How to Improve Your Association Marketing with Website UX
AMR Management Services
When it comes to association digital marketing, your website is the glue that holds your strategy together. While your organization likely already leverages digital marketing assets such as email and social media, your website is the hub where you house important information aimed at current and potential members and sponsors.
That being said, your website is only useful as a marketing tool if it’s made with user experience (UX) in mind. After all, it must be intuitive, accessible, and navigable to keep visitors on the page. So, let’s explore what associations can do to improve website design and provide value to visitors.
Understanding Website UX
Before we go over our best practices for improving UX, it’s important to understand what it is and how it’s related to digital marketing for nonprofits, professional societies and trade associations.
UX, or user experience, refers to the overall experience that a website visitor has when they arrive on a page. Some elements that impact UX include:
- Performance, such as load speed
- Organization and navigation
- Content quality and usefulness
- Visual layout
Plus, per NXUnite, mobile-friendliness is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO), which boosts your website’s visibility online.
UX plays a major role in establishing your association’s credibility and professionalism, which are key characteristics of a winning brand identity. It only takes a mere 50 milliseconds for users to form their first impression of your website, and UX is crucial to acing it. Your organization will come across as more trustworthy with a functional and user-friendly website, enticing potential members and sponsors to get involved.
Strategies for Optimizing Your Website’s UX
Now that you understand the importance of prioritizing your website’s UX, let’s explore some best practices you should follow to create the best onsite experience possible for users.
–1 Streamline navigation and data architecture
When you break down your website into its most basic parts, it’s essentially a database of everything related to your association. Organizing it intuitively is key to keeping users on the page and converting them into long-term supporters. Jumpstart your organizational process by:
- Auditing your existing navigation. Poll your members to understand how you can improve your website’s navigation. You could also enlist the help of a nonprofit web design professional to ensure that your strategy is on the right track.
- Simplify menu structure. Your menu is the most significant navigational element on your website, so make it as straightforward and logical as possible. Mention important pages with simple terminology, such as “our story,” “get involved,” and “about us.” Also, you should make action items like your join and donate buttons stand out by using a different color scheme.
- Use dropdown menus sparingly. If you have important subcategories that you want to highlight, ensure you only include a few per dropdown. For example, an “about us” page could have the dropdown options of “our story,” “contact information,” and “mission statement.”
The most important element of navigation optimization is how easy it is for your users to get where they need to be. By tailoring your navigation strategically, you can funnel them to the pages that are most likely to convince them to engage with your association.
–2 Make your website mobile-responsive.
With over half of all web traffic originating from mobile devices, it’s crucial that your website is accessible on all devices. Achieve this by:
- Using a responsive design. This style resizes your content to fit the user’s screen, allowing anyone to use your website effectively.
- Sizing your font appropriately. Avoid tiny font sizes that cause eye strain for mobile users.
- Incorporating touch-friendly features. All elements of your website should be usable by mouse, keyboard, and touch screen.
If you aren’t a web designer, don’t worry—you don’t have to be to implement these changes. Your association management partner can design a site or help you find a powerful web builder that can create a website accessible to both desktop and mobile users. The best options will allow you to preview your pages on a desktop view and a mobile view so you can visualize what you still need to change to align with the most updated guidance.
–3 Prioritize accessibility.
Remember that your website should be useful for all visitors, regardless of their abilities. Fortunately, there are some easy fixes you can make in your website builder to make your content accessible to anyone who comes across your site. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines’ most recent version lays out the standard characteristics of accessible web content. WCAG says that content must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. To satisfy each of these criteria, you can:
- Incorporate alternative text. This attribute allows you to describe what’s happening in an image to people with visual impairments. Your alt text should be between 120-150 characters and not only explain what the subject of the image is but the purpose of the image as well.
- Make your interface intuitive and safe. Ensure all of your website is navigable via keyboard and touchscreen. Also, avoid posting content that could trigger seizures, such as flashing animations.
- Create user-friendly visuals. Maintaining a high-quality visual layout isn’t just important for your branding’s sake. Fifty & Fifty recommends intentionally leveraging digital design elements such as white space and color contrast to highlight important parts of the text and ensure the content is legible to all.
By prioritizing accessibility, you not only make your website a more user-friendly marketing tool but you also make your mission more visible to anyone who wants to learn more.
Whether you’re focusing on improving your website’s SEO-friendliness or driving conversions to your online donation page, the process starts with implementing web design best practices. Once you’ve started making changes, keep track of analytics such as click-through rate and search engine impressions so you can tailor your strategy with data in mind going forward. Remember to ask association members for feedback as well so you can continue making your website as intuitive and useful as possible.
That being said, as long as you keep the user experience as the crux of your strategy, you’ll be reaching new audiences in no time.
AMR is an accredited association management company (AMC) providing a wide range of services including strategic leadership support, financial management, event planning, member relations, marketing, communications, program management, information technology services and general administration. Looking for help with your association? Get In Touch With Us Today!
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