Ep 137 | Earning Double the Donations on Your Website with Michael Buzinski

So websites are much like brick and mortar, you build it, they don't necessarily come. And there are billions of websites out there, and 1000s of them offering the same services that many of the nonprofits that you work with have, right. And so you're competing for people's philanthropy. And if you don't compete like you would in any commercial setting, you're going to lose. And if you're not getting enough traffic, that means that every single visitor is even more important, and you need to get that high conversion rate in there. And when we are looking at like I work with a lot of nonprofits over the years, and I tell you right now, the biggest thing is funding, right? And people are like, Well, where are we going to get more money and they're always looking at grants and all these long-term things, and that's great and everything. But when we're engaging our community and we're pushing our website, every time we're out there Serving the community that, you know, we're trying to get the funds from. Right? That's where the best money comes from is that local community.
– Mike Buzinski

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In this episode, we are joined with Michael Buzinski, a website marketing strategist that helps people increase their revenue using the Rule of 26 and proven website marketing techniques. He is the Founder and CEO of Buzzbizz Media, an award-winning multimedia and marketing firm dedicated to the needs of small to medium-sized businesses and non-profits. Their unique methodology streamlines production strategies, planning, and execution. Michael is also the President/CMO at Buzzworthy Integrated Marketing, a division of Buzzbizz Media. Buzzworthy Integrated Marketing is a website marketing firm specializing in providing profitable digital marketing solutions for service-based businesses.

Michael takes us through website optimization, the rule of 26, how to get people to raise or earn more money from their websites, ways for people to figure out how to prioritize and send messages to clients, and tools to make sure that things are working in your website.

What You'll Learn:

The importance of website monetization
The rule of 26
The importance of going after your long term strategy
Building a community and connection to get repeat donations
The importance of creating frequent new content in organization’s website
Tools to make sure that things are working on your website
Ways to review what’s working and not working on your website
Three things to start with for your website

Want to skip ahead? Here are some key takeaways

[05:23] Website optimization. If you are not optimizing your website so that people understand where their money is going for, who it is going to serve, how will it make them better? They donate selfishly. Tell the donors what’s in it for them. If you don’t tell them that, you lose more donations than you know. The customer experience for the donor is as essential as that of buying shoes.
[07:41] The rule of 26 ad how to get people to raise or earn more money from their website. The three things that have to happen to increase your revenue for your donations from your website are increasing your traffic by 26, increasing your conversion rate so that the number of people who are actually converting and donating can increase. Also, increase the value per donor by 26.
[19:00] Segmentation. Give people the opportunity to choose what information you want them to get and how often to get them. If you have a weekly newsletter, then get summarized once a month. Enable them to identify if they are customers, volunteers or, donors. When you are on the website for museums specifically, you have to think of a museum as a retail organization.
[27:00] Tools to ensure that things are working on your website. The tools that you can use to make sure that things are working are free. One of the things is Hot Jar conversation. It is excellent because it shows you literally how people are working through your website on a page-by-page basis. Also, the introductory is free for as long as you want.
[31:10] The power and importance of driving traffic within your website. You are looking for two things in a blog: hyperlinks and a call to action. Learn two to three calls to action that are common for your organization. Find value in your newsletter that doesn’t exist on your website.

Mike "Buzz" Buzinski

Mike "Buzz" Buzinski

President & CMO of Buzzworthy Integrated Marketing

Michael Buzinski, President & CMO of Buzzworthy Integrated Marketing, is a lifelong entrepreneur, digital marketing thought leader and best-selling author. Dubbed a “visionary marketer” by the American Marketing Association, Michael’s sole mission is to help entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations avoid the time drain and frustration of managing profitable digital marketing campaigns. Buzz, as most call him, has simplified digital marketing success with The Rule of 26 and is on a mission to double the website revenue of organizations across America. Learn more at https://www.ruleof26.com 

We love creating the podcast. If you like what you learned here please give us a tip and help us offset our production costs.

When you leave a review it helps this podcast get in front of other nonprofits that could use the support. If you liked what you heard here, please leave us a review.

Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So you have a website, but are you generating income or donations from your website. That is what we're talking about today. Hey there, my name is Sammy, and I am your host of the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode. And today I am joined by Michael Buzinski. And we're talking all about your website and how to really maximize it and take advantage of it and using his rule of 26 to double the income that you generate from your website. Now, this could be from ticket sales. This could be from donations. This could be from enrollments into your program, all of the things and we have a great conversation about ways to monetize your website that anyone can do, no matter the size of your organization. 

So Michael Buzinski is the president and CMO of buzzworthy website marketing, and is a lifelong entrepreneur, digital marketing thought leader, and best-selling author dubbed a visionary marketer by the American Marketing Association. Michael's sole mission is to help entrepreneurs avoid the time drain and frustration of managing profitable digital marketing campaigns. Buzz as most him has simplified digital marketing success with the rule of 26 and is on a mission to double the website revenue of service-centric businesses across America. 

So much fun with this conversation, I think you're going to get a lot of things from this, you may need to come back to this episode a couple of different times just depending on where you're at with your website and what you're working on. But I definitely recommend grabbing his book and just picking out one or two nuggets from this episode that you're going to implement on. And let me know which one that is. But before we get into it, this episode is brought to you by our Patreon account. So I really hope that you'll become a Patreon for just as little as $5 a month. And what this is is a way for you to take our episodes and take action on them to implement more get more done. We offer digital workbooks for all of the episodes, we have ama sessions, we have all sorts of perks for becoming a patron. And there's some good stuff coming in 2022. I can't let you know just yet, but it's coming. So I hope you'll join us and become a patreon. But for now, let's get into the episode. 

[INTRO] You're listening to the Digital Marketing Therapy Podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey, Buzz, thank you so much for joining me on today's episode.

[Michael Buzinski] Thanks for having me, Sami.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern]  Yeah, so we are jumping into a website conversation, but more specifically, monetization, because we all want to make more money off our websites, right? We spend money on it, it's probably one of the bigger investments you made. So let's make some money off of it.

[Michael Buzinski] Right, exactly. I think that a lot of times when we talk with like nonprofit organizations, that we forget the monetization, we see the donate button, and we make it a pretty color, and we make sure it's on top and it stays on top and all that good stuff. But then we forget the conversation that takes that needs to happen in order for somebody to push that button. And that is in the nonprofit world, the monetization, right? Some people, some people will look at it in other ways of saying, well, we want people to volunteer by they have enough money. It's like, okay, still monetizing. Because time is money.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Time is money. And why do you think a lot of smaller organizations feel like well, you know, we're either not getting enough traffic, or there's not enough people that are seeing our stuff. So we don't need to worry about it. And they don't focus on that as kind of a priority for your website. And why do you think that is? And and how can maybe people reframe their mindset to kind of set that as their main focus for what for what they're talking about.

[Michael Buzinski] So websites are much like brick and mortar, you build it, they don't necessarily come. And there are billions of websites out there, and 1000s of them offering the same services that many of the nonprofits that you work with have, right. And so you're competing for people's philanthropy. And if you don't compete like you would in any commercial setting, you're going to lose. And if you're not getting enough traffic, that means that every single visitor is even more important, and you need to get that high conversion rate in there. And when we are looking at like I work with a lot of nonprofits over the years, and I tell you right now, the biggest thing is funding, right? And people are like, Well, where are we going to get more money and they're always looking at grants and all these long-term things, and that's great and everything. But when we're engaging our community and we're pushing our website, every time we're out there Serving the community that, you know, we're trying to get the funds from. Right? That's where the best money comes from is that local community. So if we're not one, optimizing our website so that people understand where their money is gonna go for, who is it going to serve? How is it going to make them feel better? Right? We donate selfishly. 

[Sami Badell-Mulhern] Yeah, right. I agree. I agree with that. 

[Michael Buzinski] Yes. And so if you're not telling the donor, the potential donor, what's in it for them? You're losing, you're losing a lot more donations than you know.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, I think that's so important. And we were talking about this right before we jumped on just about how that customer experience for that donor is just as important as that customer experience is for somebody who's buying shoes or a new winter coat.

[Michael Buzinski] Right, exactly. Yeah. There are two stories told in every nonprofit organization, much like in for profit organizations, that there is the mission of the people we're serving. And, and then the story of how you the visitor fits into that mission. Yeah, and if you don't do that story, branding, on your website, immediately homepage, it's about like, Are you looking to help these people? Well, we are to, let's get together, right? Just like, on your websites, probably, are you a nonprofit looking to get better donors? Ownership through your website? Right? We should talk, right? But if you don't talk about their pain in that they're not getting enough donors or they're, they're not getting volunteers or whatever they're looking to get out of their website, as a conversion, then you're losing those clients. And same is with the nonprofits, if you're not saying, Hey, listen, you know, isn't it horrible that XYZ happens, you know, so many kids go hungry, or whatever the mission is, right? You're, you're pulling out that heartstring that they already have. So you're doing this confirmation bias in there. And then you're showing how your mission satisfies that pain. And then give them all the options or I say all of the options, give them one or two options on how to engage immediately.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Make it easy, I love that you're talking about the simplification of it, because I think we tend to overcomplicate all the words and all of the things and it's like just like laying it out, we have three or five seconds to capture people's attention. So make it really easy. And I think that's something that you applied in the book that you created, right, the rule of 26, and how to get people to raise or to earn more money from their websites, but you same, broke it down and really simplified kind of what that process is, can you talk a little bit about that?

[Michael Buzinski] Right, so the rule of 26, for those who haven't gotten the book, you can go to the rule of two, six, the number twonumbersix.com and get your copy, we break down the three objectives is going to take to increase your you increase your revenue, or donations from your website, excuse me. And the three things that have to happen are you need to increase your traffic by 26%, then you increase your conversion rate. So the amount of people who are actually converting is donating by 26%. And then you're increasing the value per donor by 26%. Right. So in the book, we talk about it, not for profit. So it sounds like in 2022, I will have to release the non for profit. Maybe you can help me out with that Sammy, will co-author the next version. All of the mechanics are the same though, right? When we're looking to increase that traffic, we want to make sure we're getting the right traffic, right, we don't want to market to everyone, because not everyone is going to be a good donor. And don't regardless of how much somebody donates, it's the same amount of customer service per donation.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Oh my gosh, please say that, again, please.

[Michael Buzinski] It doesn't matter how much somebody donates, they're still the same amount of customer service per donation.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] That just made my heart warm, because I agree with that. 100% Cuz you never know the long-term value of what that person is donating. They might just be testing out who you are, how you're going to treat them and, and see what happens.

[Michael Buzinski] But if you're trying to, if you are looking for $5, donator donations, right? And that's and that's where your customer services end is like, Hey, we're gonna give you $5 worth of customer service versus million-dollar donors, that customer's charity is much different. And you have to be able to gate those right. It's okay to get $5. That's, I'm not saying it's bad. But if you're focused and you're and your whole customer journey is wrapped around somebody giving you five bucks at the end of that journey. I mean, she does a lot of work for five bucks. Yep, very If somebody says, well, I'll give you 25 today, and I might give you 100. Tomorrow, I might give you 1000 in 5 years, and I might leave you an endowment at the end. Right. And when we look at the lifetime, you know, depending on what your organization is, some organizations are cyclical, meaning that they lose their donors, depending on because of age. So one of the nonprofits I worked for, for about seven years on the board of directors was the Alaska Junior theatre. And it was a professional theatre for youth, right. And so the people who donated to it wore parents of children or grandparents of children in the age bracket in which that theater was made for. 

So once the kids got into high school, they usually died off, the donations died off. Very rarely did you see an endowment that came from or came to that organization, versus when I sat on the aviation museums board of directors, we specifically looked at endowments because the old money was the big money, right? And the people who built and there's Alaska Aviation Museum, I lived in Alaska for 18 years. So a lot of Alaska stuff, but in Alaska, aviation is what built that state. And so a lot of the original old money is only about a generation to two generations removed from its original foundations. And so we're celebrating the history of that whole entire state's existence through aviation, you're going to get some people with a lot of money in aviation, and they're going to and if you embrace them and their legacy, they're going to give you some of what they have to leave behind to the organization so that that story can continue after them. 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So what I'm hearing, which I love is, the website can pull people in it can connect people, it might, the purpose of your website might be those smaller donations, but if you can really go after what it is, that is your long term strategy, then what you do after they hit your website and make that initial donation is the more critical piece, but if you don't pull them in, and you then you've lost anyway,

[Michael Buzinski] you're gonna lose in the long run. Yeah, even if you get the $5 today, and don't follow through with your appreciation. Right? And we can go broke collecting $5 at a time. Right, right. And so asking for what you actually need, versus what you'll accept, I think is where you need to really focus your energy. Right? Yeah. And then when it comes down to it, you know, when there are options at the end when they start checking out, you know, you're gonna want to try to upsell them, hey, you're, I know, you're about to give us 10 bucks, but if you give us 20, we'll give you a free mug or whatever, you know, whatever that looks like. Right? You're incentivizing the donorship. Now, are you spending $10 on the extra $10? Yes, but you have now set the precedence that they're willing to give you? 20?

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Right. Well, you see a lot of this with things like St. Jude and ASPCA. Right? Like they run these ads that are all like, Hey, your $20 donation gets you a t-shirt in a backpack, you know, like that? Yeah,

[Michael Buzinski] Do the Heart Walk and get a t-shirt and spend $35 Alright, the t-shirt cost them 10 They get $25. And now you're wearing the Heart Walk that Heart Association's t-shirt all over because you were in the Heart Walk and all that good stuff, all the sponsors on the back. So you're now helping those people right there become sponsors again, because if they see their T-shirt out in public, like, hey, my advertisings actually working?

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, you're building that community, and that connectedness of these people treated me really well. So when I go to do my giving, I'm going to think about it like, they're going to still be top of mind. And to your point that customer services, you know, I might be like, Oh, hey, like, I got an extra bonus, I'm going to give half of that to charity. Who do I want to give it to? If you've been the organization that's continuing to follow up with me, you're going to be top of mind and more likely to give that repeat current donation, right.

[Michael Buzinski] And your website can be a hub of that communication. So a lot of times people or organizations I see will get the flow from their website into their email, huh, yes, but then they never loop it back from email back to eat to the website. Hey, we're doing XYZ to get more information on our website. We're doing this more we're back, back, back, back, everything goes back to the website, one, increased traffic, better SEO. And then they're gonna see other things in the peripheral as they're looking at the thing you just pointed them to.  And so now you're looking busier than you are

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] How much content do you think, Am, his is a completely loaded question. militaries and I know, you asked me a question, I would not be happy. But you know, in general, for organizations like how often do you think it's important for them to be counted? Creating new content on their website or updating and making sure your headers are relevant to what's most important, like how much time and effort should these organizations be spending on their website?

[Michael Buzinski] A lot. I don't care where you're at a lot like your website should be touched every month. Yeah, you should be having something going on every single month for your, for your nonprofit organization, period, end of the story. Yeah, if you're a church, or something's happening every week, multiple times a week, right. So it needs to go onto the website, website, website, website, everything goes to the website, it is the hub, it is like the store, right? You want things to happen for your business, you send them to a store, if you're a retailer, on the websites, the same thing, it's just like brick and mortar, the more people come to it, the more often they will visit. So the more you tell them to come, the more times they will come if you never point at it. Like I don't have to go there. Because there's obviously nothing important there. Because you keep telling me there's nothing important there.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yep. Well, and I feel like it's also kind of a situation of, well, I might not be ready to give right now. But I'm getting regular information. And it's still I'm still staying in touch and still feeling connected. And there's nothing worse than getting that email from any business. And then you want to find more information. They don't drive you to the website, but you still are like, well, I don't really know if I'm ready for this, you go to the website, and you're like this is I can't find anything. And then all of a sudden, now you're like, Well, I don't trust them, because they're obviously not paying attention. They're not sticking up all their marketing efforts. And you're like, I'm done, I'm gonna go find this somewhere else. Because to your point, in the beginning, you said there are too many organizations that are doing the same thing you're doing, you have to do it better.

[Michael Buzinski] Right. And it’s not known as much as that they're making that assessment is that you're not making them make that assessment. Right, top of mind awareness, if you're not top of mind when they are ready, you're going to lose it to whoever is at the top of their mind. Right. So all right, you got an email, a drip campaign for somebody who hasn't signed up for the newsletter but hasn't donated and hasn't volunteered. Right? Now we're going to flip flop, volunteerism, and donations back and forth and give them opportunities to engage in each of those every time we talk to them until they do.

Wow. Was a big boom, I have no idea what that was. Yeah, right. At first, I was like back on the West Coast, and there was an earthquake.

So when we're looking at that customer journey, and we're pointing them back, we have to be very conscience conscious of how we're sending them back and what we're seeing in the back for once they become a donor, then you're starting to work your donor frequency, and then bringing the value ladder up trying to get them to see more value. So they'll donate more to the cause. Right? If they volunteer, if they are willing to volunteer and give a little bit of money. So your email marketing and your website have to be locked in step with each other to show all of those opportunities when it's relevant to them

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah. So what would you say? Like, let's just take a museum, for example, because a lot of museums are nonprofits, right? So they're trying to drive foot traffic to their location, they're trying to talk to donors, and they're also probably trying to just educate people on whatever the topic is that they're, that is their museum’s support. So how, you know, instead of getting overwhelmed, like, Do you have any ways for people to kind of figure out how to prioritize or how often to send those messages? And, and kind of how to lay that out on the website? So they don't overwhelm people

[Michael Buzinski] Yes. There are many layers to that question. Let's start with segmentation. Mm-hmm. give people the opportunity to choose what type of information you want them to get. And then how often do you want to get them? So if you have a weekly newsletter that then gets summarized once a month? You know, hey, would you like our weekly newsletter? Would you like our once-a-month newsletter? Right? Okay, boom. Right? Did you want to hear about events at the museum? Did you want to hear about speaking engagements at the museum? Or did you want to hear about volunteer opportunities at the museum? Now I'm identifying Am I a customer? Yeah. Or am I a volunteer? Or am I a donator? Right. And when you're on the website for a museum, specifically, you have to think about a museum as a retail organization tab. Nothing is worse than having a museum than ever. Has anybody gone to it? No, they're gonna go broke. Right. 

So your first priority is to get people through the door. While you're at the museum, you're gonna have plenty of opportunities for your docents and anybody else that they interact with within the museum to get you other information about being more involved with that museum. Okay. Now, do you have the every once in a while, have little call to actions of like, become involved in the curation of or the data? I mean, there are many things with any museum that you need people for, right? So you have the money, you have the docents, you have the seminars that usually have to happen. You have the people who need to volunteer for events, fundraising, the foundation, there are all of these things, right? So really, you want to give it its own section within the website, give it a prominent navigation button that says, hey, listen, get more involved with the museum? Mm-hmm. Then they click on that. It's almost like a whole new website with its own homepage of like, how would you like to get involved? I would like to help with the foundation, I would like to help as a volunteer, I would like to help by giving you my money.

 [Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, yep. I think it's almost like what you said, with like, niching down and really understanding what you're looking for. So instead of feeling like you need to barf everything out on your homepage, be really intentional with what your sales funnel is. So that you can hit people with the right message at the right time. And it sounds over complicated. But I think what you just said is a perfect way to think about it. Get them to buy the ticket to come to the museum, because that's the most important thing. And then make sure that everything else is trained perfectly, to pull them all the way through, right, which and then follow up with the email. So if you can break it down to that simple funnel, then it will make it easier for you to monetize and get your website to generate the funds you need. And I think the other piece too, and I'd be curious, your thoughts on this are, you know, the website doesn't need to serve everyone, it just needs to serve your biggest need for your business.

[Michael Buzinski] I think that you can serve everyone from the website, you're not serving everyone from the homepage of your website, right, you have a footer that has a one tire sitemap, if you use navigation that can take you to different places, right? So I feel that your value ladder versus your sales funnels, a right sales funnel is gonna get you down to conversion, what type of conversion will be depending on what funnel you're at. But then once you have a conversion, now you're creating a value ladder, right? So if I started with time, now I'm going to ask for money. Or maybe I started with a ticket, because people with museums, specifically, the experience is what inspires them to get involved. Yeah, the experience is what inspires them to donate their experiences, what inspires them to advocate. And those three things are the foundation of any successful Museum.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, and maybe even any organization, because if you can bring if somebody comes to my run, walk, and they have an amazing experience, and they're going to hopefully invite three more friends next year, right, who then might invite three more friends next year, right? If you can get them to advocate and build that camaraderie, that teamwork, I think it's really important.

[Michael Buzinski] Advocacy is gonna happen from their experience. Yeah, for sure.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] From a good. And likewise, if you don't give them a good experience, and somebody comes up to them, and like, Hey, I know you gave to the organization whatever, you know, I was thinking of giving to them, what do you think that can be?

[Michael Buzinski] And then all of a sudden, you're like, Yeah, you know, they're kind of a mess over there. Like I gave him like 1000 bucks, and I need him to get a call. And people do expect it. Like, they will tell you that they expect it.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] They expect it. If I'm an organization that's like, Okay, I haven't done any of the three things that you're talking about. I have no idea how to tackle the 26% growth in any of those areas. Is there one spot that you recommend starting with?

[Michael Buzinski] Start with your story, right, get into your website. And so conversions probably are the most important, right? I can give you all the traffic, and I can give you all the value. But if nobody's buying in, it really doesn't matter. Right? So it's one of the harder ones too because you have to test a lot, right? So it's like you set up that storied brand for your organization, and then you test it with the traffic, then you tweak your conversions, and then you put more traffic to it and you tweak the conversions and you continue to do that until you start getting better. Then you see what's the value that I'm getting from each of those interactions. How do I increase the quality value? So more time or more money that I'm getting from each of those, right, that engage? How do I get more from that? Right? And that a lot of times that the third piece of the rule of 26, which is increased the average value per client, or per donor, is by the experience after they get engaged from the website.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Right? So not necessarily increasing the initial donation, but increasing the lifetime value of that customer,

[Michael Buzinski] We're looking for lifetime value. Right? Very few people are gonna walk up to your website or go to your website and say, oh, yeah, here's 10 grand. Yep, that's good. I got that in my pocket. It's okay. I didn't need it. I don't know if you're gonna do anything good with it. But your website looks good. So here's 10 grand.

 [Sami Bedell-Mulhern] No, I'm and I think what nonprofits have in their back pocket that they don't take advantage of is the Google Ad Grant, which is $10,000 a month that they can spend for free on ads. And so to do what you're saying, the testing piece is so much easier because you can drive much more traffic for free to your website than any other business can do without also trying to grow that organic. Yes. We have

[Michael Buzinski] Seen when we work with nonprofits, through the Google grant program, I mean, it is night and day, people do not realize how much $10,000 is Oh, ads a month? They're like, Oh, is that for the year? No, no, no, that's $120,000 a month in the year? Very, okay, well, that's enough money, I can just, I don't even have to optimize it. I'm like, No, you still have to optimize it still, you still need to use it like it's real money, right? Because if they see you wasted, it's not going to your ads are not going to show up. So you can't spend the money. If the ads don't show up, it's still in that same piece. So I think that it's a great way to be able to do a lot of CRO conversion, optimization. Using basically free money.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, I think the tools that you can use to make sure things are working are also free. So just something as simple as checking in your Google Analytics on a regular basis and monitoring where your traffic is coming from and what pages are impactful, right, and paying attention to some of those things? Like the investment that you're speaking of, is really not that much in order to make a big impact on your website, in your business it is just more about intentionality. And, you know, in prioritization? Well,

[Michael Buzinski] In the book, like you, pointed out, and I laid out a lot of ways to do it yourself. And one of the tools that I line out is hot jar conversions, right. And the hot jar is great because it shows you literally how people are working through your website, on a page-by-page basis. And the introductory is free. For as long as you want. It's up to a certain amount, you know that you get with it. But it's usually for most small organizations, it's enough.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, I love the visualization of, I'm not a numbers person. So it's really hard for me to take all the numbers and process them in my brain. But the heat map on Hotjar is great, too. Because you can literally see this is where people are visual, this is where people are clicking

[Michael Buzinski] Or not. For now, you have a whole cold page like, Oh, they're gone. Like, wow, we missed this one.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] My favorite is when we see people clicking on something like a lot, but it's not an actual button. It doesn't go anywhere. And you're like this is a complete missed opportunity. Because people clearly want this. Make this

[Michael Buzinski] What are they clicking on? What is it so we can rep you click replicate? It's elsewhere in context? On the website? Yeah, this is working here. It will work in other places. Right? So yes, put a button there. And why are they clicking there? What's the context in which they're trying to get what they are trying to get to? And let's make that target easier to find elsewhere on the website?

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, no, that's so good. I know, you mentioned that people need to spend a lot of time on their website, but before they like, you know, are mad at you and mad at me. I don't know how to do this or what to do. And I know I recommend and I think you probably would too, just setting time aside on a monthly basis to just go in and just review things, take a look at things, take a look at the data, whatever and maybe make some edits, updates. It doesn't have to be overly complicated. So do you have some ways to kind of think about a process for how to go in and review what's working and what's not in and fit that in? If you're in a smaller team,

[Michael Buzinski] In a smaller team, you definitely have to take a look at your bandwidth, right? Um, but if you're in a volunteer organization, you can find volunteers to do it too. Right and finding younger volunteers who have a little bit more time than money will give you more opportunities to leverage time because it does take time. Right? But when it comes to the content, you're going to need somebody who is very good at writing. Right? You can't just put crap out crap in crap out, right? You're not going to get anywhere else.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] versus quantity for sure. Right? Quality,

[Michael Buzinski] Quality, right? And so you might be as, say, the ED of your organization, the only one that can actually write. And you don't have the money to pay somebody else to do it. Okay, great. That means you're going to have to wedge out that time. And if you only have time, twice a month to write a blog, about 750 to 1500 words, then you do two blogs a month. Just do what you can start there. Yeah, right. Then find ways to get micro-content. So reviews on events, feedback, from events, feedback, from the experience at your organization, testimonials, for the services that you provide all of this content? Yeah, find ways to incorporate that into the story, because everybody's input is really a testimonial to the work you're doing on a daily basis.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah. And then that leads me to one thing I want to make sure we touch on is that you talked a lot about driving everything to the website, the websites, your hub, that's where everything lives. But could you also talk a little bit about the power and importance of also driving traffic within your website, so people land on that blog that you wrote? There's nowhere for them to go. They're like, Oh, this was great. And then nothing.

[Michael Buzinski] So there are two things in a blog that you're looking for. One is hyperlinks to subjects that you mentioned but don't want to take time to dive into at that moment. Right. So you might mention a program, so and so is that to do with this program that you just keep going into what are you we're talking about, there's a hyperlink to that program that goes to that programs page in your website. So there's a hyperlink there. That's an internal link, right? At the end, you need a call to action. What, Hey, did you like this content, sign up for the newsletter, because maybe they got to the blog by accident, or maybe they were there, you did an ad, or there are all sorts of ways you can get people to a blog, right, maybe they got it through a search. So maybe it's their first time visiting your website, but the blog is the first page they landed on. Assume nobody knows anything about you on your blog.  

So at the bottom, it's your shameless plugs, right? To don't donate here, learn, learn how donations help our blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, learn how you can be a volunteer, learn how you can do I mean and have the two to three call to action that you are very common for your organization, the most common, right? Don't be asking, Hey, do you want to be a board member? Do you want to do this? Do you want to do an endowment you want to do? Like, no, it's just that simple. That's the first step, right? Sign up for the newsletter, stay in touch with what we got going on, blah, blah, blah, find value in your newsletter that does not exist on your website. So that they go, Okay, I know I'm always coming to the website, I'm going to go to the blog, I can do an RSS feed to the blog, and an F to see the newsletter, or there's information on the newsletter, there's nowhere else. And now you're creating an ecosystem, that they're seeing all of it. And they're going through all of it. And they're consuming because the more they consume, the more advocacy you're going to be able to get from them.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] More advocacy, the more time on site, the better SEO, everything, everything, everything gets fed. Yeah, I like that you said to assume that people have never heard of you when they land on that page.  

[Michael Buzinski] On the blog, especially a blog page.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I mean, there's nothing worse than like, you show up to some business or some networking event or something and people are already speaking in this language, and you're like, I don't really know what's going on. But I don't want to ask, and I'm just gonna, like, assume whatever you like, you don't to make people feel stupid, especially in some of the types of services that are being provided that are much more sensitive or have a lot more new them right.

[Michael Buzinski] You can use your hyperlinks in content to explain those types of things. Right? You could even have a modal or a pop-up. We like to use modal versus pop-ups, but a modal that pops up a kind of give us synopsis of something that is the lingo

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Right

 [Michael Buzinski] Right. So instead of getting them out, they just hover over it and a little puppet. This is this. It's like maybe 50 words. Learn more. Oh, I want to learn more that pops up into a new tab and they can go down that rabbit hole. Right. But if it's, if they already know they just keep reading. Yep. Yeah. So experience so you can manage that experience without having to dumb it so far down that the people are going to hate. They could say all this in 200 words. If they just went I keep explaining the catechism of my Catholic Church to me every time I read something in the newsletter

 [Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Right, 100%. I mean, that's, I think everybody flips out when Google does an algorithm change, but really, at the root of all of it is how are you treating your visitors? And are you giving them the customer experience that they want? And if you're thinking of the customer first, then you're gonna win every time.

[Michael Buzinski] Right? They talk about mobile-first indexing, I say customers first indexing, right? The trick, or the trick, the craft is creating a website that is consumable by human beings and indexable by robots,

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] This is getting easier because robots are getting smarter, smarter, which is also sort of terrifying. But that's just, that's just where we're at.

[Michael Buzinski] But it makes for better content, though, because now we can use syntax, we can use semantics, semantic keywords, and stuff like that. And now Google understands it's one of the same. So now, I don't have to sit there and try to create little, you know, keyword planting and make sure my density is all there without it, you know, and really just repeat myself over and over versus making it human consumption rich.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, it's so true. I feel like we could talk about this all day, and overwhelm everybody with all the things. But I think there's a lot of really good action steps in here. So if you could just kind of distill, as we wrap this up, like what if you were only going to do three things, right now, what three things would you start with, and then maybe a bonus step for the overachievers.

[Michael Buzinski] I'm going to give you two. 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, perfect.

[Michael Buzinski] Because the first one is a big lift,  And it is the most important lift, look at your website, as if you know nothing about your organization. And ask yourself at every turn, would I click on what I needed to be clicked to be profitable. That is a big lift. So there are people who spend six months just on that with their website, okay. So if you don't do it in one sitting, don't get discouraged. Just keep working at it, and do one section at a time, start with your homepage, and identify whether you have described the pain which the visitor is looking to solve because you're going to assume they either have the pain and they need your service, or there if they have, they're, they're looking for their philanthropic need to serve that pain. 

So those are your two, right, and then make sure that that journey is consistent through that homepage, to either click on more information, or make an action by the end by some point in that homepage. Whether it be you know, reaching out to volunteer donating, signing up for an event, whatever that looks like, okay, and then go into each of the sections of your website and do the same exact thing. Your overachievers are now going to make sure that the journey is complete. So regardless of where I land on the website, I always find my way back to the same actions. Hmm. Internal links we talked about, yep, blogs, and making sure that we can get the blogs back into the main site, all of those things.

 [Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Would you also add to that, making sure that that whatever email, maybe that's a good time to review any of your email automation that are going out as well, to make sure that loop is circled,

[Michael Buzinski] You test all of your calls to action because sometimes the donate button needs to check. Shoot, I was just on my website this morning. And I found out that one of our scheduling buttons went to a Calendly, which was fine. Calendly just said a 30-minute meeting, Somebody missed something somewhere, right. And we have a very large website. So it's easy to miss those things, you know, and so the larger the organization, the more this has to be looked at. So you know, doing those quarterly checks to make sure that links haven't gotten broken. Maybe somebody overlooked an internal link that that page moved. And now that internal link doesn't work anymore. Those types of things. Getting a webmaster even I have found for nonprofits works better than trying to volunteer to make sure it's all working, right. Because now you have a professional who can do it much faster. Even though you're spending a little money, you're going to save time. And I'm telling you right now, there is one thing that nonprofits have less of than money. Time and talent.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yes, but also, things just change. Like things just change in your business. And so the things that you had set up, even if they work correctly, are not your priorities anymore, and they just need to be updated.

[Michael Buzinski] Right? You might have so I've gone on to nonprofit organizations. have events that happened three years ago. So on the website, what does that say to the visitor? Yep. Oh, you guys must not be having a lot going on. Yep. Right. So yeah. But yeah, your first step is to go through your website and make sure that it is what you can test it with other people, you don't necessarily have to maybe give it to somebody who's never seen the website. Give it to a friend who has never really shown interest in what you do. But you're going to ask them a favor. Hey, can you go to this website and tell me what you think? That type of thing? Yeah. And then make sure that it all works. That's you, that's your bonus? For sure. 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I love it. Well, this has been an amazing buzz. If there are people who want to find out more about you check out your book. Do you have a dog back there?

[Michael Buzinski] That is my little hound over there. 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Just a blanket. Sorry for those of you listening, head on over to YouTube. And you can see

[Michael Buzinski] A little 13-year-old basset hound. He's having a dream right now. I think he's running.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I just locked mine upstairs with my husband, because otherwise, she'll bark at all of the delivery guys. But if people want to know more about your book and get in touch with you and learn more about all the amazing things that you do, how do they do that?

[Michael Buzinski] They're really just one place. That whole hub thing I talked about. So go to buzzworthy.biz, the book is right there at the top. If you want to check that out. It's on Amazon, we got ebooks and paperbacks. No audiobooks yet. It's a short book, by the way, just so you know, I don't waste people's time. It's to the point it does have a lot of do-it-yourself pointers as Sammy pointed out, you know, it's thick with tactics that will get you that closer and closer to those 26% markers and make it make things happen.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] The one last thing I want to say that I love about the 26% piece is that it really gives you that benchmark to celebrate because I think we don't celebrate when we're doing these things. It's hard work. We know it's hard work. We know you can do it. But you know, it gives you something to really take into consideration and get excited about. You know, we hit that 26% benchmark, let's celebrate right, and then keep doing the work.

[Michael Buzinski] Well then let me part with this. The great one, the rule of 26 has a compounding effect. So you really only doing 78% increases total, right? And you're getting a 100% return. But every time you hit that you're getting a 26% increase in whatever you're trying to get. So if traffic's 26% and your conversion rate stays the same guess what you're getting 26% more volunteers or more donations. Yeah. And then the second one, you're up to 52% more. And then that third one just gets you all the way to 100. Right. So you get the results at every piece to not just the celebration of hey, this little KPI here looks really good on my report. You know, the president of the association really likes me now because I got this 26% KPI, right? No, we actually have an increase in our donations in our volunteerism because we increased our traffic by 26%.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, that's so so so good. All of these links and more resources will be available at thefirstclick.net/podcast. Thank you so much for being here.

[Michael Buzinski] Thank you so much, Sami for having me as a lot of fun.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Thank you too buzz for joining us on this episode. I loved this conversation. We were so aligned on so many things. There are some great episodes around storytelling and branding that I will share in the show notes so that you can take some blue things that he said and put some action behind them. Please make sure you subscribe wherever you listen and make sure you head on over to thefirstclick.net/YouTube to watch the video of this episode if that's how you like to consume your media. But we are out there wherever you listen to podcasts, and I thank you so much for starting 2022 off strong with me. Thank you so much. We'll see in the next one.

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