Every website should have these 6 things. If anything might be missing, make it your goal to audit your website and put these in place within a month:
- Contact Information – Do not make it hard for people to contact you. You could potentially miss out on new Members AND potential sponsors (who want to give you money).
- Make sure the contact email address is EASY to find. Ideally, you will have a tab that says “Contact”.
- Have your contact email all over the place! Have it on a tab, in the foot, in the FAQ, etc.
- Try not to use a form. Suck up the spam.
- Opt-In (my next blog will provide more detail about this) – You need to do everything you can to capture the email address of EVERYONE who encounters your website. Not everyone is going to “sign-up” right away, and you do not want them to forget about your website. Instead of losing a potential Member, try:
- Offering a bribe in exchange for their email.
- Having a newsletter sign-up form (Mailchimp is FREE for up to 2,000 subscribers)
- Pictures (i.e. Sliders) – Everyone loves pictures. No matter what your niche is, have a slider on the home page.
- Membership Policy – Make it easy for your Members to understand the rules. If you have all the rules in one place, you can send rule violators the link once they break a rule.
- FAQ – Having an FAQ will greatly cut down on your customer service emails. For example, members who moved out of NJ were constantly asking me how they could remove themselves from my website. I put the answer in my FAQ to cut down on the number of emails with the same question and to have a place to refer people when they continued to ask the question.
- Social Media Links – Even if you do not yet have time to manage Social Media sites, create the sites and have the links to them on every page of your Ning website. Make sure you include a link to your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIN, Instagram, etc. On a whim, I created a LinkedIN group for my organization and by simply putting a link to it on every page of my website, I grew the group to 6,000 Members.
None of these items will take much time to add or change, yet they can make a difference in your work load and Membership numbers. If you can only do ONE of these things, pick #2.
I, Laura Occhipinti, founded New Jersey Young Professionals in 2004. I have 5,000+ dues paying Members on my Ning website and 11,000 Young Professionals on my mailing list. You can download a copy of My Favorite Tools (Hint: The BEST ones are FREE).