A recent report from The Verge described the internet is so large it is literally breaking routers! How can you make your website stand out to professionals, potential supporters, clients, and partners when the internet is literally busting at the seams? This past week I explored Social Driver’s 38 Best Nonprofit Websites list and found some inspiring examples like the American Cancer Society, Amnesty International, and Mistakes Kids Make
. All of these had the following in common:
1. Their brand and image is consistent throughout the site. The colors are all the same and you can tell you are within the same site on each page. This branding is also consistent on their social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channels.
2. Basic layout that is easy to navigate. Most of these followed a similar template with page buttons on the top, one main image highlighting their work, and the ever present “donate now” highly visible. One of these really stood out to me because it had a very unique template that was incredibly simple. Check out the Mistakes Kids Make page and just scroll down. All of their content is on one page that you scroll down. There are navigation buttons hidden on the left side of the page, but they are just bookmarks that take you to the right spot. Apple’s website is a lot like this. Kuddos to these guys they have the most unique site nonprofit site I have explored.
3. Use images to tell your story. Pictures go a long way. Even stock images, but be careful not to fill your entire site with stock images. This gives the viewer a sense that your work is not genuine. Use photos of actual events and constituents if you can.
4. Integrate Social media into your website. Most of the above agencies had streams of their blogs, live tweets and status updates linked to their sites. I like this because it keeps content up to date and shows they are involved with their communities online and part of conversations that focus topic areas.
5. Create and share videos. Tools like video and testimonials are the most viewed content online and according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 78% of adult online users watch or download video (72% from YouTube and Vimeo). Creating videos, editing, and sharing online is much easier and much more cost effective than ever before.
6. Take risks and be creative. Deviate from the standard website template. Mistakes Kids Make inspired me the most because they were innovative with their website and content. When you look what they actually have (a couple quizzes, one video, two statistics, call to action, and celebrity stories) the content is not that much at all compared to say The American Cancer Society, but to me, this kind of innovation is exactly what we need in Public Health.