The Best Website Investments to Make This Year (For Any Budget)

Whether you're about to redesign your website, have just launched a new website, or are somewhere in between, here are three investments your organization can make (regardless of your budget) to better serve and engage your members, constituents, and donors.

Budget Level $ - Minor Investment

Option 1: Maximize Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful web analytics tools on the market. Even better, it’s free! With Google Analytics, not only can you track how many visitors are coming to your website, but you can also:

  • Identify which pages are visited most.
  • Determine where your traffic is coming from (social media, organic search, etc.).
  • Track key site performance metrics like time on site, pages viewed per session, and goal conversions.
  • Use Google Analytics to help identify opportunities to improve your website and deliver a more exceptional digital experience to your members.  (If you have a little more to spend, a good technology partner can help you optimize your setup; there are also free training courses from Google to get you started.)

Option 2: Invest in Low-Cost Add-Ons

Google Analytics is not the only low-cost add-on that can improve your site’s user experience. There are a variety of tools and software that can help improve both the front-end and back-end of your website, including:

  • Google Search Console (for monitoring SEO performance)
  • Google My Business (for managing your local presence in Google)
  • Hotjar (for collecting user feedback and analyzing user behavior on-site)
  • Unbounce (for easily creating campaign landing pages)

Option 3: Design a Roadmap

Take the opportunity to get smarter about the current state of your website and overall digital experience. Survey your members to find out more about their biggest needs that might not be met by your site today. Same with your internal team members. Then use those insights to set your priorities and make a plan for improving your website when the funds are available.

Budget Level $$ - Modest Investment

Option 1: Establish a Member Portal

Member Portals provide your members with a “home base” for all actions related to your organization. Through a single sign-on, your members can access personalized content, manage their contact information, register for events, and even view and manage their donation history.

Option 2: Enhance Your Resource Center

Do you use your website to provide educational or supportive resources for your constituents? Do you know if you're serving them well? Use your available budget to enhance the usability of your resource center. Start by auditing/organizing your data and purging outdated or irrelevant content. Then invest your dollars in a redesign that provides site visitors with the tools they need to navigate your content effortlessly — filters, search bars, breadcrumb navigation, etc.

Option 3: Assess and Improve Your Communication Cadence

Keeping in regular contact with your members is critical for fostering engagement and building relationships. Identify opportunities to improve your communication cadence and solve for gaps in your current strategy. Then dedicate your resources to bringing these enhancements to life, whether it’s with new email marketing software, a refreshed approach to social media, or attention to any other set of touchpoints.

Budget Level $$$ - Significant Investment

Option 1: Add In-Demand Features

Are your members telling you, “It’d be great if the website did X!”?  If you’re hearing it from some people, chances are there are many others feeling the same way. If you have the budget, it’s time to address these pain points by adding new features and functionalities to your website that improve your audience’s experience, and in turn your ability to engage with members and drive action. Features like these can have a huge impact:

  • Single Sign-On
  • Searchable/Filterable Resource Library
  • Self-Service Account Management
  • Member-Only Portals
  • Online Donations
  • Customized Communication Settings
  • Online Learning Events

Option 2: Improve Your AMS/CRM Systems

Consider your current Association Management Software (AMS) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Most nonprofits use one of these systems (if not both) to actively manage their member data.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your current AMS/CRM in supporting personalized communication and tracking the effectiveness of your campaigns.  Where are the gaps? The limitations? Your goal should be to have a single source of member data truth that your whole internal team can rely on to support their independent initiatives (so Fundraising does not have different info than Membership, which could be different still from what Finance is looking at).

If you aren’t using an AMS or CRM — or if the one you have isn’t supporting your goals — what are you waiting for? Invest today to take control of your data and support all your organization’s efforts. If you don’t know where to start, drop us a line, and we can work with you to select the perfect tool for your specific needs and help you integrate that system into your digital platform.

Option 3: Streamline Your Internal Operations

This option is all about making it easier for your team to complete their daily tasks by integrating new systems and technologies into your digital experience. Talk with your internal team and identify what aspects of their task workflows can be streamlined or even automated. Then invest in the systems and tools that can help your team better support the needs of your members and constituents.

This could mean:

  • Consolidating systems so that your team isn't logging into multiple platforms every day.
  • Implementing marketing automation to handle communication needs.
  • Making data more easily accessible for a more seamless member experience.
  • Investing in training resources to empower your team to complete their digital work more easily.

Iteration is the Key to Digital Success

Don't let a tight budget hold you back from improving your website. Regardless of your resources, there are always things you can do to enhance your members’ digital experience with your organization.

Interested in learning more ways you can improve your digital experience? Download our newest free eGuide, The 6 Principles of High-Performing Nonprofit Digital Experiences.

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