Last week, we suggested you create a content inventory of your current website. This week, we will think more about the future state of your website. You may want to discuss these questions with your executive team or other engaged members of your local section, technical division, etc.
A website can be a way to announce happening or it can be a provide resources that are useful to your members. It is key for you to prioritize what you want your website to do.
Who is your primary audience?
- Is your website primarily for members?
- Do reach a significant number of non-member, students, teachers?
- Or is your website a place to let visitors know that you exist and how to get involved?
What information do you want to communicate with the audiences? It helps to know if you can rate what are the most important things you want the site to communicate
- What about your group do you need to communicate (e.g., Executive team, goals, etc.)?
- Is this a way to let groups know about in-person events (e.g., meetings, outreach, etc)?
- How often do you have these?
- Is there any input (e.g., RSVP, registration, or payment) required?
- Does your website provide other information?
- Does it promote other activities -- things like
- grant and award opportunities
- activities, events, and other opportunities provided by other organizations that might be of interest to your members
- Does it provide curated content of interest to your members?
- Should this content be available only to Members?
- What format is this information
- Links? videos? webinars? Papers or documents?
- Will your website work in conjunction with other digital media (social media and/or email)
- Will content be coordinated with or leverage social media?
- Will content be coordinated with or leverage email and/or newsletters?
Effective websites contain current content and materials that are of interest to their audiences. A site full of old content may negatively impact how search engines like Google and Bing find and display your site on search results pages. We will be talking more about archiving (effectively managing old content you need for historic and organizational purposes) and search engine optimization (SEO, which means getting traffic from the free, natural search results on search engines) in a later post.
We realize that each of you represent a unique group and likely have different needs and audiences. Hopefully, these questions can help you start the process to define the types of information that you want to provide on your website.