Consider Your Content as Part of Your Website Redesign
It’s time to update your website. You’ve got your designer ready to go. You know what you want in a new design and you think you’re ready to get rolling. Before you start, make sure your planning considers what your audiences need in terms of content—what you say and where you say it—and leverages what you know about those audiences, whether you’re talking to members, non-member guests, sponsors, or all three.
Keep the following in mind when you’re planning your web revision to ensure the site remains engaging, both in how it looks and what it says, and it drives visitors to pages you want them to interact with.
What are the most popular pages on your site? Review your analytics to understand the pages people visit. Does the content on those pages match the needs of those who visit them? Are you giving visitors to your Events page, for example, what they want and need or are all their visits ones of frustration? Can attendees register online? Is it easy to find the location and directions? If it’s a virtual event, is it easy to access the meeting link?
What content could you add to a page to make it more interesting? If visitors to the Events page saw links to member stories, where members talk about what they get out of attending those meetings, you could increase meeting attendance. Adding a link to your Sponsor program page on your Events page, could bring in new sponsors. And, adding board members’ email addresses on your Board page could help increase engagement with members.
How can you boost a page’s visibility? Let’s say you’re having trouble getting sufficient volunteers to run your monthly meetings. To make your Volunteer page easier to find, add a link to it from your Events page, so when members visit the Events page to learn about the next meeting or an upcoming training, you increase the chances they’ll visit the Volunteer page and sign up. (You could also add content on the Events page letting members know they can attend the meeting for free if they volunteer to manage the event.)
Web content changes in action
When they planned their new website, which went lived in December 2019, the Dallas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) considered both design and content.
The ultimate goal, says Amanda Tower, chair of the chapter’s marketing and communications committee, was, as part of an overall chapter rebranding, to make the website both more personable and visually appealing and better reflect the changing needs of their members. “Our chapter,” Amanda added, “is much more diverse now than even five years ago, and the old site was not the frequently visited information and networking hub we envisioned it could be.”
They used what they learned in a member survey, according to Amanda, to “create a refreshed brand – with new messaging to communicate the value of membership as integrity, growth and engagement – to drive membership, diversity and inclusion, and expand outreach to partnerships and other professional organizations in the region.”
Their revised Board page now includes, in a grid, photos and contact information for each member; before it was just a list of names. Now, they have a members only section with a discussion forum, member directory, and member benefits, as well as a section for articles, insights and contributed thought leadership from members. They’ve created a space where members can not only go to for information, but also interact and contribute. And, by better utilizing and sharing the chapter’s owned content on the website, they’re better able to serve their members and deliver value.
To meet members’ needs, your new website needs to consider design and content
Yes, design is important; color, graphics, layout, all play a key role in the experience a person has with a website. But content is just as important to getting and keeping those same visitors interested and participating in your chapter.