A Website Checklist Helps Your Members as Much as Your Volunteers
Who’s responsible for your chapter’s website? Is it one person? A committee? Regardless of the size of your web team, your chapter needs to be able to consistently deliver the right experience to each audience, i.e. your members, prospects, vendors and those in the industry you support.
As difficult as it can be to get all of your web work—updating content, adding blogs, posting events, etc.—done with the volunteers you have, how can you be sure you meet your audience needs at the same level of quality, regardless of who does the work? A checklist can help. By providing your volunteers with a structure and process, there’s a much higher chance the work will get done the same way each time, no matter who does it.
You’ll see in the sample checklist below that we’ve grouped a number of common web activities into three umbrellas: content, design and social media. Your list may differ from ours, depending on your audience(s) and their exact needs.
Regardless of the type of content you’re putting online, be sure to include a task that covers editing, proofreading, and checking for broken links.
- Relevant Content: What do your audiences want? Survey them to find out. Without some due diligence, you may not know if they’re looking for legislation affecting your industry, outreach your chapter is involved in, online connections to learn about other members, or members-only discussion forums, to talk when they’re not together.
- Updated Meeting Schedule: members and prospects want the details for your next meeting. Even though you may have already emailed the information and put it in your newsletter, having it on the website means they always know where to find it.
- Portfolio of Past Events: Show members, prospects, and your audiences all you’re involved in, to demonstrate the value you deliver to members and your industry.
- Sponsorship: It’s not enough to rely on dues for revenues. There’s a good chance there are multiple organizations that want to get in front of your members, and they’re willing to pay for it. Devote a section of your website to your sponsorship program to make it easier for potential sponsors to get the information they need and sign up.
- Modern Design: are you using static graphics and neutral colors on your website? Are your pages full of “stuff” – text and design – when others in your industry are incorporating movement, bright colors, and natural shapes? A clean, modern design can keep your audience on your page and interested in your organization.
- Easy-to-Use: how many clicks does it take to get to your membership benefits and list of upcoming events? Is your navigation intuitive? Design your navigation with your audiences in mind and make it easy for them to find what they want.
- Mobile Friendly: Most people look at your site on their phones. Does it format correctly on different mobile devices? Or is content cut off and pages load slowly because there are too many graphics
- Contact form: Even if your contact information is on different web pages and in your footer, include a contact form, so there’s no question about how to get in touch.
Chapter organizations, like businesses, need to connect with their audiences using the platforms the audiences use, which means you need to include social media in your communication plan.
- Social media links: have them on your website, so you can be easily found on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Social media sharing: have sharing options on your website where it makes sense. Not only can it help your audiences with their credibility when they share your thought leadership, but it’ll help with yours as well.
Have you thought about a Style Guide?
A checklist is just one way to help you engage with your audiences. Remember that piece about the number of people doing your web work? Well, the same can apply to administrative tasks in other parts of your chapter. Consider including your web checklist as part of larger content and design Style Guide that defines how your website looks, what it says, and how you want your chapter’s brand to be perceived.