As we move into the fall, it’s time to start thinking about how good your web strategy really is and how it impacts your audience, supporters or partners. From a strategy point of view, I’ve been discussing some issues with our Cooke Media Group team here in LA, and here are some things to consider about your organization’s web presence:
The design may be terrific, but from a strategy perspective, make sure it’s not confusing from being overly busy, or all the flashy stuff isn’t too distracting.
Consider the layout based on the audience. For instance, a blog seeks to gain an ongoing conversation with your readers – meaning it’s alive with new updates, and gives the audience a platform for an ongoing discussion.
From a donation perspective, the “Donation” or “Give” button should be clear and easy to find – otherwise most surfers could actually miss it. Remember that web visitors are “impulse” people, and if they can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they’ll give up and move on to something else.
If you list numerous “events” on the home page, consider consolidating under an “Events” icon that takes the viewer to all those different events, leaving the home page cleaner and simpler.
Talk to your web team and ask the question – what is the MAIN purpose of this site? What could this site accomplish for us? Then build it according to those goals.
Keep in mind, we’re talking STRATEGY which will affect DESIGN.
So the question now is how do we make the site come alive, while keeping it simple and easy to navigate, so the user can find what he’s looking for quickly, and donate and/or purchase products easily.
We’ve learned that most web surfers are driven by impulse, and if the site is too busy or is distracting, they’ll easily forget why they came. That’s why I’d like to make it REALLY easy for the surfer to accomplish what he came to the site for…
Also, be careful about “bouncing” people to other sites for video and other experiences. I’m not interested in driving people to someone else’s website. If you do streaming video, but let’s make it originate in your domain so we keep your partners within your boundaries.
We’re also looking down the road at mobile video. At the Cannes Advertising Festival in France last month, I learned that the future of TV is your cell phone. The next generation is migrating to the cell phone as their single most important media platform, and doing it at a remarkable rate. Therefore, we need to be in the R&D stage of what we should look like through a cell phone screen. We’re doing some research in that area, and can have a more in-depth report in the coming months.
The key that drives me is CONNECTION. We want to be able to connect with our partners or audience in every possible platform – mail, TV, web, blogs, mobile, etc… in order to position you as an organization of the future.