Your homepage is prime real estate – it’s often the first place supporters visit to learn about who you are and what you do. It’s crucial to tell your story succinctly, demonstrate your value proposition, and show how support will help you accomplish your mission. Make sure it’s easy to navigate so the folks who land on your homepage end up sticking around.
Keep it Simple
Optimize your homepage with first-time visitors in mind. Make a good first impression and begin by answering some fundamental questions:
- Who are you and what do you do?
- What sets you apart?
- Why should someone donate? Or volunteer?
If you only had a handful of words to explain who you are, what words would you choose? Will your mission statement or tagline suffice? No need to go into extensive detail or write a full novel here. There is plenty of space to elaborate on your specific projects, campaigns, and events on separate landing pages. Use your homepage as a place to highlight what makes your organization unique, with your tagline front and center.
Including links to your organization’s social media accounts helps, too! Consider placing them on the footer of every page, including the home page. Visitors can take to your Twitter or Facebook to learn more about your voice and stay up-to-date with your most recent projects.
Make it Donor-Friendly
While you don’t want your homepage to be covered in fundraising appeals, including prominent donate buttons makes it easy for visitors to support your cause. Keep a donate button in your navigation bar. While there should be plenty of additional places to donate throughout your site, your homepage is a great place to let it shine.
Create a Clear Call-to-Action
Choose a Call-to-Action (CTA) that is most important to your organization. Are you in need of donors, volunteers, or both? Whatever the case may be, help visitors to take action by making your needs clear. Including no more than three CTAs is a good rule of thumb, where at least one is found in your navigation bar.
Take Volunteers for America, for example. A major part of their purpose is in the name of their organization, but like all nonprofits, they rely on donated funds. In this case, donors and volunteers are equally important so it makes sense for their organization to have two calls-to-action. Tailor what makes the most sense for your nonprofit and keep it at the forefront.
Good Design is Key
High quality images and video make all the difference. Let your impact shine by showcasing your work, your supporters, and your community.
Leverage clean design to paint a clear picture. Keep your homepage updated with relevant information. A quick refresh goes a long way! Simply swapping out old photos with more recent ones will help to showcase what you’ve been up to and help visitors determine your voice with ease. This is a great homepage example from Habitat for Humanity that quickly defines who they are, what they do, and why you should donate, with a high resolution photo as the focal point. Also, including a puppy on your homepage isn’t a bad idea.
Track Your Progress
Evaluating Google Analytics to determine your bounce rate tells you a lot about what is or isn’t working on your homepage. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your website and then decide to leave without viewing any other page. Bounce rate should be a low percentage, as this means you are keeping visitors from leaving right away. A bounce rate of 30-60% is the average sweet spot, but this can vary depending on the organization, so you may need to set your own standard here.
If your bounce rate is exceptionally high (80-90%+) this indicates visitors are leaving as soon as they arrive, so something’s got to give. Do you have an auto-play video or pop-up ad on your homepage? Removing these kinds of immediate distractions has proven to reduce bounce rate so this is often a good place to start. You can always share meaningful video on your social media channels to show your impact, and ultimately bring more visitors to your site.
Curious about how to tell your story effectively beyond your homepage? Check out our blog post HERE for some quick tips and tricks.