Five Website Features That Inspire Supporters to Give Back
By Elisabeth Crum, Senior Interactive Strategist, OmniStudio
As we head into WDG’s annual GiveBack DC initiative and digital strategy is in the air, we at both OmniStudio and WDG want to express our love for nonprofits, and the work they do to give back to our communities.
We’re also passionate about smart web strategy and social media marketing to help nonprofits reach more supporters. Open source tools like WordPress, combined with easy sharing plugins for social media posting, make it possible to build a website that you and your fans will love. Here are some of our favorite features that inspire people to give back to and show their love for their favorite causes.
Blogs are beautiful tools. Not only can authors and thought leaders quickly share and promote ideas, opinions, and reactions, but blogging goes above and beyond website content. Search engines love the kind of fresh and new content offered by blog tools, sending more visitors to sites with authentic AND new content. Additionally, blogs give you a place on your website to host that fresh content in long form and then pull snippets for easy social sharing – giving you easy access to routine relevant content. So while Google is indexing your blog, your fans and followers are already onsite reading your content and sharing it with friends.
Implicit in any new site design is the functionality for easy social sharing. Sharing tools help visitors spread your content (that they love) out to their friends. These features also allow for simple cross-promotion of a site’s content, so once a page is updated or a blog written, staff and visitors alike have a one-click mechanism for disseminating content and messages across social platforms. And great site content, shared widely, brings visitors back to your site and more eyes onto your great content.
It goes without saying that designers like us love graphic design. Compelling visuals engage and inspire visitors and add that emotional connection that can more strongly convey a message than plain words. With the growing use of Pinterest, Instagram, and other platforms, social sharing of images and infographics makes it even more valuable to incorporate strong visual content to any website. And your users are more likely to share your images than anything else – so be sure to think visual first.
Give back to visitors on the go by developing a website that adapts to the device they choose to view it on. Responsive design offers the flexibility to view sites on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and desktops without disrupting the visitor’s experience. All the functionality at the click of a mouse or tap of a finger!
Whether you’re selling something, collecting donations, or asking for petition sign-ons, make it simple. The fewer steps, the higher the conversion rate for visitors who want to take a quick 30-second break from their email to send a message to their representative or purchase the latest e-book. And of course, visitors will love the simplicity of one-click operations so much that they will share it on social platforms – but only if you remind them to!
What are some of your favorite website features? What websites make you excited to give back to DC?
Elisabeth has over seven years of experience with social media strategy, digital engagement, and project management in non-profits. She successfully translates that experience into better outcomes and products at OmniStudio, where Elisabeth works in many areas within the firm, from content and social media strategy to business development and web project management. She explores new means of marketing and expands the uses of digital media tools and products developed by Omni.
Located in Washington, DC, OmniStudio has been instrumental in the communications activities of local, national and international institutions for more than 30 years. We share the goals and passions of our clients, especially in the areas of education, health care, the environment, peace, the arts, and human rights.