Top tips to maximise your charity website in 2017

22nd February 2017

Here at FARM Digital we are a technical web development agency who work with organisations that fight for a good cause. As our clients include a lot of charities we want to share our insights into how a website can be more successful through a few fundamental features being implemented.

  • Identify user personas

When planning navigation and content, it is vital to identify and plan for all the user types that visit your website. One of your donors will be wanting to search for something much different to someone diagnosed with a condition wanting to source medical information, or someone wanting to work for the charity for example. All users have different needs and it is taking the time to understand those needs and mapping out the various user journeys and content requirements that will enable the website to excel.

By viewing the website through the eyes of each persona you can check if content is missing on pages and streamline your website.

  • Strong donations platform

Donations platforms are a central point for many in order for a charity to succeed and grow. Making the giving of donations a seamless process will drive giving and retention, a complicated or unattractive platform has the power to put donors off.

Parting with money is an emotive experience whether it be a big or small donation so the landing page needs to be compelling. Not only does a donations platform have to be supported by a sophisticated back-end development it also should look attractive.

  • Cross-promote related content

This is something we believe every charity should include on their website but many are missing. Let's take a website we built, The Brain Tumour Charity, as an example for showcasing the power related content has. A visitor to the website has been diagnosed with a tumour called 'Glioblastoma', after reading the information page on the tumour they then have the option to click on suggested pages that relate to what they have just read. This related content will refresh on returning journeys avoids repetitiveness and is a value add to visitors, all links shown at the bottom of the page will be of a benefit to the user and is prompting their next move around the site.

This is a key strength of the charity, building a user journey and demonstrating a consideration of their needs showcases an understanding of what benefits the website has.

  • Geolocation

This tool filters personalisation messaging based on the user location, this is useful when charities try to build awareness and participation in local activities. Users can see what is planned in their area that they can support or become involved with e.g bake offs, 5k runs, bike-a-thon. Enabling geo-locater on your website gives your charity an advantage to knowing that the content visitors are seeing is localised and may have more impact to be acted upon as opposed to national content.

  • Leverage social feeds

In today's fast paced digital world a successful business plan will more than likely include a social media element. This additional touch point is proving one of the best ways for charities to have contact with their audience, pulling live updates from social feeds show the 'human element' to your organisation that you are regularly interacting, posting and engaging. It also encourages visitors to 'like' or 'follow' that social page and subsequently if they are an advocate of the charity they could share a post onto their timeline which increases net new reach. Also having a social feed on the home page updates visitors without them having to visit a new page which the necessarily wouldn't go to.

We hope this has been a benefit to you, if you are in interested in talking to us about improving your website then please email hello@wearefarm.com to talk to one of our specialists