A beautiful and compelling website does no good if it can’t be found. That’s why it’s essential to intentionally drive more traffic to your website. Doing so can help supporters old and new find value in your online resources and engage with your mission. But how do you get started?
Here are the three best-kept secrets:
Before we uncover these secrets further, it’s important to ask — what do you want people to do on your website? Decide if its current purpose is to drive volunteering, donating, email sign-ups, or event registrations. In other words, don’t just drive traffic for traffic’s sake. Connect your conversion strategies to drive a specific and measurable action.
From there, you can tailor your content and outreach to meet those specific goals. Let’s dive in!
1. Offer a compelling reason
Unfortunately, it’s not often that visitors stumble across your site unprompted. Therefore, the best way to increase your website’s traffic is by offering a compelling reason to visit. And, when you give visitors a reason to visit your site, they are often more likely to stick around and explore your landing pages, get acquainted with your mission, and offer support.
To motivate more visitors, incorporate these best practices:
- Conduct audience research. Understanding your audience is key to offering the type of content that will drive more leads. Use tools like Google Analytics to understand what people are coming to your site for, how long they stay, and which landing pages get the most views. After getting a baseline read on your site visitors, create user personas, or fact-based fictional users, to visualize who is viewing your site and tailor your communications accordingly.
- Build links. Cross-promotion linking is an efficient way to get more viewers to your site fast. For instance, if you’re in the final days of your year-end campaign and need an extra nudge in donations, post a link to your form on social media with a description. Or, reach out to a partner in the nonprofit space and ask them to link to your fundraiser in their upcoming blog post. Either way, you’re expanding your reach.
- Vary your content. Incorporate useful and interesting content like relevant blog posts, webinars, podcasts, and videos into your site. Keeping your website content varied will also help your organization make lasting connections that can eventually convert more visitors into supporters. For instance, starting up a podcast might spark new interest in your cause and encourage listeners to donate.
As you create your content, it’s important to aim for quality over quantity. Quality content is timely, action-oriented, and share-worthy. For instance, consider sharing recent beneficiary stories to pull at your audience’s heartstrings and motivate them to donate to your cause. By doing so, you’ll tie your nonprofit’s mission to direct action.
2. Prioritize user experience
In addition to offering visitors a motive to click on your site, you’ll need to give them a reason to stay. Cluttered layouts and confusing navigation will quickly deter the most eager site viewers. Instead, keep your home page organized and well-labeled.
Kanopi’s guide to boosting homepage conversions suggests incorporating these tips for an optimal homepage experience:
- Include search functionality. Make it easy for visitors to find what they need when they need it. Save them time by not making them scroll through multiple pages. Rather, make sure your most important pages, such as your donation form, are easily found.
- Make your content scannable. Most likely, visitors will not read every word on your site. Break your content up into bite-sized pieces with new sections marked by headers. Consider using bullet lists and internal links for users to find more information on a dedicated landing page.
- Design for mobile. Over half of all online searches are from mobile devices. Therefore, adjust your displays and simplify your site navigation to avoid making visitors need to zoom or scroll horizontally. Keep your visuals distinct and minimize user input where possible by limiting the number of form fields.
- Craft clear CTAs. CTAs (calls-to-action) anticipate user needs and provide a clear path to action. These buttons are precise, compelling, and measurable. CTAs like “donate now to end deforestation” or “sign up for our monthly newsletter” are much more effective than a CTA that simply reads “learn more.”
Once you’ve incorporated user experience best practices, seek feedback. In addition to using online tools like PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse to measure your performance, conduct surveys with volunteers for more nuanced insights. That way, you can ensure your website design delivers a measurable ROI.
3. Create a multi-channel outreach strategy
Once you’ve given users a compelling reason to visit your site and established an optimal user experience, it’s time to leverage a multi-channel outreach strategy. In other words, one of the best ways to increase traffic quickly is to direct it from multiple sources.
Depending on your nonprofit audience, there will be some sources that work better than others. For instance, a younger demographic may be more responsive to Instagram referrals rather than Facebook ads.
Here is an overview of three popular digital marketing channels you can use to drive more traffic:
- Email traffic. Email campaigns or newsletters are great options to usher in a steady stream of site visitors. Keep your newsletters regular, concise, and clickable. Be sure to link to your website and include relevant CTAs that lead subscribers to read a new blog post, sign up to volunteer, or donate to your campaign.
- Social media referrals. Meet supporters where they are by joining them on their preferred social media channels. Post shareable content like campaign updates, volunteer spotlights, and beneficiary stories at peak times to engage with your online audience. Include links to your site to attract more viewers.
- Google Ad Grants. Google Ad Grants offer eligible nonprofits $10,000 every month to amplify their message in Google search results. Nonprofits select which pages they’d like to drive more traffic to and build campaigns to scale their impact. Many nonprofits partner with dedicated Google Ad Grants agencies like Getting Attention to maximize their results.
- SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) best practices can help boost more traffic to your web pages by allowing search engines to locate and rank your pages more quickly. This includes using on-page SEO to keep your content useful and well-written, optimizing your pages for accessibility, and linking internally. Off-page SEO refers to techniques such as broken link repair and guest blogging. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines also recommend listing which pages you would like Google not to crawl for pages that are not necessarily built with site visitors in mind.
You can also drive more traffic by centering communications around upcoming events or campaigns. Promote these by creating landing pages on your site and linking to them in your newsletter and social media posts. Add more anticipation by posting relevant photos and countdowns to get more people involved.
Getting traffic is not the end goal – driving action is. But getting more people to your website can be hugely valuable in driving action, especially if you give users a reason to not just check out your site but to also stay and explore. You can then see which traffic sources and strategies are most valuable to you and your cause, helping you invest your time, money, and energy accordingly.