Nonprofit Online Success

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Technology, marketing, and staffing decisions for the Web
Presented by: Derek Olson Vice President, Foraker Design

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Agenda
•  •  • 

Your Online Brand Four Pillars of an Effective Website Internet Giving

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Agenda
•  •  • 

Your Online Brand Four Pillars of an Effective Website Internet Giving

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Difference between an online and offline brand: Experience
•  •  •  Online brand is an interactive experience that includes unique perceptual tasks & problem solving strategies on the part of your website users. This experiential nature of your online brand carries some pretty big risks, but it has some potentially big rewards as well... Both of which we’ll talk about. For starters, there are three simple tools you can use today to help attain those rewards: •  Measure! (website traffic, user behavior, email campaign readership, etc.) •  Talk to your users whenever you can •  Make many small changes to your website—as opposed to infrequent big changes

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Offline brand is passive
Everyone knows how to “navigate” printed materials: they don’t need to expend brainpower on solving the problem of how to turn the pages of a brochure…

Online brand is active

Online, people are clicking, searching, navigating – often through brand new interfaces that useOnline Success Webinar indicators of how to get from page to page. A website is a piece unconventional Nonprofit of Slide 6 software… and like a lot of software, it can be stressful to try to figure out…

Good online brand = user trust
Online experiences can generate stress:
•  Heart rate goes up •  Blood pressure goes up •  Breathing rate increases •  Folks get a little hot under the collar

Results: A negative emotional response.

That’s a bad brand experience…

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Good online brand = user trust
The good news:
•  • 

Stress is an expected part of navigating a new website Opportunity to make a positive impression by reducing stress

Results: A positive emotional response.

That’s a good brand experience…

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Ugly, overwhelming website prevents user trust
•  • 

Intention to trust triggered by visual appeal Actual trust triggered by quality of information
*Trust and mistrust of online health sites Sillence, Briggs, Fishwick, and Harris (2004)

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Don’t forget the offline component of your online brand!
Technical support
On the Web, human contact is incredibly important to your brand. Prompt responses to contact form submissions/live chat, and providing a physical address and phone number are good ways to build a strong online brand.

Community moderation
Full-time forum moderators are very important, and help steer community away from discord and towards support. Budget for this.

These two things show users your organizational “take” on helping people, and are a great channel for getting feedback from your audience…
Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Agenda
•  •  • 

Your Online Brand Four Pillars of an Effective Website Internet Giving

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Four pillars of an effective website
CONTENT

Design Usability Tech Marketing

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Four pillars of an effective website: CONTENT
CONTENT

Design Usability Tech Marketing

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Content: what is it?
•  Textual copy •  Imagery •  Charts and graphs •  Video/audio •  User-contributed content Web content is: •  Easily-scanned •  Original •  Built for viral spread and search

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Content is King!
Textual content, or words, are the currency of Internet search engines. While the explosion of video, audio, and image-based Internet content has provided strong incentives to improve search capabilities for these content types, the fact still remains: Textual Content is King.

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Content: How to get highquality Web content?
Option 1: Buy it News feeds, academic journals, etc. Option 2: Write it Plan for staffing, give staff right tools for the job

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Content Management System (CMS)
Questions to ask: •  Buy or build? •  Open-source or commercial? •  Developer or editor? •  Does it force a new editorial process on your organization? •  Make sure you understand the total $$$ of ownership

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Care and feeding of Web Content
1.  Set up guidelines (a wiki?) Keep it simple to start. 2. Make sure tools (CMS) facilitate rather than hinder. 3. Get people to do the work, hold the knowledge, update the wiki, assess the next CMS, etc.

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Four pillars of an effective website: DESIGN
CONTENT

Design Usability Tech Marketing

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Design: what is it?
•  Logo •  Color palette •  Layout •  Fonts •  Photography •  Illustrations and other imagery

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Design: user intention to trust
Print Design vs. Web Design

Focused on your message
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Easily distracted

Design around your content
Once you have a message, begin design…

Lorem ipsum

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Design around your content
• 

•  • 

Layout is affected by website information architecture Tone of design must match tone of text Effective home pages spring from a thorough understanding of deep content

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Design effects your HTML/CSS
•  •  •  •  • 

Web standards Accessibility Performance Search engine optimization Usability

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Four pillars of an effective website: USABILITY
CONTENT

Design Usability Tech Marketing

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Usability: What is it?
Usability = Being easy to use. Usually applied to software, but relevant to almost anything (can openers, pogo sticks, airplane cockpits). Ease of use can be measured by how quickly a task is performed, how many mistakes are made, how quickly the system is learned, and how satisfied people are who perform the task.

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Usability = being easy to use
How do you achieve it?

VS.

Maaco Approach

User-Centered Design

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User Centered Design
•  Talk to your users •  Measure •  Iterate

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Usability ROI
• 

• 

Small reductions in support costs = big $$$ savings over time Increased usability of donate form = more $$$ every day

User Loyalty Customer Support Costs

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Usability and user trust
You can’t convert visitors into donors and grass-roots advocates (viral marketing) if your website makes them feel stupid.

This frustrating experience was brought to you by _______.

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Four pillars of an effective website: TECHNOLOGY
CONTENT

Design Usability Tech Marketing

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Technology: what is it?
•  Web servers •  Firewalls •  Applications •  Databases •  CMS’s •  Donor database software •  Email marketing software •  HTML and CSS

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Technology: static vs. dynamic
Do you need lots of infrastructure?

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Technology: the CMS (again)
• 

• 

Do you need a Content Management System (CMS) to facilitate website updates? If so, should you build, buy, or borrow it? Don’t forget about usability for your staff!

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Technology: hidden costs?
• 

• 

Can be difficult to assess total cost of ownership of Web software Some considerations: •  Hosting •  Implementation •  Maintenance •  Upgrades/Updates

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Technology: System Integration
Commercial or open source “products” don’t always play nice together. Repeat offenders:
•  •  •  •  • 

CMS’s Site search tools Donor databases Email marketing tools Outsourced donation systems

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Four pillars of an effective website: MARKETING
CONTENT

Design Usability Tech Marketing

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Marketing: what is it?
We’re talking about online marketing:
•  •  •  •  •  •  •  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Traffic analytics Website A/B testing Email marketing Viral marketing Achieving conversion goals (e.g. donations, email news signups, etc.)

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Marketing: Measure!
How? Start with Google analytics…
•  •  •  •  •  •  Easy Free Powerful, expanding Well documented Stable Generous towards non-profits

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Marketing: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
What it is: Free (or organic) listings What it isn’t:

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Marketing
How Optimized is your Website?
•  •  •  • 

Are you in the index? #1 for your name? Do you show up in subject-related queries? Does traffic come in from deep site pages?

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Marketing
Search Engine Optimization & Accessibility
•  •  • 

Remember this blind user: Googlebot Valid HTML/CSS code Choose a CMS focused on SEO

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Marketing: SEM
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) = paid listings
•  •  • 

Start with Google AdWords Explore Google grants Don’t forget to staff this new work!

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Email Marketing
Avoid domain blacklisting:
•  •  • 

Send from capable systems, not from desktop email clients Make unsubscribing easy (e.g. a “Remove Me” link in every email) Make sure multiple lists / systems stay synchronized

Content must be tailored to email communications
•  • 

Subject lines are crucial. Put important/ descriptive words first. Keep content short, link back to website

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Viral Marketing
What is it?
• 

People doing your marketing for you (usually for free) Because your content or functionality is valuable Because you have made a positive brand impression and they have taken up your cause as their own

Why?
•  • 

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Viral Marketing
How do you get it? Make content-sharing simple:
•  • 

Keep URLs short—ideally less than 72 characters Make URLs human-readable, for example:
•  • 

Good: http://www.foraker.com/user_experience.html Bad: http://www.foraker.com?PageID=jd83ydgd53

• 

Avoid using frames on your website. Frames interfere with bookmarking, search engine indexing, and inbound links Manage link rot (URLs should not change for content that is still active) Enable RSS Feeds for frequently-updated content types

• 

• 

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Marketing: User Contributed Content
What is it?
•  •  • 

Blog comments Discussion Boards/ Forums Letting your users participate and give you feedback

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Agenda
•  •  • 

Your Online Brand Four Pillars of an Effective Website Internet Giving

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Internet Giving
Giving you $$$ is probably not on anyone’s to-do list…
•  •  •  • 

Make giving simple Make it available when users are ready and willing Timing is important Usability is critical

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Internet Giving: Who’s Driving?
Donors are in the driver’s seat…

So build roads that are:
•  Easy to use •  Transparent •  Trust-inspiring

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Internet Giving: Viral redux
•  •  •  • 

Make it easy to spread the word about your cause Make it easy for recipients of “the word” to act Usability is (still) critical Measure viral activity if you can

Nonprofit Online Success Webinar
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Conclusion
Your website is a window into your organization. If things are confusing, or they think you’ve cut corners… they will think twice about putting their money in your hands. Remember: Measure, talk to your audience, then improve!

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Thank you.
Questions?
Derek Olson (303) 449-0202 dlo@foraker.com

Resources:
• WC3 Validator: (http://validator.w3.org/) - check your website’s HTML code validity, important for SEO, viral marketing, accessibility, cross-browser rendering, and more. • “Don’t Make Me Think” book (a great intro to usability ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0321344758/ bookstorenow57-20) • Jakob Nielsen’s Website - also an excellent resource on lowcost usability (www.useit.com) • Usability First (www.usabilityfirst.com) - Informational site with tips, techniques, a glossary of terms, and more • Trust and mistrust of online health sites Sillence, Briggs, Fishwick, and Harris (2004) Online abstract: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=985776 (requires ACM membership, fee)

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