Posted by & filed under Association Communication, Tips and Ideas.

Website 101: First Impressions Matter

By: Abby Burns, Program Coordinator 

In today’s ever-changing world, your organization’s website can be worth its weight in gold. First impressions are everything, and your website can make or break an inquiring visitor. A well-crafted and thought out website is a must – especially if you are relying on recruitment and retention.

Take a look at these tips to keep your website up to par in this competitive market for consumer attention.

  • Keep your Menu Simple and Sleek
    We’ve all been frustrated when we’re on a website and can’t find the information we are looking for. Make it easy for your visitors by having a clearly marked menu. Your menu should carry throughout your website so visitors can jump to any page, from any page without having to use the back button. Keep menu items simple with action words such as, Sign Up, Donate or Learn More. Whether you want to inform, recruit or raise money, make sure to visit your website and ask yourself, is this easy to navigate? Ask others to visit your website and give their feedback as well. They may notice something you did not.
  • Give the Who’s Who of your Organization
    This should go without saying, but make sure your visitors know how to contact you! Many websites include very vague contact information, or none at all. Be sure to list ALL contact information – INCLUDING a phone number. People want to speak to a real person when they have questions – especially if they are planning to spend money. Technology is not perfect and can have glitches, so make sure your visitors have access to quick and easy solutions. And most importantly, your contact information should be easy to find. Don’t make the visitor jump through multiple pages to find you.
  • Hook your Visitors with Snappy Graphics
    Research suggests that 65% of the population are visual learners. Grab your visitors’ attention with graphics that motivate them to stick around. Remember, first impressions are everything. This is especially true in the nonprofit world where there is a need to always represent and defend your organization. But be warned – there is a fine line between catching the visitor’s eye and completely distracting them all together. Whether it’s an image, video or sidebar – it should point the visitor towards a desired action rather than being over-stimulating.
  • Take your website on-the-go
    We live in a time when everyone is constantly connected and on the go, so your website needs to be too! Recent studies show users are engaging with the world through their mobile devices more than any other platform, so it is essential that your website is mobile friendly. Mobile friendly websites enhance the relationship with visitors. If a visitor cannot easily interact with your website on their phone, they are likely to check out. A mobile friendly website ensures people can find you anytime, anywhere.


Abby graduated with a degree in Agriculture Education from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. She enjoys camping, gardening and spending time with her family and dog Wolfie. She currently works with HazingPrevention.Org (HPO), Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) and The Atlanta Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).