig...
“Having an effective call to action is
an essential part of any website. A
call to action is not just limited to
ecommerce...
Define User Action
• What do you want the user to do?
– Fill out a form
– Register for an event
– Connect on social media
...
For more information about applying to medical
school, download the Ultimate Guide to the
Becoming an INSERT PROFESSION HE...
UPDATE 2: MAKE YOUR CONTENT
“WEB FRIENDLY”
On the average Web
page, users have
time to read at
most 28% of the
words during an
average visit; 20% is
more likely.
- J...
“Get rid of half the words on each page, then get
rid of half of what’s left.”
- Krug’s 3rd Law of Usability
Photo Credit:...
Increase in
usability by
cutting half
the words
on the
page.
Nielsen Norman Group - How Users Read on the Web
http://www.n...
Keeping it Short
• Excess words must die
– Happy talk
– Instructions
– Unnecessary adjectives (e.g. that)
• Shorter paragr...
The following questionnaire is designed to provide us with
information that will help us improve the site and make it
more...
Please help us improve the site by answering
these questions. It should only take you 2-3
minutes to complete the survey.
...
Inverted Pyramid
Lead – Most Important
information
Helpful non
critical info
Nice but not
necessary
Write (and Layout) for Scanning
• Embrace heads and sub-heads
– Use properly in Word for easy importing
• Break up content...
"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth;
whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul;
whenever I find ...
I must go to sea when:
• I'm depressed or melancholy
• I stop in front of coffin warehouses
• I follow funerals
• I have a...
Dispense with jargon & superfluous
vocabulary
• Speaks only to insiders
– Excludes new (or potential) members of your
comm...
Bad Good
riverine avifauna river birds
involuntarily undomiciled homeless
The patient is being given
positive-pressure ven...
Passive vs Active Voice?
• “Active voice is best for most web content, but
using passive voice can let you front-load
impo...
Passive vs Active Voice
• Passive Voice: Best for Headlines and
Subheads
– Front load keywords with passive voice
– Put th...
Get Your Free White Paper: 5 Tips to
Better Writing
Our new whitepaper will make you a better writer for the web. This
whi...
5 Tips to Better Writing: Get Your Free
White Paper Now
Become a better writer for the web with this new whitepaper. Incre...
TIP 3: ADD RELEVANT LINKS TO
OTHER SITE PAGES
• A mix of satisfying and
sufficing
• We don’t choose the best
option
• We choose the first
reasonable option
• Why?
• In ...
Curb Satisficing with an “Off Ramp”
• In line links based on the subject
• Recommended content
• “Trending” content
• Freq...
TIP 4: GOOD SEO HELPS CONTENT
BE FOUND (AND SHARED)
• Users search for website
and content via Google
FIRST
• Good SEO will pull in
targeted prospects (and
new members)
• Bad...
SEO Tips
• Make it visible
– Relevant content can’t be hidden behind a login
• Know your relevant keywords… and use them!
...
SEO Basics
• SEO Friendly URL
• Title Tag
• Descriptions
• Keywords
TIP 5: GRAPHICS & PHOTOS
ENGAGE USERS
Users pay close
attention to
photos and
other images
that contain
relevant
information
Photo Credit: Flickr, Another Seb
Pictures Improve Engagement
• Eyetracking studies document a gap in how
users view website images:
– Some are completely i...
NO!!!
YES!
Photo & Image Ideas
• What to show
– Leadership photos
– Member photos
– Real events
– Real industries
– Staff
– Products
...
BONUS TIP: GET READY FOR
MOBILE
Image credit: Irita Kirsbluma on Flickr
Why this matters
• In the US, 25% of users only access the
internet via mobile device
• This number will only continue to ...
Tips
• Simplify
• Remove Tables
• Change PDFs to Images
• Optimize Your Images
• Design for touchscreens
• Simplify naviga...
Wrapping Up
• Less is more
• Images can convey 1,000 words
• Enhance your chances of being found
• Give users a reason to ...
Contact Us
Ray van Hilst
Director of Client Strategy and Marketing
Vanguard Technology
rvanhilst@vtcus.com
703.439.1990
Ma...
5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or Less) from ASAE's MMC Conference 2014
5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or Less) from ASAE's MMC Conference 2014
5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or Less) from ASAE's MMC Conference 2014
5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or Less) from ASAE's MMC Conference 2014
5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or Less) from ASAE's MMC Conference 2014
5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or Less) from ASAE's MMC Conference 2014
5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or Less) from ASAE's MMC Conference 2014
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5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or Less) from ASAE's MMC Conference 2014

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Today’s crowded online environment includes mobile experiences, social traffic and changing search technologies that call for more care and feeding than “throw it on the web and forget about it.” This quick hitting session equipped association communicators with the tools and techniques to practically and methodically turn their website into the most effective communications tool in their toolbox.

Presented at ASAE's 2014 Membership, Marketing and Communications Conference

Published in: Technology, Design
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  • Users click the first relevant link
    Helps users discover the breadth of your site
    Helps with SEO
  • 5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or Less) from ASAE's MMC Conference 2014

    1. 1. 5 Website Improvements to Make in 5 Minutes (or less) Date: June 17 Time: 3:15 PM Hashtag: #MMCCon ET1
    2. 2. Checking In • How many of you are in charge of your organization’s website content? • How many have other jobs? • How many of you have technical skills (HTML, CSS, etc.)
    3. 3. Just like Tron… we fight for the users. Oops, we mean your members. Hat tip/Credit to John Mills for the original use of this statement at an ASAE conference
    4. 4. Why This Matters • More members (and prospective members) will interact with your website than any other association program • Improvements can increase usability by 47% to 58% • Your website can be what makes a potential new member join…or decide not to Source: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/
    5. 5. Improve each page every time you touch it. Photo Credit: Flickr, Ed Schipul
    6. 6. Create standards: • Provide checklists for content creators • Educate on best practices • Review annually Photo Credit: Flickr, Daniel Kulinski
    7. 7. UPDATE 1: ENSURE VISUAL HIERARCHY
    8. 8. The biggest monster is usually the one you need to fight first.
    9. 9. Keys to Visual Hierarchy • The more important something is, the more prominent it is • Things that are related logically are also related visually • Things are nested visually to show what’s part of what Source: Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think
    10. 10. F-Shaped Web Reading Patterns • Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. • Next, users move down the page a bit and then read across in a second horizontal movement that typically covers a shorter area than the previous movement. This additional element forms the F's lower bar. • Finally, users scan the content's left side in a vertical movement.
    11. 11. Layout Considerations • Create a visual hierarchy within the viewing pattern • Communicate user value quickly – Base navigation and layout on key user actions – Keep the user and let them explore based on their need • Engage and Convert
    12. 12. “Having an effective call to action is an essential part of any website. A call to action is not just limited to ecommerce sites. Every website should have an objective it wants users to complete whether it is filling in a contact form, signup for a newsletter or volunteering their time.” - Paul Boag
    13. 13. Define User Action • What do you want the user to do? – Fill out a form – Register for an event – Connect on social media • Make sure every page has a Call to Action (CTA) – Drive them to the next step
    14. 14. For more information about applying to medical school, download the Ultimate Guide to the Becoming an INSERT PROFESSION HERE. If you found this helpful, share it on Facebook or Twitter Connect with fellow members on LinkedIn Stay informed of this and other important policy issues by signing up for our Action Alerts.
    15. 15. UPDATE 2: MAKE YOUR CONTENT “WEB FRIENDLY”
    16. 16. On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely. - Jakob Nielsen Photo Credit: Flickr, The Real Estreya
    17. 17. “Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left.” - Krug’s 3rd Law of Usability Photo Credit: Flickr, edibleoffice
    18. 18. Increase in usability by cutting half the words on the page. Nielsen Norman Group - How Users Read on the Web http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/
    19. 19. Keeping it Short • Excess words must die – Happy talk – Instructions – Unnecessary adjectives (e.g. that) • Shorter paragraphs
    20. 20. The following questionnaire is designed to provide us with information that will help us improve the site and make it more relevant to your needs. Please select your answers from the drop-down menus and radio buttons below. The questionnaire should only take you 2 to 3 minutes to complete. At the bottom of the form you can choose to leave your name, address, and telephone number. If you leave your name and number, you may be contacted in the future to participate in a survey to help us improve the site. If you have comments or concerns that require a response please contact Customer Service
    21. 21. Please help us improve the site by answering these questions. It should only take you 2-3 minutes to complete the survey. NOTE: If you have comments or concerns that require a response, don’t use the form. Instead, please contact Customer Service.
    22. 22. Inverted Pyramid Lead – Most Important information Helpful non critical info Nice but not necessary
    23. 23. Write (and Layout) for Scanning • Embrace heads and sub-heads – Use properly in Word for easy importing • Break up content with bullets and lists – Like this one • Use formatting to call out copy – Bold sparingly (but effectively) – Italics • Leave white space between content • Use strategic images
    24. 24. "Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off -- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."
    25. 25. I must go to sea when: • I'm depressed or melancholy • I stop in front of coffin warehouses • I follow funerals • I have a powerful urge to knock people's hats off Credit: Writing for Readers Who Scan by Kathy Henning http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1716452/writing-readers-who-scan
    26. 26. Dispense with jargon & superfluous vocabulary • Speaks only to insiders – Excludes new (or potential) members of your community – Hurts search discovery • Harder to read and understand – Did you understand this headline? • “No buzzwords or fancy language”
    27. 27. Bad Good riverine avifauna river birds involuntarily undomiciled homeless The patient is being given positive-pressure ventilatory support. The patient is on a respirator. Most refractory coatings to date exhibit a lack of reliability when subject to the impingement of entrained particulate matter in the propellant stream under extended firing durations. The exhaust gas eventually damages the coating of most existing ceramics. plainlanguage.gov – Avoid Legal, Foreign and Technical Jargon http://www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/guidelines/FederalPLGuidelines/writeNoJargon.cfm
    28. 28. Passive vs Active Voice? • “Active voice is best for most web content, but using passive voice can let you front-load important keywords in headings, blurbs and lead sentences. This enhances scannability and thus SEO effectiveness.” - Jakob Nielsen
    29. 29. Passive vs Active Voice • Passive Voice: Best for Headlines and Subheads – Front load keywords with passive voice – Put the most important words first – Think ROI • Active Voice: Best for body copy – Increases readability and understanding – Writing best practices
    30. 30. Get Your Free White Paper: 5 Tips to Better Writing Our new whitepaper will make you a better writer for the web. This whitepaper covers important topics that will increase the readability of your website.
    31. 31. 5 Tips to Better Writing: Get Your Free White Paper Now Become a better writer for the web with this new whitepaper. Increase the readability of your website with the important content in this paper.
    32. 32. TIP 3: ADD RELEVANT LINKS TO OTHER SITE PAGES
    33. 33. • A mix of satisfying and sufficing • We don’t choose the best option • We choose the first reasonable option • Why? • In a hurry • Low penalty for guessing wrong We “Satisfice” Photo Credit: Flickr, Ben McLeod
    34. 34. Curb Satisficing with an “Off Ramp” • In line links based on the subject • Recommended content • “Trending” content • Frequently updated content • Images matter now, especially for social sharing
    35. 35. TIP 4: GOOD SEO HELPS CONTENT BE FOUND (AND SHARED)
    36. 36. • Users search for website and content via Google FIRST • Good SEO will pull in targeted prospects (and new members) • Bad SEO diminishes site visibility in search engines, rendering it invisible to most users • “Black Hat” SEO not worth it—know what works NOW, not what used to work Photo Credit: Flickr, Eric Spiegel
    37. 37. SEO Tips • Make it visible – Relevant content can’t be hidden behind a login • Know your relevant keywords… and use them! – Headlines – Body Copy – Internal Links • Build links back to your site – Press Releases – Partner Sites – Social Media and Communities – Embrace Google+
    38. 38. SEO Basics • SEO Friendly URL • Title Tag • Descriptions • Keywords
    39. 39. TIP 5: GRAPHICS & PHOTOS ENGAGE USERS
    40. 40. Users pay close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information Photo Credit: Flickr, Another Seb
    41. 41. Pictures Improve Engagement • Eyetracking studies document a gap in how users view website images: – Some are completely ignored • Big feel-good, decorative images – Other pictures are treated as important content and scrutinized • Products • Real people
    42. 42. NO!!!
    43. 43. YES!
    44. 44. Photo & Image Ideas • What to show – Leadership photos – Member photos – Real events – Real industries – Staff – Products • Where to get it – Members – Custom – Creative Commons – Stock • As long as it’s good
    45. 45. BONUS TIP: GET READY FOR MOBILE Image credit: Irita Kirsbluma on Flickr
    46. 46. Why this matters • In the US, 25% of users only access the internet via mobile device • This number will only continue to increase— get ready now • Over 25% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device • 25% of emails are opened on mobile devices
    47. 47. Tips • Simplify • Remove Tables • Change PDFs to Images • Optimize Your Images • Design for touchscreens • Simplify navigation • Think mobile when being social
    48. 48. Wrapping Up • Less is more • Images can convey 1,000 words • Enhance your chances of being found • Give users a reason to come back again • If you’re not mobile-ready, get there. Now.
    49. 49. Contact Us Ray van Hilst Director of Client Strategy and Marketing Vanguard Technology rvanhilst@vtcus.com 703.439.1990 Maggie McGary Senior Associate Strategic Communications Group maggielmcg@gmail.com

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