The Anatomy of a Great Web Site

nostrilshumorousInternet and Web Development

Nov 18, 2013 (4 years and 1 month ago)

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The Anatomy of a Great Web Site

Building a Site that Will Get Results

Today’s Agenda


The 5
Required Elements
of an
Engaging
W
ebsite


The 3
Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make
with their
Website


5
Proven Methods
for
Promoting Your Organization
O
nline


Free or
Low
-
Cost Tools Which You Can Use
to
Build Your Own
W
ebsite


The #1
Factor
N
onprofits Should Consider Regarding Search
Engine
O
ptimization


Real
-
World Examples
of
Nonprofit Organizations
that
Have
Mastered Their Online Presence

Rules of Engagement


Ask questions


Let’s learn the language together


Have fun!

The Landscape of the Internet


United States:

239,893,600
Internet users as of
June 2010

77.3
% of the population, according
to
ITU
.


Michigan:

7,899,843
Internet users as of
June 2010

78.4
% of the population,
according to
IWS
.



Internet Usage by Age

Age

Percent Usage

18
-
29

93%

30
-
49

81%

50
-
64

70%

65+

38%

Growth of Internet Users

US Internet User Statistics


55
% of Americans use the Internet every day.


Of
those,
40
% use search
engines


Americans spends 60
hours a month online. If you were
to put those hours back
-
to
-
back, you'd be surfing the
web for a whole
month out of the year.


About
70% of American Internet users participate in
social
networking.


In
a singe month, a web user visits 2,646 sites and logs
on 57 times.

The 5
Required Elements
of an
Engaging Website


Visibility


User Experience & Intuitive Navigation


Visually appealing and simple home page


Sticky content


Calls
to
Action

Visibility


What’s in a Domain Name?


Make Your Site Easy to Find


The Hub of Activity


Search Engine Optimization

What’s in a Domain Name?

Select a memorable name


A memorable name guarantees return visitors


Ask yourself:

Will users remember our web site address after seeing it
written down or hearing it on the radio?


Tie it back to your business or organization


Good examples:
baker.edu
,
allegiancehealth.org


Bad examples:
bakercoll.edu
,
alleghlth.org



What’s in a Domain Name?

Other points to consider:


Keep it Short
-

Your URL cannot be too short


Avoid hyphens and numbers


Avoid words that are commonly spelled wrong


Get a relevant Top
-
Level Domain (TLD)

Best: .org, .
edu
, .com

Avoid:
.net
, .biz,

Make Your Site Easy to Find

Do your other marketing materials point users to your
web site?


Paper fliers/brochures


Business cards


E
-
Mail Signatures


Billboards


Radio/TV

Make Your Site Easy to Find


Ask your partner organizations to link to your web
site (also improves search engine optimization)


Use social networking tools to drive traffic to your
web site:



Facebook


Twitter


StumbleUpon


Digg

Make Your Site Easy to Find


Send email updates or “blasts” to users with links to
new content


Create a blog that can be updated regularly, giving
users new reasons to visit your site

The Hub of
Activity


Create a reason for users to visit your site regularly


Crucial content


Hours of operation


Contact information


Services offered


Update content regularly


News articles/stores


Blogs


Videos


Periodic tips/advice

The Hub of Activity


Do not let your website stagnate!


Once users have seen your page, give them a
reason to come back later.


How often do you look at your own web site?



This is a good indication of how useful it is to others
outside your organization.

Search Engine
Optimization

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?


SEO
is essential for improving website
visibility and
increasing
your
traffic.


Search
Engine
Optimization is
the on
-
going process of
improving the visibility and ranking of a website or web
page in the organic search engine results presented in
Google and the other major search
engines.


SEO is not a service or process that can produce
significant results in a few days, or even a few months,
like web design or software
programming.

Search Engine Optimization

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?


A complex algorithm determines how search
engines list the results for any given search term or
phrase.


Though
the exact algorithm is a very well guarded
secret, many of the most important aspects and
components of this algorithm are
known…

Search Engine Optimization


Keywords


Embedded in the design code of site


Link back to yourself
-

Keep users on your site


Create a site map


Easier for Google to index


Search
-
Friendly URLs


Use clear key words


Use Flash carefully


Does not add to content

Search Engine Optimization


Image
Descriptions


Only text can be indexed


Content


Keep relevant and fresh


Integrate with social
media


Link to
others


Ask others to link to you

The 5 Required Elements of an Engaging Website


Visibility


User Experience & Intuitive Navigation


Visually appealing and simple home page


Sticky content


Calls
to
Action

User
Experience


Aesthetic and visual appeal do matter


Find the right balance between text, images and
interactive content


Know your audience


Parents


Child


Donors


Business Partners


User Experience


Allow for feedback from your users


Embed search function within your site to make
content easier to find


Consider mobile devices


Mobile version of site


Limit Flash content in favor of HTML5


Consistent navigation…

Navigation


Logo


Click to return to home page


Main navigation links are clearly labeled and
positioned the same on each page


Give users more than 1 way to find the same
information or page (Example:
North Face
)


Use navigation aids, such as site maps or
breadcrumbs


Eliminate broken links at all costs

The 5 Required Elements of an Engaging Website


Visibility


User Experience & Intuitive Navigation


Visually Appealing and Simple Home Page


Sticky Content


Calls
to
Action

Web Design 101


Use fonts that are easy to
read:


Legible font style
(Arial, sans serif
)


Large font size (at least 12 and above
)


Adjustable font sizes, when possible


Color choices:


Use consistent colors that do not detract from your key
messages


Do not overwhelm users with too many colors


Considering branding when choosing color schemes


Ensure good color contrast between text and background
color or images



Web Design 201


Home page should be
informational


Online elevator speech


Who are you?


What service do you provide?


Why are you relevant to your user?


Assign a title to each web
page


Good for SEO


Inform the user which page they are viewing


Web Design 201


Use headers
to capture users’
attention


This
has been working for newspapers for years
!


This is your opportunity to tell the user what is
important


Ensure quick
download times…even for those

using…dial
-
up
!


Check your
spellingg
!



The 5 Required Elements of an Engaging Website


Visibility


User Experience & Intuitive Navigation


Visually Appealing and Simple Home Page


Sticky Content


Calls
to
Action

Sticky Content

stick∙y

con∙tent

noun

Parts of a website developed with the intention of
bringing users back to the site. This typically includes
latest news and information, competitions and
interactive
content.

Latest News & Information


Keep your stakeholders up
-
to
-
speed on the latest
news and announcements related to your work:


Newspaper articles


TV/Radio coverage


Press releases


Annual reports


Updates from the CEO


This section should be updated regularly to keep
users engaged in your work and progress

Blogs


Blogs are convenient way to keep users updated on
organizational developments without the need for
making drastic changes to your site


Blogs will draw users to your site regularly, resulting in
greater brand recognition


Be more relatable by putting a “human face” on your
organization


Blogs are a fantastic way to put leverage and strengthen
ties to community partners by inviting them to submit
content


(Interactive) Media


Effective use of media, such as video and audio can
enhance your site and broaden your ability to
communicate with users


Incorporate the use of surveys and polls to gain
valuable feedback from users


Contact Us


A must have for staying in touch with
your users

The 5 Required Elements of an Engaging Website


Visibility


User Experience & Intuitive Navigation


Visually Appealing and Simple Home Page


Sticky Content


Calls
to
Action

Calls to Action


Users are on your site. Be sure to tell them what you
want them to do!


You
want to create a clear path for visitors to navigate
through so that they’re naturally achieving all the goals
that you’ve laid out.


If
you’re trying to educate the people who land on your
site, make sure you’re directing them to the resources
and articles your site features.


Your
calls to action should be as clear and intuitive as
your navigation. It’s the only way they’ll work.

Calls to Action


Lay
The
Groundwork
-

Before
a user is willing to
complete a call to action they have to
recognize
the
need.


Tell users that taking action is easy


Communicate
the benefits of responding. What will
the user get out of completing the call to action
?


Draw user attention with size

Calls to Action


Use Active Urgent
Language


A
call to action should clearly tell users what you want
them to do. They should include active words such as:



Call


Buy


Register


Subscribe


Donate


The 3
Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make
with
Their Website


Underestimating the Importance
of
Feedback &
Analytics


Failing to Plan for Growth & Keep Content Current


Focusing
on
the Wrong Audience


Underestimating the Importance of
Feedback


Incorporate a method for the user to provide their
feedback to you (or webmaster) regarding your site:


Contact
Form


Survey


E
-
Mail Address


Helpful reasons to welcome feedback:


Improved design


Unclear
information exposed


Starting point for FAQ


Identify typos and broken hyperlinks


Continuous Improvement and Adaptation of Your Site



Underestimating the Importance of
Analytics

Google Analytics


Free product


Add “meta tags” to each page to track multiple data
points:


Page views


Most popular pages


Time spent of each page


Links clicked


How users found your site


Track use over time (day, week, month, year, etc.)

Underestimating the Importance of Analytics


What do you do with data from Google Analytics?


Revise your navigation to drive traffic to pages with
most important content


Find out what matters to your users


Look for trends


Do we see more users in the
summer months?


How much time are users spending on your site?


What region(s) to users live?


Determine when it’s time for a refresh


The 3
Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make
with
Their Website


Underestimating the Importance
of
Feedback &
Analytics


Failing to Plan for Growth & Keep Content Current


Focusing
on
the Wrong Audience


Failing to Plan for
Growth


Your website infrastructure and navigation should
be built with the intention of expanding your site
over time


Healthy things grow


Roots


Draws users to your website


Trunk


Home Page


Large Branches


Navigation Headers


Small Branches


Sub
-
Menu Pages


Leaves


Content (changes over time)

Keeping Content Current


It important to keep content on your website up
-
to
-
date and fresh


Remove old content


especially any
announcements or events that have come and gone


Develop tickler system with web designer to
communicate when content needs to be removed,
updated, or replaced

The 3
Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make
with
Their Website


Underestimating the Importance
of
Feedback &
Analytics


Failing to Plan for Growth & Keep Content Current


Focusing
on
the Wrong Audience

Focusing on the Wrong
Audience


Know your audience


Who are you appealing to?


Each demographic requires deliberate marketing
strategies to increase efficacy of your website:


Parents


Seniors


Children


Donors


Business Owners

5
Proven Methods for Promoting

Your Organization
O
nline



Social Media


Search Engine Registration


E
-
Mail Signatures


Promote Your Site with Blogs and Articles


Word of Mouth

5 Proven Methods for Promoting

Your Organization Online

Social Media


Using social media outlets, such as Facebook or
Twitter, significantly multiply access points to your
website


It’s not just “trendy” any longer. It is vital.


Use Facebook or Twitter feeds to update content on
your website automatically

5 Proven Methods for Promoting

Your Organization Online

Search Engine Registration


Make sure your website is registered/indexed by
major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo)


Register with Google Places


Allows users to view a
map of your location, along with address and phone
number

5 Proven Methods for Promoting

Your Organization Online

E
-
Mail Signatures


Core Information (Name, Address, Phone, Fax)


E
-
Mail Address and Website Address


Social Media Links


5 Proven Methods for Promoting

Your Organization Online

Promote Your Site with Blogs and Articles


Fresh content that allows you to send information
and respond to current events in real
-
time


Connects users/readers back to your web page for
additional information


Newspaper articles should direct readers to your
website

5 Proven Methods for Promoting

Your Organization Online

Word of Mouth


Announce website updates/additions at meetings
(both internal and external)


Users will want to share great content with their
friends and families (importance of social media
integration)


Jackson is a “word of mouth” kind of town

Free or Low
-
Cost Tools Which You Can Use
to Build Your Own Website


Benefits:


Large savings over paying for professional web
design


Customization is 100% within your control


New templates can be added to freshen up your
site


Free tech support if you encounter problems


Free or Low
-
Cost Tools Which You Can Use
to Build Your Own Website



WordPress


Wix


SnapPages


Webs


Doodlekit


Website Tonight


The #1 Factor Nonprofits Should Consider
Regarding Search Engine Optimization


Optimized Content


Useful, informative, helpful, and updated


Use “high keyword density”


Heading tags (headlines)


There’s no “cheating the system” when it comes to
Search Engine Optimization

Real
-
World Examples of Nonprofit
Organizations that Have

Mastered
Their Online Presence



R.U.4 Children


Integration of social media


Attractive use of colors and images


Simple and clean


Clear calls to action


Easy
-
to
-
use navigation


Important content is made obvious with use of
header tags


Blog


Real
-
World Examples of Nonprofit
Organizations that Have

Mastered
Their Online Presence



Charity: Water


Simple and clean


Blog


Social media


E
-
Mail updates


Statistics updated quarterly


YouTube channel


Calls to action very obvious


Theme carried throughout website



Glossary

Blog


A Web site on which an individual or group of users record
opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.

Adobe Flash


Adobe Flash
is a
multimedia platform used to add animation,
video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for
advertisements, games, and flash animations.

Google Analytics


Google Analytics shows you how people found your site, how
they explored it, and how you can enhance their visitor
experience.

Glossary

HTML5


The upcoming, powerful standard of Hypertext Markup
Language, which has added advanced interactive features,
such as allowing video to be embedded on a web page.

Keyword


Main or oft
-
repeated word (usually a noun) that is closely
linked to, or describes or defines, a particular subject.

Meta Tag


This is a special HTML tag that is used to store information
about a Web page but is not displayed in a Web browser.



Glossary

Search Engine Optimization (SEO
)


The
process of improving the visibility of a
website or a web page
in search engines via the “natural” or unpaid (organic or
algorithmic) search results

Site Map


A site map (or sitemap) is a list of pages of a web site accessible
to crawlers or
users

Sticky Content


Parts of a website developed with the intention of bringing users
back to the site. This typically includes latest news and
information, competitions and interactive content.



Glossary

Top Level Domain (TLD
)


The last part a domain name, which comes after the
final dot. This letter combination can refer to a
country (e.g. ‘.
nl
’ for the Netherlands) or a type of
organisation

(e.g. ‘.com’ for a commercial
organisation
, or ‘
.net
’ for a public network).

Uniform
Resource
Locator (URL)


T
he
address of a web page on the world wide
web

About Me


Contact Information:

Pete May, Owner

517
-
315
-
3563

goperspective@comcast.net

www.goperspective.com