Ep 256 | Organizing the Content on Your Website

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Content on your website is how you connect with your visitors. Ensuring they get what the need in the right way takes some finessing. As your organization grows and evolves, your website needs to do the same. With regular updating and reflection it is easy and doesn't take a long time.

What you'll learn:

→ power of relying on your analytics.
→ how to create your sitemap.
→ taking your goals into consideration.
→ how to keep updating your content regularly.

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[2:10] Pay attention to your short term and long term goals. Your website should be a direct reflection of the action you want them to take immediately, and the journey you can take them on over time. 
[5:57] What does your data tell you? Where are people leaving your website from? Where are they coming in from? This will show you the content that is resonating the best and the worst with your audience. You can also start to learn how people go through your website journey to understand where there might be gaps in the content on your website.
[10:09] Create your new sitemap. This will help you visualize what the content will look like on each page so you can ensure it matches up with your goals. It will also ensure each page prioritizes the right content.


EP 174 | How to Track Content for Repurposing Increased Engagement

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Full Transcript

Sami Bedell-Mulhern Getting more people to your website is always a good thing, having a lot of traffic, always a good thing. But if people aren't converting and taking action on the things that you need them to, then you're missing the mark. And all of that traffic that you've been driving to your website isn't really working for you. So as we think about our websites, and what we need them to do to support us to be those 24/7 365. Salespeople program people support people, it's time to start thinking about how we have our website organized, determine if it's going to make sense for the actions we need to take. And that is what we're going to talk about in today's episode as we kick off a whole month's worth of website content. And as a web designer and developer, our team is so excited to be here this month with you to go through all of these different topics about your website, because we really think it is a critical part of your digital marketing and your online presence. So let's get into understanding how to kind of create structure, organize, and figure out what the priorities need to be for your website.

But before we get into it, you know, the new month, new freebie, and this month, we're capitalizing on your donation page, this could be the most important page on your website. And if it's not giving people the information that they need, then it's leaving money on the table for your organization. So go to thefirstclick.net/resources. And grab your donation guide so that you can go through your donation page on your website, check off all the boxes that you're doing great, review the things that maybe need to be tweaked and get on your way to improving the conversions of people visiting your website and actually giving through your donation page. Sounds awesome, right? Well, let's get into the episode.

Intro You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each month we dive deep into a digital marketing or fundraising strategy that you can implement in your organization. Each week, you'll hear from guest experts, nonprofits, and myself on best practices, tips and resources to help you raise more money online and reach your organizational goals.

Sami Bedell-Mulhern
So with all things marketing, you know where it starts, it starts with your goals and your website is no different. The difference is that we tend to think that our websites are kind of like we've done it, it's up there, we're going to move on to other things, but forget about the fact that we have to review our website on a regular basis to make sure that it's working towards the things that we need it to be working for. So when we think about the content on our website, it goes back to the goals that we created for our organization. So I like to break it into a couple of different things, our short term goals and our long term goals. Now it's up to you what you want to determine as short term and long term for me and my business, we don't typically make plans for more than a year out too much is changing trends are changing the way that people are interacting with our content. And the way that we're getting customers is always changing. So we want to make sure that we're not putting ourselves in too much of a box. So my short term stuff is what's coming up in the next quarter. My long term stuff is what's coming up in the next year. And that is typically like a year from today. So if I'm working on my website, right now, what's happening a year from today, not just like through the end of this year. So thinking about what are those? What are those pieces that are our priorities is going to be super important. Write them down, revisit them, I often find when I go back to my goals for the year, there's things that I forgot that I said I was gonna do, because you just get so stuck in the day to day. So you know what has to happen right now we're in maybe more of a reactive mode than a proactive mode. So really rereading those goals can help you kind of recenter and come back to this is ultimately what we're working towards.

So there's a couple of things that then we want to do as we think about how our content is being displayed on our website. Because if we notice that one of our biggest goals is to add wanting new monthly donors to our to our donation group, here are donors or whatever. And we can't find your monthly donor page anywhere. That's not helping you that's not supporting you, that's not getting you towards your goals. Now, it doesn't mean that popping up your monthly donor campaign on the homepage is going to automatically mean you're going to hit your goal like that. But it will help as you're doing all of the other efforts in your marketing to grow that program. Right. Let's say it's to sell out your after school program. If we don't have it somewhere where people can find it easily when registration opens, you're losing the opportunity to get some people to convert. So we want to pay attention to what those things are so that we can be ready to go with some updates that we need to for our website. Now you might be saying to me well, we don't have registration or we don't have ticket sales, or we don't have event sales happening for quite some time, then that's fine. But if you're taking the time right now, to review your short term and long term goals, it's a great opportunity to put a little calendar reminder in your calendar, you know, when you're ready, or like a couple of weeks before you're ready to open up registration, turn on registration on the website, something as simple as that can make a big impact and making sure that these steps get followed, in order to make things happen. Take it one step further, if you have a project management tool, and create a template around what you do every single year, when things watch if it's a food drive, if it's a puppy drive, if it's registration, if you have the same cycle, every time you have a new exhibit at your museum, put it in there so that you know and you have it already automated, here's what has to happen on the website, as we get into these different cycles for our campaign, protect there for you.

Okay, so we know what we're working towards. Now, we also want to look at the data. So we want to see what is the data telling us about how people are accessing our website? What are they looking at? what pages are they getting to what is kind of where people are coming in to our website? And just as importantly, what pages are they leaving our website on? Because if they're coming in on a blog post, and that's great, and we're getting tons of traffic, but we need them to take the next step in their journey, and they're just not doing that, then that's something we need to think about. Are they coming in on keywords that don't make sense? Does the content not actually drive that next step? Are we not clearly defining what that next step needs to be? So taking a look at our analytics, and seeing kind of how people are interacting and engaging with our website can be a really great place to start. And I know that that might seem a little bit overwhelming. But what I want you to do is really just create a spreadsheet that has the core pages that are really critical to the conversion rate to people. So it could be your donation page, it could be your ticket, event page, there's, you know, all the pages that are kind of critical to that conversion. And then work backwards from there and see what's happening and see how people are giving, engaging and interacting with your website, where are they coming from? And are they getting to where they need to go. Because this is going to do a couple things for you. If everything is running smoothly, then great. Keep doing what you're doing. But if you're noticing there are some holes and people are getting stuck, you can have conversations with the people that are interacting with your website. But you can also just say, Okay, there's a missing gap, here, we have some content that's missing between A and C, that they're lost. And so they're not being able to carry that journey all the way through because they don't get it yet. They're not quite there. So maybe we need to create a blog post about this, or we need to dive deeper into that, or we need to update this and make sure that things are moving where we want. Now it can be a little bit overwhelming because you have lots of pages on your website. So that's why I say always take it back to the goal. What are we trying to achieve, and focus on those pages first, we have another episode coming up later in the month. That is all about like when we're getting ready to do a full on refresh. So you'll get some additional tips in that episode as well. But for now, we just want to focus on how are we getting people to the goals that we need them to achieve.

Now, I also like to have a blog tracker. And this is really just to share what and I'll I'll link up a template to this in the show notes for this episode at thefirstclick.net/256. And we have some episodes about content repurposing that I will also link up in here in case you need them. But basically what we want to do is we want to track the URLs, the titles, we want to track, kind of the mini meta descriptions that are in there, we want to be able to know when was the last time that we updated it. And then also, if you want to take it a step further, what is the traffic that we're seeing to that website, that page, so we can really clearly see what people are engaging with what they're most excited for, and start to develop trends. So we know what content people are looking for, to prioritize on different places of our website, as well as what content we want to create more of. Okay, so when you know that information, you're tracking it on a regular basis, and you're taking a look at it year over year or quarter over quarter to see if there's some pages that continue to emerge as highly trafficked pages. Those are the ones that you want to double down on. Those are the ones that you might want to put as your featured blog posts on your homepage, as opposed to chronologically right. There's lots of ways that you can do it again based on the goal. Now if the number one trafficked blog post on your website is not even in your short or long term priorities, and it's kind of leading people astray. So that's a sign that we really need to think about our messaging and Um, how we're communicating what we do to our audience. If it's hitting the mark perfectly, then we know we're doing something spot on. Let's just keep doing more of that.

Okay, so you know your goals, you kind of know the content that's resonating with your audience you've married that up with, if that makes sense for what you're trying to accomplish. So now you've used your analytics and all of that good stuff. So now we kind of want to start to create our new sitemap. A sitemap is really just the roadmap for how the content is laid out on your website. So what I like to do is create a hierarchy, right? We're going to create like a flow chart. And that would be like your homepage, and then all the core pages that are in your main venue navigation. So we're going to look at all of those pages and say, okay, are these priorities, we don't want to have more than seven? I really like five. The more things we have in our navigation, the more choices we're asking our visitors to make. Minimize the drop downs, because again, that's more choices, we're asking people to take instead of kind of helping to guide them on the journey. Because if we know who our ideal customers are, we know more about their motivations. We know who they are, we can much more guide their journey through our website. So we're going to create the new sitemap we're going to decide what those top level pages are. And then below that, you're just going to list out what content goes on each of those pages. And these are blurbs. And these are shorter information pieces that you can, you know, send people to for more information. So on our homepage, for example, we want to make sure that our announcement bar reflect what is our biggest priority, right, like that's primo real estate, is that showcasing what we care about most right now, that could be give today, if you're in the middle of a big fundraising campaign, it could be purchasing ticket, it could be Hey, our email list provides resources on XYZ sign up. Now, it could be a variety of things. It could be contact your local legislator for this bill that's about ready to go through. Here's how you do it. So that is your first place where you want to have your biggest call to action. And then in your headers, we want to make sure that we have you know, no more than three sliders or just one if you can, that talks about kind of the biggest priorities for your organization could be a volunteer drive, it could be I mean, there's, it's endless. But we don't want to just throw things up there and leave them there. What are the three things that are most important for your organization, that you want to make sure people know what's happening? Is there something time sensitive that's going on that you want to make sure people know is happening. And then as we think about the rest of the homepage, it's what are the priorities and maybe reordering? It might not be writing new content, it might not be a redesign at all. But it's just are we putting the content out there in order of importance. So as we scroll, we're seeing the things that are most important. And then we're not burying it at the bottom of the page. And then you're going to repeat that same process on every single one of your pages. So your services page. Again, as you organize that content, what is the most important thing for your short term and long term goals? If you have registration, or ticket sales opening for a new exhibit, or a new performance that's happening at your organization, and you bury that at the bottom, people aren't going to really see it? So we want to make sure that it's at the top. We want to make sure you know the who we are page. What are the biggest priorities? Are we trying to target? Our corporate sponsors who we want to make sure they know who we are? Because like our board is really prestigious, or you know, something like that, that we want to make sure they see that at the front. So they know they want to hang out with us. Is it impact statements about who our team is? Because we're hiring? Is it company culture, like all of those things? Like what do we have in there, that makes the most sense for us. Because of the goals that we have in place, you're going to do that for all of your pages. And as you start to go through this process, you will start to really be able to organize the content in a way that you're like, okay, yeah, that is what we need to talk about. That's great. That is something that we do, and we're awesome at it. But that's not something that we really need to talk about right now. Because either maybe it's a fully funded program, or it's just not the top priority, or the biggest priority for what we have going on in this particular season. So that's just a quick way to start to organize your content as you think about where you are and where you're going. Now you have to put this into practice on a regular basis.

So quarterly, at a minimum, make sure you're going through the steps of taking a look at your homepage, especially so that you can take a look at your headers and your announcement bars and it's everything on point for what people need to see if we want people to see the most important information but also, if people are coming back to our website and it's changing and evolving and and there's new information there for them to see immediately. It just gets them excited. They want to dive deeper, they see that you're doing things you're moving and shaking, you're making change. And so it's a great way to just keep people excited and engaged with your website. Now, annually, we want to make a big or look at our website, we want to take a look at everything and dive real deep into everything. Because that's what we're going to be thinking about what is our content strategy for the next 12 months? What content? Do we want to create more of what's working really well? what's resonating with your audience? What are the keywords telling us that people are really excited and engaged? About? How does that match with what we do? It might adjust how you take a look at your Google Ad grant and how you spend funds on that site. If you're utilizing that. We will have an episode later this month all about that. So don't worry, we'll dive deeper into the Google Ad grant your website, which I'm super excited about. So we want to just really do a deep dive, how is the website supporting everybody on our team from programs and services, development, to outreach, whatever volunteers? Are we serving all of those areas? Well, and Is everybody getting what they need from the website, because again, like I started your website, getting a ton of traffic makes you feel good. But if they're not taking action, and you're not seeing tangible results from that, then it's wasted effort. And we don't want to have any wasted efforts we want to make the most of our time and our budgets and our efforts.

So that is your quick dive into organizing the content on your website to make sure that it converts and increasing conversions from those that are visiting. You have any questions please feel free, feel free to reach out at Hello at the first click dotnet. The show notes and additional resources for this episode can be found at thefirstclick.net/256 So excited to kick off this month of websites with you. So don't forget to subscribe or wherever you're listening and leave me a little review. While you're there. Let us know what topics you are excited to hear more about, and how we can support you in your website and your nonprofit fundraising journey from now, thank you so much for listening to this episode and I will see you in the next one.


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