Is Your Website Caveman-Ready?

What’s the caveman test as it applies to your website? Simple. If I put a computer in the hands of a caveman—someone who doesn’t know the first thing about navigating a website—will he answer 3 simple questions?

    1. What’s your mission?
    2. Why should I give?
    3. How can I give?

It may seem basic, but those are the questions that people are asking themselves when they visit your website. Before someone is willing to invest emotionally (and financially!) into your cause, they want to know what you do, why it should matter to them, and how can they get involved. And you have very little time to communicate with a new website visitor.

You have fractions of a second to catch someone’s attention and maybe 15 seconds to communicate your most important messages.

Think about the header on your website. That’s the top part of the website … the very first thing that people see when they land on your site. Does it answer those questions? If it doesn’t, you are probably losing donors.

Far too many websites are vague and unclear from the perspective of the new visitor. Designers and writers choose to be creative and clever at the expense of being clear. In the tension between creativity and clarity, clarity should win every time.

Take a look at the top right-hand corner of your website’s homepage. Research shows that’s the most looked at place on a website. What’s there? It needs to be a clear call to action … Give, Donate, Sign Up. That’s the place where you need to ask for the sale, gift or donation.

So, what should be on your website?

A header
That’s the real-estate above the fold when someone lands on your site. It should clearly state who you are and what you do. Any images should communicate something important about your organization. The language should be clear and simple. This isn’t the place to get cute and clever with your wording.

A strong call to action
This needs to tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do. Avoid language like “Learn more” or “Get started.” If you’re asking for donations, try “Give Today” or “Donate.” Put this call to action in the top right-hand corner of your page in that most viewed area of your website. Highlight it with color or a larger font. Then you can repeat it with a button in the middle of your header image. Don’t be passive. Make it very clear what you’re asking people to do.

A negative consequence
What will happen if I don’t give? Clearly tell the visitor the consequences of not supporting your ministry? This is the thing that your ministry is passionate about preventing. Is it preventing childhood hunger? Then explain how many children will go hungry each year without the support that comes from your organization. Is it preventing homelessness? Then tell your potential donor how many people will continue to live on the streets without your support.

An opportunity to be the hero
Tell your potential donor exactly how they can be a hero in this story. Show them what success looks like when they support the important work that you’re doing every day. Show them the joy that THEY WILL PROVIDE to children when they wear their brand-new shoes or go to school for the first time. Show the relief that happens when the elderly person is able to get the medication that they otherwise couldn’t afford.

Your website is one of your most important tools to acquire new donors and communicate the importance of your mission. Take a look at it with the eyes of a caveman. Does it measure up?

Is it time to reevaluate your website? A fresh set of eyes may be just what you need.
Click here or call us today at 724.733.1200.

Kim Rugh
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