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All organizations need a good website, and arguably, organizations such as associations, nonprofits and professional service firms even more so, because their product is intangible. It’s thought leadership and experience. Both are hard to convey.

As a result, creating and maintaining the right website is an important investment. Since your website might be the first impression people will have of you and your organization, be as careful about what people will find there as you would be if you were meeting someone important for the first time.

People visit websites because they are looking for information. The main point is that they are coming to you; you have already gotten their attention long enough for them to type or choose your organization’s website address. By reaching out in this way, they have shown you that they are willing to engage with you if you can give them the products, services, or information they need. People already spend a lot of energy and time screening out all the information they don’t want, so the fact that they selected you instead of ignoring you is a promising beginning.

The purpose of any website is to start a conversation with potential customers, members, or donors. The purpose of that conversation is to convince people that your organization can meet their needs.
As a result, a good website will do the following:

Ease of navigation is important because no matter how good the content is, nobody will stay on the website long enough to read it if it is hard to find.

High-quality content matters for the same reason it has always mattered. The old saying is that there is always room at the top. Plenty of people put poorly written content online. You can differentiate your organization from other organizations just by making sure you have good content. It needs to be original, too, because plagiarism is something that can create all kinds of problems.

When people need more information from your organization, you want them to be able to contact you easily and find out whatever it is they need to know. However, it is a waste of everyone’s time if the same basic questions or problems are being discussed over and over again when you could easily put that same information on your website. People will appreciate not having to make a phone call or send an email message in order to find out basic information.

The next thing your website needs to do is support SEO. SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing your website’s visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. There are over 1.25 billion websites and roughly 12 million domain names are added per quarter, making the internet a vast and complicated place. SEO is the bridge between your website and the people looking for you, who may or may not know you exist.

SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, from the number and quality of the words on your page to the way other sites link to you on the web. SEO is also about making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines will understand.

If writing, website design, and maintenance are just not something you feel comfortable doing, or you don’t have time to take care of these essential matters, find a reputable company and hire them to do it for you.