Nobody likes an out-of-date association website. A neglected homepage leaves a bad impression on paying members and is especially unappealing to potential members assessing the value of your association – if you’re not able to keep your website running smoothly, what else might you be missing?
When you have limited resources and pressing deadlines, it can be easy to slip into the habit of leaving your web updates on the backburner. Our marketing and communications team have uncovered a few quick, efficient and effective ways to keep your homepage looking fresh.
Breaking News! Incorporate a Newsfeed
Your homepage will likely be the first port of call for both existing and potential members. It needs to comes across as active and vibrant from the very first glance – highlight your association’s activities so that members can see how their dues are being put to use.
We’ve found that the easiest and quickest way to do this is with an RSS newsfeed on your association homepage. The newsfeed is a place to share event information, board updates and third party messages. Most recent postings will show up on the homepage alongside their posting date, letting visitors see that your association is keeping active. News items can be short – just 200 words or so – and you can copy and paste text or HTML from your association eblasts and newsletters into this space, making it easy to create a post in only a few seconds.
We’ve incorporated newsfeeds into the content management system (CMS) of all Dashboard clients, and our operations staff use them every day to update the websites of our in-house association clients. It takes no more three or four clicks, and right away your homepage looks fresh! Take a look at the CDABC homepage for an example.
Be a Social Butterfly! Add a Twitter Feed to Your Homepage
Like with the newsfeed, we recommend including a live feed of your Twitter channel on your website homepage. As long as your Twitter feed is up to date, this is a simple way to make your homepage look fresh that requires no extra work from your communications team. Once a tweet is posted, it will automatically display homepage – you're keeping two areas of your online presence active with just one action. Not only that, but users will be able to click on the feed and follow your association on Twitter, further expanding your digital reach.
Take a look at the Canadian Academic Accounting Association website for an example of how Dashboard websites make use of this tool.
Keep Things Moving with a Carousel
A carousel banner is a great way to highlight your association’s latest news and events, and can also serve as a tool to drive members to a particular page of the website. At Dash, we’re able to upload an image and then simply enter the text we want to display in the CMS. The website will automatically stylize the text so it looks great with the banner. You are able to select an internal page for the banner to link to, or input a URL for an external site.
Carousel banners mean your website looks vibrant without you having to create any new content – you’re simply uploading an image and linking users to an existing area of your website. Take a look at the Public Works Association of BC website to see how they promote upcoming events using a carousel.
Promote Your Events
An automated display box featuring your next event not only encourages users to register, but is an ideal way to keep your homepage active without putting in any additional work. If your website is hooked up with your event management system, as with Dash websites, your event feature box can automatically pull the event photo, title, date and intro text, as well as a button directing users to register. Once again, you are keeping two areas of your website up to date (your event calendar and homepage) with only one action!
These tips have saved our marketing and communications team countless time and resources, and ensure that our clients' homepages are always active. Contact us to find out how we can help you with this and more!