If you are a nonprofit or charity, you know your website plays a vital role in your organization. Your website is a place where you share all your online content. Where you send people to learn more about you and even be inspired enough to give or become a regular donor.
What you may not know is that you are missing a few key details to make your website soar!
In this post, I will talk about three known factors that could be affecting donations on your website and how to fix them.
The three keys are:
- Unclear messaging
- Weak call to action
- No way to donate online
1. Unclear messaging
When you are evaluating changes to your website, you have to look at the foundation first.
My wife and I recently bought a home. The first recommendation we got from everyone, “Check the foundation”. It can be tempting to get enticed by the exterior, the flashy new kitchen, but in reality this means nothing if the foundation is bad.
With all websites I build, I make sure we start at the beginning; messaging. I can't overstate this enough. Without clear messaging, no changes to your website will be worth it. No amount of ads or increased traffic can fix low conversion rates due to bad messaging.
Think back to the most recent time you left a website. What made you leave? Was it was because you didn't understand the purpose of the website? Possibly it was because you went there looking for something specific and couldn't find it. Our attention span is ~8 seconds. That means that you have very little time to convince your website visitor to stay.
I want to help you with that today.
Here is a list of questions I ask my clients before we build a website. Go through these with your organization and make sure you can answer them.
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the goal of every website visitor?
- What is your customer's biggest problem?
- How do you solve your customer's biggest problem?
Knowing the answer to these questions will help create clarity. Increased clarity leads to visitors staying on your website longer and more conversions.
Once you have answered the above questions, you can start to use this in your website copy. As long as your copy keeps these answers in mind, you will find success!
Here are some great examples of websites with clear messaging.
I love Stripe because it says what they do (Payments infrastructure for the internet) and who they do it for (companies of all sizes - from startups to Fortune 500s). It speaks to their target audience and gives clarity to the end-user.
The next one I like is from SpinupWP.
They tell you exactly what they do and that it can be set up in minutes. Time is a major factor in whether people continue to browse your product or service. If it takes hours to start using your service, they will be hesitant to sign up. Here SpinupWP states that it takes minutes to sign up, and you can start a free trial with Google. They have lowered the barrier to getting started.
Imagine this, someone visits your website. In less than 8 seconds they will know what you do and how easy it can be to donate or get involved. Make it as easy as possible for people to understand why and how to donate to your organization.
2. Weak Call to Actions
Once you have determined who you are speaking to, the next step is addressing the call to actions.
If you are new to websites, a call to action is defined here by sba.gov
A Call to Action (CTA) on a website is an instruction to the visitor in order to encourage them to take some kind of action.
The buttons you see on websites are all call to actions. They are telling a user to act on a specific action. What is important here is the title of the call to action.
- What are you calling your user to do?
- Is the text convincing enough?
- Do they know where it will take them?
Remember, if we don't pay attention to the details we could lose our visitors altogether. It only takes 8 seconds.
When we create our call to actions, make sure to tell your user EXACTLY where they are going. Be as specific as possible. Your user wants to know what happens when they click this button.
Here is an example of a call to action from Business Made Simple.
"Start your free trial," tells me exactly what happens when I click it. I know I will be able to start using the service or product for free.
Try to stay away from CTAs like "click here." They don't provide any information about where this button will take them.
Remember when writing the copy for your call to actions, the destination is the most important part!
3. No way to donate online
If you have completed the two steps above, you have
- Provided clear messaging for your cause
- Written clear and direct call to actions for your visitors
The last tip is to provide an easy way to accept donations on your website. Once you have spent the time getting users to your website, don't leave money on the table with a complicated donation process.
This can be done in a couple of different ways. If you use WordPress, there are great donation plugins out there. Since WordPress is my CMS of choice, I will show you some options for WordPress. If you are using a different tool, there are plenty of third-party options out there that you can either embed onto your website or link to it externally. I recommend keeping it on the website but linking to it is also a viable option.
My go-to plugin is GiveWP. This plugin is for handling donations and payments from donors to nonprofits. With this plugin, you can select one-time payments or recurring payments. It provides great flexibility in how you can set up your website to receive these different donation types. GiveWP includes many different ways to pay, which decreases the barrier to entry for someone who may want to donate.
Another good option is WP Simple Pay. This plugin is a WordPress payment plugin. It provides recurring and one-time payments, as well as many different options for paying.
If you believed that your website couldn't help you increase donations, I hope I proved you wrong. If used properly, you can use your website to tell a story that pulls the visitors in and help them relate to your cause.
At Netti Design, we offer all this in our website build services. If you are looking to have a clear, direct, and impactful website contact us today. We would be more than happy to help your organization increase donations and raise awareness online.