Love ‘em or hate ‘em, websites are a necessary tool for online member engagement. They’re how you share information, start conversations, and collect registrations – among many other things.

But we’ve all seen those websites that are, well, just plain awful. So what makes a good website? Or better yet, a great website? Well, here are three tips for taking your membership website from average to elite:

1. Be succinct

People have short attention spans – plain and simple. So if you want people to interact with your website, it’s important to keep your pages clean and concise.

When designing your organization’s website, consider incorporating the following:

  • Bold headlines
  • Short paragraphs
  • Bulleted or numbered lists
  • A lot of white space
  • Images and other graphics

Remember, when you break up information, it’s much easier for people to digest.

2. Make it personal

One of the best ways to make your website stand out, and more importantly, get people to engage with you is by personalizing the content to better match each visitor. Here’s an example: Let’s say one of your veteran members – someone who’s been with your organization for 10+ years, logs into your website and sees a listing for one of your upcoming young professional events. They’re likely to ignore it because that information doesn’t pertain to them. But let’s say that same veteran member logs in and sees a new listing for one of your leadership opportunities. They’re much more likely to click on that message.

Now I know what you’re thinking. That sounds great, but I’m already so crunched for time. How on Earth am I supposed to personalize my website content? Well we don’t recommend doing it alone. Rather, if you’re interested in taking that route, we recommend utilizing an association management system. With the help of an AMS, you can easily show different content to different members based on their member type, member group, or other information. And when it comes to online member engagement, that feature is invaluable.

3. Define a path

When someone visits your website, you want them to do something, right? Of course you do! Whether it’s fill out a member application form, register for an upcoming event, or contribute to your online social community, you want them to take that next step.

But in order to get them to take that next step, you need to make that path VERY clear. And that’s where calls-to-action come in. Calls-to-action, or CTAs, are words or phrases that try to provoke an immediate response, such as “click here” or “call today.” They’re typically bold or written in a different color to stand out amongst other text – and boy are they effective! After all, the key to getting people to do what you want is to clearly communicate what it is exactly you want them to do.

Want more tips for taking your membership website from average to elite? Check out our free Membership Website Guide below!