According to Marketing General Incorporated’s 2015 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, when it comes to associations adding new programs, benefits, and services, 60% of organizations are focusing on website enhancements. This is great considering how in the past, members have complained to MGI about their association’s website usability.
But what type of enhancements actually make a website usable – and even more than that, engaging? Well, we can think of three:
A responsive design
In 2015, the number of mobile users worldwide surpassed desktop users by approximately 200 million people. Because of that shift, in April 2015, Google released a new algorithm for searching from a mobile device. The new algorithm promotes mobile-friendly websites when users are searching from a mobile device and buries non mobile-friendly sites below those results. Yikes!
If you don’t want your site falling behind the times, you must make it responsive. The easiest way to do this is by switching your existing website to a responsive design. This will help your website show up in mobile searches and allow your members to easily interact with your site via phones and tablets. (If you’re interested, you can view our responsive templates here.)
Engaging website widgets
Website widgets are another great way to boost online member engagement. What the heck is a widget, you ask? Well, they’re those little doo-dads you see on websites, often in the sidebar, that perform one or two simple functions.
Some common examples of website widgets include Twitter widgets, which usually display 3 – 5 of your organization’s most recent tweets, and calendar widgets, which typically display your organization’s upcoming meetings and events. Play around with different widgets to see which ones make the most sense for your organization.
Online social communities
If you really want to take your membership website to the next level, social communities are the way to go. It’s important to note that social communities do not try to compete with traditional social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but rather they offer a members-only forum for discussions, pictures, and sharing. Common components of social communities include messaging capabilities, online forums, and event calendars.
Want more tips for enhancing your membership website? We’ve got you covered! Check out our free membership website guide below!