Since your website is highly visible, it is critical that it reinforces your brand and what your organisation stands for.
Your brand: Every organisation has a brand: it is your reputation and how you are perceived in people that use or buy your product. From email signatures to how you dress, to what the office looks like - these all influence how people think about your organisation.
Your website needs to reflect your brand from layout, content, designs and photographs. If your organisation is about ending family violence or researching ageing, then the site must capture what you are doing to fulfil that promise.
Your objectives: A website isn’t just about being online because you have to be. It is more to do with what you want it to achieve. If you want to attract new collaborators or donors, it needs to convince the right people. It needs to be specific about what you want them to do.
If you want research volunteers, you need to write copy and design the website in such a way that will show them why and how research volunteers are important to your organisation. Don’t dilute stories with information that distract from this goal.
You will need to write copy that gives your audience a compelling case about how their involvement will make the difference. Do that and you will find people wanting to assist.
Who is your audience?
In previous posts, we have discussed the importance of creating personas to help you understand the people who browse your site, what they are looking for, what their priorities are and what turns them on. Know this, and you will be able to write appropriately.
Your home page
Use your elevator pitch: what you do and why it matters. Don’t go into detail – that will come on other pages. The home page is vital for getting your audience on board so that they can make a commitment to your mission. They need to understand your mission without feeling exhausted. From that, they can decide to volunteer, donate, sign a petition or subscribe.
Your elevator pitch is the mini-version of your whole website. It helps paint a picture of your organisation, the problem you are trying to solve and the steps you are taking to reach it.
How to write?
Keep it simple: Use bullet points whenever possible. Keep your paragraph length under 4 lines.
Use the word “you”: You’ll capture your reader’s attention this way.
Photography: Focus on people’s faces – it invites people to empathise and become involved.
Start with the important information: Use words which best describe your organisation’s character, value or mission.
Work with a professional: There are many templates available but we always recommend working with a professional designer who will ensure that you site is easy to use for your audience. That way they will stay on your site longer and learn more about what you do.