How many website visits does it take to get a donation? Well according to a study done by Next After, a nonprofit website will get just over 12,000 click-throughs a month and from those visitors 0.64% will make a donation in the same session.
As fundraisers, you already know that a lot goes into soliciting donations. Your website is a great place for people to learn more about your cause and values, but how can you turn these visitors into donors? The goal isn’t to get more eyes on your site (studies show that this actually decreases the donation rate), but to focus on generating the right audiences and converting your visitors to donors.
When it comes to SEO (or search engine optimization)
you may have heard that people who are using search engines already have a specific reason to visit your website in the first place and therefore aren’t likely to become donors. Although this may be true for some of your website’s visitors, there is always a chance to appeal to someone who has stumbled across your organization online. Incorporating keywords, cropping images and removing clutter may boost your search ranking a spot or two, but the goal isn’t to rank better with Google, it’s finding people who want to support your cause.
You need to find the balance between creating action driven content and building an audience of supporters. Use your original content to pull people in and tell your story with a clear call to action. Having a site optimized for mobile, a quick loading time and a clean structure will drive traffic to your site but by also applying the following tips you can create value out of the traffic your site collects.
Use Organic Traffic as an Introduction
People who come to your site organically through search engines often are looking for a specific answer whether that be a service, cause, or place. This gives you an opportunity to introduce your nonprofit and educate someone on your mission!
For example, if your nonprofit deals with youth and homelessness, have content that outlines the actions your organization is taking and how you are driving change. Using this information you can speak to how your organization understands and approaches the issue.
Then at the end of the blog post or article
offer a call to action suggesting the reader join a mailing list or donate to your organization. This is a great way to get people who are already interested in a topic excited to join your community, and through the use of an automated welcome series, can continue the conversation with the supporter. If they are already searching for information on youth homelessness there is a good chance they would be interested in hearing how you are addressing the issue.
Build a Relationship By Starting With A Small Ask
Even with an amazing piece of content, it is still common for visitors to leave your site once they get the information that they need. If they stumble upon your nonprofit via an unrelated search chances are they haven’t heard of you or plan on visiting again.
As fundraisers, you know that it’s also important to engage these visitors and invite them to continue the relationship. It may seem intrusive to ask for an email right away but by getting into the headspace of your target audience, creating an ask that aligns with their values and interests and segmenting them in your database you are more likely to get an email.
For example, if someone is looking for advice on how to reduce waste in their home they may be weary to joining your organizations mailing list
at first but could be interested in signing a petition to support more reusable energy sources in their city. Or invite them to an online community that shares tips on reducing every day waste.
This creates a win-win situation for both you and your visitor. They are willing to give up their contact information like an email, in exchange for valuable information that aligns with their values. To get an idea of what topics would work best segment them by using email sign up forms segmented by topic, or by asking them for their preferred topics when signing up for the newsletter, and create tags attached to their profiles in your database.. Keeping track of your most engaged visitors with interest fields in your CRM can give you insight on what matters most to your audience.
Take a Walk In your Visitors Shoes
As the creator or nonprofit leader, you may be too close to your organization to see it through the eyes of a new visitor. Having created the page or website you already know what to expect and it will make sense to you.
After creating a donation or web page take a step back and revisit it in a day or two. Maybe even share with a friend, colleague or trusted supporter to get their feedback and go over the following questions:
- Would they fill out your call to action or donation form?
- How long does it take for them to get through the page? Is there any content that is unnecessarily slowing them down?
- Are they confused or unsure about any of the information on the page?
If you don’t know where to start or are unsure of your donation form feel free to reach out to us!
We have lots of experience creating impactful donation forms and would love to give you insight on how to improve your website for your digital audience.
Converting traffic to actions like donations and petition signatures does take some trial and error. By creating, segmenting and analyzing your content you will be able to pivot your strategy to match the actions of your audience.
A great place to start is looking into your donor data and seeing what worked with your donors in the past. Build an audience profile by keeping track of the values and characteristics of your typical donor in your database and use that to create a list of content ideas. By keeping track of how you solicited and found donors you can better organize your efforts like driving more traffic to your website and converting more supporters into donors
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