Improve your nonprofit website with these quick and easy steps.
Websites are made up of content, and that content defines them.
A website with a great design and bad content is a bad website. Alternatively, a website with a bad design and great content may not necessarily be a bad site. Consider Reddit or Craigslist — both sites have lackluster designs, but the content is extremely valuable.
Websites exist to deliver content, and people visit them to receive that content. Therefore, maximizing your website content is important if you want to help your organization deliver results.
In this article, you'll learn five ways that you can maximize your website content in less than an hour.
Start with a content audit. If your site isn't enormous, it won't take long. Click through every page of your site and write down the title of the page and a description of what the content on that page covers. This exercise will help you to see in what areas your content is robust and where it may be lacking.
For example, if you have five pages about the history of your organization, but only two covering the services you offer, you have found a gap in your content. You might also realize there are entire pages of material missing, such as an FAQ page or Staff page.
If a page is too long, visitors might get bored and leave your site. If a page is too short, it's likely people won't have enough context about the page topic to fully understand it. Also, a short page doesn't help your website be ranked highly in Google's search results.
Most pages need to be between 350 and 1,000 words. If a page is longer than this, consider splitting it up into multiple pages. If a page is shorter than this, consider combining it with another page, or creating more content.
A competitor is someone in your space with content similar to yours. This might not be a true competitor, but another organization that can attract the interest of your website users. Take a look at their website. What are they doing with their content? How is it focused? What is their writing style?
Learn all you can from their site and bring that knowledge back to yours as you make improvements. Often, a review like this will help you to find more gaps in your content, encouraging you to create new pages.
Too many sites with good content are missing good images. Images are a way of helping the reader break up the monotony of the text, drawing them down the page. Images also give context to what a user is reading and help them to engage more deeply with the content.
Ideally, add images that are yours, unique to your organization and website. If that is impossible, consider interesting and artistic stock images from sites like Unsplash and Pexels. The images on these sites are completely free and tend to be higher quality.
The reality of the modern website user is that they scan everything. Pages of dense text that are stacked into long paragraphs are daunting. Consider breaking up your content into lists, short paragraphs, and some pull quotes for the more important points you are trying to make. Also, consider bolding some key sentences to make scanning easier and draw the user's eye to them.
Each of these tactics can be done in less than an hour per page and will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your website content. Always keep in mind that your content is competing to hold a user's interest. If a user is reading your website content, they are not reading another site, such as a news site, sports site, or Facebook. They are taking the time on your site, and your content has to compete with each of those huge sites to entice them to stay.
A website exists to deliver content to users. Better content means a better user experience, which means better user engagement with your organization. Better user engagement means more donors, volunteers, people to serve, and more. It is worth your time to make sure your content is the best it can be.
Originally published as "5 Ways to Maximize Your Website Content in Less than an Hour" with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.