These days, there are over 4.6 billion web pages and this number only continues to grow as new businesses get started and existing businesses undergo full digital transformations. This can make it difficult to stand out and encourage traffic organically to your business without investing in targeted and expensive advertising.
According to a recent study in the 2019 Digital Skills Report, 52% of charities surveyed reported they lacked a digital strategy. Without a digital strategy in place, nonprofits could be missing out on crucial visibility which can help drive donations and growth investments. To assist in driving traffic to their appeals and landing pages, charities can explore the following marketing solutions;
Running a blog or news page with regularly updated, informative content that keeps current and potential donors engaged and in the loop is an excellent way to improve traffic. Content strategies should be built with goals in mind, whether this is encouraging visitors through to appeal pages or to improve authority and trust of the nonprofit. This can also help with page design and will encourage the use of visually appealing Call to Action buttons and an image grid of related and popular articles.
To help with content planning and drive the most efficient traffic, research and detail target audiences and the types of content they regularly view, this could include articles, podcasts, videos, etc. This data can be gathered from Google Analytics, a guide to using analytics can be found here.
A plan for the type of media that is going to be produced needs to be drawn up, being mindful of the resource available. For example, blogs and articles will require writing and proofing while podcasts and videos will require scripts, recording and editing plus the cost of renting or buying equipment.
Websites such as Quora and Answer The Public can help find the topics being actively searched around major appeal keywords, topics can then be used to base content around. Don’t forget that keywords should be used across URLs and meta titles and descriptions, this not only clearly informs search engines what content your pages contain but help to direct visitors to the correct areas of your website. Keywords can also be based around major events or religious holidays that donors would potentially be searching, Islamic charities are particularly excellent at this, utilising keywords terms such as sadaqah jariyah and Ramadan to direct donors to the correct appeals.
Deadlines are easily managed with a content calendar and using free online tools can be shared amongst active writers and editors, Google calendar is a good example of this.
Investing in the development of a donation platform or allocating resources for an inhouse developer to create a donation platform makes it easier for donors to pay their dues in a secure manner without being redirected to an alternative fundraising service. Donation platforms can be set up to allow for one-off donations or support ongoing contributions for donors that wish to give more frequently.
Many online donation platform tools are restricted behind subscription fees or require a costly upfront investment. While paying to have a donation platform created can also be pricey, it can prevent future expenses that may occur from needing to amend and adjust the donation tool to the charity’s requirements. Having a custom donation platform also allows for additional features to be built in such as Gift Aid contributions and newsletter marketing sign ups to encourage future donors.
Modern Web Design
Trends are always growing and developing, whether in fashion, home design, styling of home appliances and even websites; there is always some design feature or colour palette that people consider “in”. When it comes to websites, this might be anything from a minimalist design and the use of gradient colour schemes to a wealth of micro-interactions and the heavy incorporation of videos as page backgrounds.
Using a similar procedure to building a content strategy, first identify the target market or preferred audience and detail the types of content they regularly indulge in and the devices that are most commonly used. While Mobile First should drive all website design, nonprofits may decide to adjust their website requirements based on what their donors are using, i.e. larger, clearer Call to Action buttons across the website for mobile users compared to visually appealing buttons for desktop users.
An up to date, user-friendly website improves user experience and can help drive donor contributions as they find it easier to get around the website, enjoy the engaging content and can show clearly how your appeals are helping the intended communities.
If you are a nonprofit struggling to gain visibility in the digital overgrowth of the internet, consider taking a step back, planning strategies and working out where resources can be better invested to grow your online presence and improve not only your donor engagement but your online contributions.