Today, Business & Trade Association Websites Must Be…
Engaging: Websites must be visually attractive and draw in the viewer. Today’s population are web-savvy and will quickly move on to another search result if your website isn’t engaging. While your Association may have a lot to promote, carefully design your Home page using white space and attractive fonts. Don’t overdo it – too much content and overuse of colors will overwhelm the viewer.
Informative: Is your website offering something of value to its members? Is it informative? Can that information be easily accessed on your website? Have you captured the notes from the last board meeting; do you have any new laws or updates on legislature that you can include? Consider adding a Q&A with a Board Member on the state of the industry? All of these things bring validity to your mission.
Intuitive: Is your website easy to navigate? Consider polling your members for the top five things they want to see on your Association website. Create an easy online survey using web-based tools like Survey Monkey or something similar. Are the top five things located on your website and can they be found easily? If your members have to dig three – four pages into the website to find the information they are looking for, then that’s not an intuitive website.
Social: Are you offering members the chance to collaborate in a secure, online (members-only) environment? Do you have a member profile and online directory? Do you provide opportunities for online networking and collaboration? On the flip side, are you using Social Media to promote your Association’s messages and themes? Are your Social Media pages integrated so you only have to do one posting at a time? Have you checked your following lately? Are you following similar organizations on Social Media to see how they are gaining new followers?
Dynamic: Members will quickly loose interest in a static website. Do you have images from recent conferences that you can include? Upload conference presentations and brochures to secure, member-only areas. Add daily rotating quotes from members. News feeds from industry publications can add to your website as well.
When considering a website design and development project, Business and Trade Associations should determine what elements of a website are important to their membership. What components are necessary for the Association to grow and attract new members and sponsors. Don’t focus all of your energy on creating a pretty front end – ensuring you have a secure and efficient back-office is critical to streamlining your operationalefficiencies and maximizing your technology investment.
To Market We Go!