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Association / The Chamber website best practices

By Simon 10/03/2020 09:08 am

If you’ve considered a redesign or just want to compare what you have with what you should have done with your chamber website design, you’re in the right place.

Do you have:

1. A Join Now button: Purchases (and yes, membership is a purchase) are an emotional choice. A Join Now button allows people to join on their schedule when the moment strikes them, not only when the office is open.

2.Your address: If a potential member Google’s your chamber looking to find out more info and gets a chamber by the same name two states away, will they go back and Google again in the hopes of finding the right one or will they get midway through the joining process before they realize it’s not THEIR chamber? Avoid this confusion by being clear.

3. Navigable menu items: Check with someone who didn’t design the site and tabs and ask them to find out when your next event is and how to join. If they can’t do either activity in three minutes or less, you have a problem.

4. Your next event: Please remove all events that have passed. Websites with old information on them make people question whether the organization is still open and if the site is abandoned.

5. Pictures: Beautiful inspiring, entertaining images should pepper your site.

6. Social media directs: Only list the social media platforms (with links to your page) that you post to regularly. Again, when I see a site with a bad social media link or it refers me to a page that hasn’t had new content on it in months, I wonder if they’re still around.

7. Member spotlight: Optional but nice.

8. Member-generated content: It will save you time and can be a source of non-dues revenue for you.

9. Helpful resources: Be the place people come to look for information on your town and businesses.

10. Member testimonials: Print, video, podcasts, whichever. Just let people know what others think of you.

11. Legible font. This includes the font and the size. Remember people may be on their phones when they come to your site.

12. Mobile-friendly design. Not only design but activities too. Easy to click buttons, basic info, etc.

13. A mission statement written in plain English, not marketing or corporate speak. Enough said.

14. Jobs: Not just the jobs with the chamber or the association but also include all jobs by the members companies (An employer login feature so employers can post their own jobs with an additional fee).

15. Legislative initiatives. Make sure people know what you’re working on this legislative session. Consider giving it its own tab.

16. Tab titles that people would use to search.

17. Headlines that contain keywords or phrases that are important to your audience (again, something they’d search for).

18. A blog. Yes, you need one. Grab our handy, free “Blog and Website Posting Reminders Checklist” at the end of this article.

19. Search. The good kind that’s very intuitive.

20 An FAQ page. You can create one that’s about general chamber questions or have specific sections or pages for topics you’re asked about all the time like your annual festival.

21. Whitespace.

22. Frictionless signup. I mentioned the Join Now button earlier but it’s also important to enable potential members to go through the whole membership purchasing process online. Allow them to enter info and pay their dues. If anything is missing, call them when the office is open. (You will anyway to welcome them aboard.)

23. A warm message from the Board President or the CEO of the chamber.

24. Pictures and bios of staff. People like to know who they’re connecting with. Share fun tidbits about their lives.

25. E-commerce. At the very least you need to sell memberships and event tickets on your site. But some chambers have enabled other e-commerce options like directory and sponsorship sales, town memorabilia, or even cookbooks.

26.Up-to-date community content (outside of the chamber). People will debate the importance of this but here’s why I think it’s important. You want content your community cares about. If there was a city council meeting on an issue that is important to your business members, give the most up-to-date content you can. Think of your chamber as a publisher. Become a resource for all community-related things.

27.Video: Video draws visitors in. Golf Tournament or Annual banquet video can be added to make it more inviting

28.Reasons to join. Don’t leave it up to them to figure out what those things are.

29.Benefits presented as solutions. Tell them what each of your benefits does for their business. Don’t just list them.

30. Next steps that fit how someone got there.

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Posted by Simon | Web Design