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  • 5 Ways To Promote Your Blog On Pinterest That Actually Work

    Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by
    how to post your blog on pinterest Do you want more blog traffic? Of course, you do! Social media is continuing to be a hub for people to connect with others around the world. Moreover, Pinterest is paving the way for bloggers to drive referral traffic and increase audience engagement. Research shows that “the half-life of a pin is 1,680 times longer than a Facebook post.” This means more people are interacting with your content months after you post it. “Interaction is so easy on Pinterest that other networks have a reason to envy it. The recipe of a successful interaction is a smooth delivery of information across the board... All you need to do is create new boards, add new pins, invite others and like and re-pin other’s pins,” writes Mike Dane, a digital marketing professional. It's time to send Pinterest users to your blog. Here are five ways to get you started. Create Your Blog  

    1. Create Multiple Boards

    On Pinterest, visibility is vital to attracting new individuals to your account. Even with a targeted audience, there are several interests that your pinners will possess. So, make sure you’re catering to those needs by developing multiple boards to gain their attention. For instance, if your blog is dedicated to all things cooking, create a board for slow cooker meals, one for dishes made under 30 minutes, and maybe another for desserts. This segmentation gives someone an opportunity to pick what they want and find it quickly. For example, HostGator has several boards devoted to website inspiration, ranging from blogging tips to design ideas for an arts & craft blog. Create multiple Pinterest boards   Another pro tip? Don’t limit yourself to posting your articles in only one board. More than 80% of pins are re-pins. Thus, sharing the same pins in several boards can help more people find your blog via Pinterest’s search function and category algorithms. “It’s okay to pin your blog articles to more than one Pinterest board, but spread them out over time and pin other content in between so your Pinterest feed isn’t just you pinning five pins of your blog post to different boards,” says Peg Fitzpatrick, co-author of The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. Want to give your fans a chance to find your blog posts? Drive traffic with multiple boards. [bctt tweet="80% of Pinterest pins are re-pins. Pro tip: reshare pins on multiple boards to increase visibility." username="hostgator"]  

    2. Post Creative Images

    Photos make up 92% of all Pinterest posts. So, you should really focus your energy on producing creative images for your followers. Start by formatting images properly. The ideal aspect ratio for Pinterest images is 2:3 with a minimum width of 600 pixels. Add a story-filled background to your images. For example, a recipe blogger might post a bowl of fruit on a checkered tablecloth in front of flowers. You want to set the mood for the person looking at the image, to entice them to want to read the blog post. Take photos up close, suggests blogger Ali at Gimme Some Oven. People should feel like they can actually experience the object on your Pinterest board. Pinterest image tips   Tie your images to seasonal or holiday events. Pinners are two times more likely to celebrate events and holidays. Plan your marketing strategy around pinning images that connect to special occasions, like Valentine’s Day or Halloween. Experiment with your pin images and track which photos resonate with your fans. Then create more of those. [bctt tweet="#Pinterest Photo Tips: Add a story line, take photos up close, and tie in seasonal events." username="hostgator"]  

    3. Write Descriptive Copy

    Pinterest isn’t all about photos. There’s space to write text to make people take a second glance at your work. For instance, article pins include a headline, the author’s name, and story description. These rich pins let you shape how people perceive your board. The headline should stick out to the reader. Use catchy, bold language that appeals to your audience. What would they like to read? If you have to shorten the original article title, do it! Use the same brand name on your blog on your Pinterest account. So, if everyone knows you as Betty the Gardener, keep the consistency. You don’t want to confuse followers. Lastly, write a description that’s interesting to the individual. You want people to feel compelled to click to learn more. Check out this example from the New York Times: Article Rich Pin   Freelance writer Elna Cain offers some additional tips to boost traffic:
    • Make it easy for pinners to find your pin with a spot-on description.
    • Give enough information to entice a pinner to click through to your blog.
    • Draw on the emotions of the pinner by using sensory-related words and positive sentiments.
    • Add a call-to-action in your description, like, “check out…” or “click to find out more.”
    Words matter, too. Take advantage by using descriptive copy.  

    4. Focus on Timing

    Research revealed that to optimize audience reach on Pinterest pinners should post 10 to 15 times per day. As your fan base grows, deliberately timing pins becomes important to providing a consistent brand message to your platform. You’ll soon learn that pinning at any time isn’t a good strategy. Bloggers can waste lots of effort posting pins whenever they think is the best. Instead, take a pragmatic approach. Examine your website traffic to uncover when are the best days and times to post your pins. [bctt tweet="When's the best time to post on #Pinterest? Look to your blog traffic for the answer." username="hostgator"] “The smart strategy is to look at your traffic stats for your own blog to see when you consistently get the most traffic, and then plan to pin during those times, because that’s when your audience is surfing the web and most likely to spread the word,” states Beth Hayden, a social media expert. And remember, every sector is different. The time that works well for retail bloggers might not work best for financial bloggers. In the chart below, experts found that the best time for the food and beverage industry pinners is between 11am and Noon Eastern time. Best time to post on Pinterest   Gain more traffic by optimizing when you post your pins. It will help your followers and your blog.  

    5. Engage With Your Community

    Similar to most social media networks, engagement is always critical to influencing people to visit your site. The interaction shows people you’re interested in their opinions. Use the comment section of your pins to answer questions and thank your followers. And encourage people to like and save pins and follow you. By doing so, you’ll gather information on what they enjoy most and how to better cater to those desires. The average user stays on Pinterest for close to 15 minutes at a time. That’s remarkable since most people get bored on social media after a couple of minutes. For your active fans, ask them to curate your board with you. It’s an effective way to collaborate with people and lets their followers discover your blog. Here’s a group board focused on blogging. It has more than 50+ people adding their voices to the Pinterest conversation. Group Pinterest Board   Involve your community in the creation of your boards. It helps with engagement and brings new fans to your blog.  

    Start Growing Your Blog Traffic

    Bring attention to your blog today with the help of social media. Use Pinterest to attract people to your posts. Create multiple boards based on your readers’ interests. Post eye-catching photos that will make people take a second look. And engage with your community to lure people to your site. Grow your blog now. Update your Pinterest account (and while you're at it, follow HostGator!)
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  • 5 Effective Ways To Increase Your Blog Readership

    Monday, February 6, 2017 by
    Increase your blog readership Today, readers have several options to choose from when it comes to blogs. And with so many choices, it’s up to bloggers to separate themselves from the competition. The goal is to build a readership that believes in your values, shares your content, and engages with your community. “If you want to build a better blog, you need a thriving audience based around your blogging community. And you can only build a great community around your blogs when you have active readership,” states Harsh Agrawal, founder and CEO of ShoutDreams, Inc. Increasing your blog readership is possible. Here are five ways to get started. Create Your Blog  

    1. Create Quality Content

    Creating remarkable content is one of the top priorities for bloggers. Without it, your blog will lag in comparison to others in your industry space. But what is quality content? And how do you produce it? The best content speaks directly to your audience. It will address their interests and provide solutions to their problems. When writing blog posts, make sure you avoid jargon and convoluted details. Stick to telling stories that will earn and maintain the person’s attention. “Quality content is easy to read and understand, and matches the preferences of the audience for which it’s intended. Using a tool like the Readability-Score will help you ensure your content matches the reading level, expectations and preferences of your audience,” writes Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers. Research shows that “40% of people will respond better to visual information than to plain text.” So, experiment with adding photos, infographics, and even GIFs to your posts. [bctt tweet="40% of people respond better to visuals than text, so add photos, infographics, GIFs to your blog." username="hostgator"] Joy the Baker blog is very effective at including mouthwatering pictures along with its recipes. Readers not only receive step-by-step directions on how to prepare meals, but also see enticing images to encourage them as they cook. Food blog image content To grow your audience, first focus on producing quality content. Give people a reason to scroll through your posts.  

    2. Ask Readers to Subscribe

    One of the reasons why your blog readership isn’t increasing is simple. You’re not asking readers to subscribe. Avoid falling into the trap of thinking people will do something without a distinct call-to-action. Offer readers the option to subscribe to your RSS feed or to sign up for your email announcements. [bctt tweet="One reason why your blog readership isn’t increasing? You’re not asking readers to subscribe." username="hostgator"] There are several ways to persuade your casual visitors to become devout readers. You can insert a subscription call-to-action within the post. This tactic makes it unavoidable for the individual to forget to sign up. You also can include a static sign-up form on your sidebar, so no matter what page the reader lands on he or she can take the necessary steps to subscribe. In the example below, Ramit Sethi of the I Will Teach You To Be Rich blog takes a different approach, he uses pop-up boxes that offer readers a small gift to convince them to take action. Email subscribe popup How can you lure more people to become active readers? Try giving away a free ebook, a quick checklist, or access to an exclusive event. If you want more readers, then start asking. And give your subscribers something in return for their loyalty.  

    3. Host Creative Contests

    You get a prize! You get a prize! And you get a prize! Contests are the hallmark of active community participation. People love competing in competitions with the chance to earn cool rewards. Think about the last time you entered a contest. The anticipation drives you crazy. And if you’ve ever won a contest, you probably were ecstatic and told all your friends. [bctt tweet="Contests are the hallmark of active community participation. Use them to draw people to your blog." username="hostgator"] When hosting a contest, create rules that are simple for everyone to understand. Tell readers what they need to do to participate and how prizes will be determined. It’s also wise to post deadlines in bold, red font. Rewards should appeal to the readers’ interests. If you’re a food blogger, a cookbook or a private cooking lesson would be perfect. If you’re a sports blogger, try a team jersey or an autographed cap. Protect your blog from any legal action. To ensure you’re adhering to local laws, contact your legal team or hire an attorney to discuss online contests. Use competitions as a tool to draw people to your blog. It’s an added perk to building relationships with readers. Contests really work to increase readership. When we hosted our HostGator Holiday Weekend Giveaway during Black Friday, we saw 4 times as many blog signups than we typically do in a similar timeframe.  

    4. Build a Social Media Community

    Your blog isn’t just a conversation between you and the reader. It’s also an opportunity for readers to meet and talk with one another. As you build your brand, invest time in creating a social media community for your audience to share and discuss topics together. This engagement will bring camaraderie and expand your blog’s reach. [bctt tweet="Your blog isn’t just a convo between you & the reader. It’s also for readers to talk w/each other." username="hostgator"] Select one to two social networks that your readers love. Then, observe how they use the platforms in their everyday lives. As you gather this information, focus on how your blog can add to the conversation. For instance, if you’re a fashion blogger, you might post weekly polls about what’s hot and what’s not. And don't feel like every social media interaction needs to be about your brand. It’s actually better to focus on the reader’s interests. “Build a personal communications plan that will enable you to stay engaged with your community. You don't need to be the center of the conversation, but your community members need to know you are there and that you CARE. Ongoing, reliable communication is vital in helping you build and maintain long-term relationships,” says Ravi Shukle, the community king at Post Planner. Aimee Song, a Los Angeles-based interior designer, engages with her readers on Instagram. With more than 4 million followers, she posts inspirational images around her apparel and jewelry lines. Instagram Community Building Take advantage of social media to jumpstart your readership. Community building leads to an active audience.  

    5. Partner with Brands

    You can’t accomplish your goals alone. Therefore, it might be time to enlist the help of others. Partner with brands that already engage with your targeted reader. From clothing retailers to local bookstores, your audience can be found interacting with various brands. Find out where people shop, play, and eat. Then, contact those businesses to learn about or propose partnership deals. But before you take the plunge, make sure the brand fits your values and represents a positive perception. You don't want to be attached to a partner that devalues your readers’ goals and lifestyles. “Taking ‘vanity projects’ that aren’t actually a good fit for your readers doesn’t help anyone. Look for opportunities to find a brand that’s an ideal fit for your readers, regardless of the name recognition the company already has,” states Jeni Elliott, founder of The Blog Maven. Also, decide how you will collaborate with brands. You can focus on advertising space on websites. Or you may want to host a Facebook Live event together. It’s essential to discuss the stipulations of the agreement. Your blog and your partner should both benefit from the relationship. Take your blog to the next level. Team up with a brand to increase your blog subscribers.  

    Boost Your Readership

    It’s time to get more people interested in your content. So, adopt a plan to grow your audience. Create quality content that connects to the reader. Ask people to subscribe with easy to find sign-up forms. And host contests that engage people to visit your blog regularly. Build your blog community to increase your readership.
  • The Best Ways to Survey Your Small Business Customers

    Tuesday, November 8, 2016 by
    Best Ways to Survey Customers What are your customers thinking? One way to find out is to actually ask your customers. By surveying consumers, your team can learn how to improve the shopping experience. From customer service to product inventory, discover what makes your target audience excited. Their opinions do matter. And by soliciting feedback, you can transform your small business. “A great product and excellent customer service begin with getting to know who your customers are and what they need. To get that done, you have to gather customer information, and surveys are just what the doctor ordered for that,” writes Zoe Uwem, a content marketing strategist. Let’s explore how to survey your customers.  

    Role of Customer Research

    Customer research equips your team with the knowledge to serve your consumers better. It’s an essential part in helping your small business grow. When collecting information, decide what you want to learn and the best route to gather the feedback. You want the process to be simple for the customer, but reliable enough so that your team can make business improvements. Ross Beard, former marketing manager at Client Heartbeat, offers meaningful advice: “It’s important to remember that a successful customer survey has high survey response rates, and accurate, actionable customer feedback. Only then will you be able to use customer surveys to make better business decisions to help increase customer satisfaction and reduce customer churn” Consider how the research will impact the customer. Then, develop a plan to meet those goals.  

    How to Collect Customer Feedback

    Simplicity is key when asking for customer feedback. Your buyers are busy; they don’t want to waste time with tedious surveys. So, stick to formats more familiar to your customers. Here are four methods to get your team started:  

    1. Product Reviews

    Most companies see product reviews as a marketing tool to lure in more customers. But they are also effective for improving your inventory. “Reviews can also support your competitive benchmarking efforts by helping you determine what customers like or dislike about your product, service, or brand, compared to what they like or don’t like about your competitors,” writes Chris Campbell, CEO of ReviewTrackers. Request reviews from your buyers post-purchase. Ask for their opinions on what made the product better than others on the market. Here are a few recommended questions:
    • What did you like about this product?
    • How can we improve this product?
    • Would you recommend this product to a friend?
    Amazon gives customers the chance to leave detailed messages. The ecommerce giant also has a star rating system.   Amazon Fire Tablet Review Take advantage of product reviews. They provide a gateway to customer research.  

    2. Twitter Polls

    Social media is the online hangout for most people. Right now, there are 2.3 billion active social media users. If you’re seeking feedback from consumers, go where they live: Facebook, Twitter, or even Snapchat. What makes Twitter so awesome is that people and brands can create their own polls. You can ask unique questions, and your customers can respond in less than a minute. “Polls could be a great way to get bite-sized pieces of product feedback in a more fun, snackable way,” says Ash Read, content crafter at Buffer. “Try to think about scenarios within your product, learnings you’re after or hypotheses you’re looking to validate that can be broken down into simple four-answer questions and put them out there as polls.” The Oakland Raiders used polls to learn their audience’s future content preferences. The football team asked fans to select which player they wanted in their next behind-the-scenes training video. Once the votes were tallied, the franchise delivered on their promise.   Twitter Polls Experiment with Twitter polls for your small business. It’s quick, easy, and requires no expertise to begin.  

    3. Email Surveys

    Email is a popular channel for distributing surveys. But most of the time, they are convoluted messages that consumers just see as spam. Businesses attempt to ask too many questions. They stuff 20 questions in one email. Then, teams seem puzzled by the lack of high response rates. “You need to be ruthless when it comes to cutting unnecessary questions from your surveys. Every question you include should have a well-defined purpose and a strong reason for being there. Otherwise, it should be put on the chopping block,” states Gregory Ciotti, marketing at Help Scout. To escape your email surveys woes, create a painless survey. Embed one question directly within the email. That’s how Lyft does it. The ridesharing company asks one question that requires the customer to rate their experience on a scale from 0-10.   Email Survey Email is a practical tool for collecting feedback. Keep your consumers engaged and stay away from frivolous questions.  

    4. Phone Calls

    A study found “that customers who took part in a customer satisfaction survey by telephone were more loyal than those who did not take the survey.” This is an opportunity for your small business. Despite living in a fast-paced society, people still like talking on the phone. And some of the best customer feedback comes from just picking up the phone and communicating directly with customers. Why? Because we’re so accustomed to automated messages and hearing robots giving us information. Select a few customers to contact today. The telephone engagement should be short, no more than three minutes. State your purpose for calling and have a conversation. And just a reminder: specific federal, state, and local laws exist to protect consumers from receiving calls from businesses. Some consumers are on do-not-call lists. So, reach out to your legal team before initiating a mass customer contact program. Give your consumers some real human contact to gain their feedback.  

    Take Action on Your Feedback

    Avoid gathering all your feedback and leaving it unused in a unnamed folder on your computer. Take action with the information you've received. “Don’t stick survey results in a binder and forget about them without analysis. Share the results — including verbatim customer comments — and what these results have taught you with your entire staff,” writes Julia L. Rogers, Huffington Post contributor. Think of customer feedback as a loop. Your team should be constantly listening and prioritizing issues based on what you’ve learned. Then, resolve the issues and adjust your product or service. Customer Feedback Loop If possible, follow up with dissatisfied customers. Reconnect with them to show how their suggestions contributed to new improvements. It shows consumers you take their feedback seriously. Feedback is a valuable resource. Take action.  

    Ask Your Customers

    To serve your target audience, you need to conduct research. And sometimes the best way is to simply ask your customers questions. Understand the role of customer research for your business. Collect feedback by asking specific questions on product reviews. Use Twitter polls to quickly gather information. And don’t be shy; pick up the phone and call buyers. Learn how to serve your customers better. Survey them.
  • How to Use Pinterest to Drive Sales

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016 by
    How To Use Pinterest To Drive Sales Sales, please. Your small business needs more sales to stay open. And it’s vital that your team focuses on a strategy now, rather than later. Social media is an effective method to grab the attention of your target audience. Moreover, Pinterest lets your consumers connect visually with your products. Learn why Pinterest is the best option for your bottom line.  

    Why Pinterest

    Research shows that the average order value of sales generated by Pinterest is 10% higher than any other major social platform. Average Order Value by Social Network Pinterest offers your business the opportunity to showcase products. You can create multiple boards based on shopping patterns, consumer interests, or even holiday trends. Consider this social media platform the new form of window shopping. It’s up to your team to display what’s best about your services and overall brand. “Most people save or pin things on Pinterest in order to get ideas for future purchases, so if you are selling something online, you should have a well-established Pinterest presence. This is especially true if you sell physical items like apparel, accessories, gadgets, and the like,” states Chandru Rao, a researcher and writer at Around.io. [bctt tweet="The Average Order Value of Pinterest sales is 10% higher than any other major social platform." username="hostgator"] Work with your team to develop a Pinterest sales strategy. Monitor prospective customers’ habits and build awareness for your brand. It’s time to incorporate Pinterest into your small business plan.  

    Tips to Drive Sales

    Beyond brand interest, Pinterest is capable of persuading customers to make purchases. Below are five tips to get you started.  

    1. Use Rich Pins

    Rich pins allow small business owners to include additional information to images. These enhanced pins offer you the chance provide consumers with real-time pricing and availability. In short, rich pins make it convenient for people to buy your items. They take the guesswork out of consumers’ product research. Rather than going to multiple websites, buyers can find product descriptions in one location. In the rich pin below, you’ll notice the product’s price, where it is sold, and a ‘Visit’ button to learn more. In addition, you can read comments from other people about the product. Rich Pin Example Don’t limit rich pins to your board. Add them to your product pages and blogs. “By adding the Pin It button to your product pages, you will automatically encourage Pinterest users to pin your products. This also goes for images on your blog posts and other pages throughout your website,” writes Kristi Hines, a contributing editor for Social Media Examiner. Embrace rich pins. Give your customers a better perspective of your services. [bctt tweet="Don't limit #RichPins to your Pinterest board. Use them on your website product pages and blogs." username="hostgator"]  

    2. Tell A Story

    Storytelling is essential in sales. Stories engage people in conversations and spark interest in new concepts. Old sales tactics don't work anymore. They centered around feeding consumers boring information, like features and dimensions. Nowadays, customers want to know exactly how products will benefit them. And they want it told in a fun manner. For instance, Lowe’s offers a Pinterest board dedicated to gardening tips. Consumers receive timely content and direct links to the home improvement store’s products. Lowes Pinterest Board “Be the celebrity expert in your space. Post content that makes you the expert in your space. Think in terms of providing information based on what you know and the service your business or products offers,” writes Entrepreneur contributor Grant Cardone. It’s vital to think like a consumer. Would you want someone bombarding you with information? The best stories take time to develop. And they leave the audience eager to learn what happens next. So, don’t inundate your boards. Gradually tell your brand stories.  

    3. Post High-Quality Images

    Pinterest thrives on visuals. So, it’s imperative to share amazing photos. Studies reveal that images without faces get repinned more 23% more often. Therefore, avoid the human face. [bctt tweet="#Pinterest Tip: Images without faces get repinned more 23% more often, so avoid the human face." username="hostgator"] “We think of Facebook as a network of people, and Foursquare as a network of places. Pinterest is a network of things … and it seems like on a network of things, faces are actually a distraction,” says Curalate CEO Apu Gupta. Use multiple dominant colors in your images. Stick to reds, oranges, and greens. Stay away from landscape images. Instead, do portrait style. Vertical orientation with an aspect ratio between 2:3 and 4:5 works best. Aim to add real backgrounds to your images. Plain white backdrops are dull. Give context with a intriguing background. Below is a pin from Nike Women. Notice the company’s use of colors, background, and portrait style.   Nike Pinterest  

    4. Target Relevant Audiences

    Know your audience. It’s the #1 rule for small businesses. If you fail to reach your target consumer, it’s unlikely that you’ll close the sale. Plus, you waste your team’s precious time and energy. You need to understand your customers’ likes, dislikes, and lifestyles. This includes studying their demographics, geographics, and psychographics. At the end of the day, your team should know when, where, why, and how your consumers make purchases. Once you grasp your buyers’ desires, you can build useful content. Post pins that relate to your products or services. For example, ESPN shares tailgating tips and tricks. The television network doesn’t sell food and party supplies, but their team understands how integral tailgating is to their sports consumers. ESPN Pinterest   Create a schedule for posting pins. Consistency gives your content a normal routine that people can follow. “The easiest thing you can do to grow your presence on Pinterest is to get into the habit of pinning consistently. While this tip may seem simple, it’s where most people fail with social media marketing,” says Brian Lang, founder of Small Business Ideas Blog. Start posting relevant pins. And target the right audience.  

    5. Try Promotions & Contests

    Everyone likes a good promotion or contest. It gets customers riled up to participate in something different. For promotions, give your loyal Pinterest followers exclusive deals. Surprise them with offers they can’t find on your other social media networks. You may offer 10% coupons, free swag bags, or attendance to a once-in-a-lifetime event. Make people curious and hype up the promotion days in advance. For contests, learn how to earn your consumers undivided attention. Your goal is to get them to take action. Modcloth ran an effective Pinterest contest. The online women’s clothing retailer encouraged pinners to post various pins matching specific themes. Winners received a $100 store gift card.   Pinterest Contest Example But be mindful of Pinterest’s contest rules. They have set guidelines to protect your small business and enhance the customer experience. For instance, don’t require participants to pin a specific image. And don't suggest that Pinterest is your sponsor. Do something different. Engage with promotions and contests.  

    Pin Your Brand

    Pinterest is changing how customers shop with your small business. The social network helps people research before they buy. To drive sales with Pinterest, tell a story with your pins. Post high-quality photos of your products. And target relevant audiences. Drive more sales. Pin your brand. And while you're at it, follow HostGator's boards!
  • 5 Ways To Prepare Your Nonprofit Website For Giving Tuesday

    Monday, October 31, 2016 by

    Nonprofit Giving Tuesday

    A global day of giving. Giving Tuesday has transformed into a celebration to kick off the charitable season. After shoppers splurge on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they are reminded about the importance of giving during the holidays. For nonprofits, this time of year is an opportunity to not only collect donations but also earn the trust of new supporters. The best way to prepare is to upgrade your website. [bctt tweet="The best way #nonprofits can prepare for #GivingTuesday? Optimize your website for donations." username="hostgator"] “Your nonprofit website is a vital tool in effectively communicating your mission. Updating it on a consistent basis will ensure that your nonprofit’s message is being heard,” says Hillary Skeffington, communications and partnership manager at Elevation. So, get your nonprofit website ready for Giving Tuesday. Execute the following five strategies to maximize your success.  

    1. Hone Your Brand Message

    Research reveals that “45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.” Therefore, it’s important that your nonprofit craft a compelling brand message. An effective brand story conveys your mission and showcases how your nonprofit contributes to the community. People want to know your goals and why they should pay attention. Moreover, it should incorporate your intended audience as part of the story. Design your website to include pictures of your volunteers and quotes from your board members. Write blog posts that discuss the impact of your nonprofit. To reel in more supporters, take the time to give an overview of your history. “Your nonprofit’s brand voice is an extension of your organization’s values. It should grow out of who you are as an organization and out of the greater purpose of your communications,” states Chelsea Alves, a contributor at Classy. Below is an example from the Girl Scouts. This header image exhibits its values to build girls of courage, confidence, and character. Visitors can imagine helping young women make new friends. Nonprofit Website For Giving Tuesday, donors will be searching for organizations to support. Communicate your purpose by honing an irresistible brand message.  

    2. Update Your Donation Page

    The holiday season is centered around giving. People want to contribute to causes that resonate with their personal values. But issues arise when visitors can’t find the donation page on their favorite nonprofit’s website or the page won’t load properly. It’s frustrating to the potential donor, so the person just leaves without making a contribution. Don’t lose donors due to fixable snafus like a slow website. Work with your technical staff to ensure your website can handle an increase in holiday traffic. Security is also another concern. Take the necessary precautions to safeguard your donors’ credit card information from hackers. [bctt tweet="#GivingTuesday tip for #nonprofits: Don't lose donors due to fixable snafus like a slow website." username="hostgator"] “Over a third of donation forms either have no security certificate, or a compromised one. Having that friendly green padlock next to the donation page URL isn’t just a security necessity; it’s reassuring to anyone thinking about handing over sensitive information,” writes Elliot Rysenbry, an EveryAction team member. Branding is essential for donation pages, too. A study found that “custom-branded donate pages nested inside a nonprofit’s website raise 6X more money.” United Way uses photos of people impacted by people’s donations. The organization also gives supporters multiple contribution amounts to choose from. Donate page Avoid common website mistakes this holiday season. Be prepared to earn more donations.  

    3.  Capture Email Subscribers

    In the nonprofit industry, the average open rate for email marketing campaigns is 21%. Supporters are interested in learning about your organization’s activities. However, your team must entice people to sign up for your emails. To achieve this task, tell visitors what they will receive. Offer exclusive content about your projects or a chance to win tickets to your next fundraiser. Where you position your email signup form matters. Don’t hide it in an obscure place on your website. “It’s important that your email signup box be in the right place at the right time. You want to capture a website visitor’s attention when they’re most interested and inspired,” states Yesenia Sotelo, founder of Smart Cause Digital. Sotelo also recommends placing an email signup form in various locations on your site, including: the sidebar, footer, homepage, and thank you page. Once subscribed, stay in contact with your supporters. Send relevant information on a continuous basis. “Be sure to communicate with your subscribers regularly—twice a month ideally, once a month at a minimum. This helps to keep your list active, engaged and more likely to grow and support your goals,” says Steph Drahozal, former marketing coordinator at Salsa Labs. Make your email signup form front and center on your site. And encourage people to stay with your organization beyond Giving Tuesday.  

    4. Stick to One Call-to-Action

    During the holidays, people are rushed for time. Between shopping and cooking, they may become overwhelmed with a long list of to-dos. Therefore, keep your message short and sweet. And give your visitors one action to perform. Copywriter Joel Klettke states the importance of a call-to-action: “The language of your call to action has a direct impact on someone’s willingness to click and move forward. It’s not enough to have a functional stand-in; you need unambiguous text that’s tied back to a benefit.” Talk to your team to decide what you want your visitors to do. Should they donate $5? Or send you non-perishable food items? Specificity will help supporters take the next step. Urgency is key to inspiring people to act. You want people to feel like waiting isn’t an option. The American Red Cross uses this tactic with a red ‘Donate Now’ button. Donate Now button In addition, one organization witnessed a “90% increase in click-through rate by using first-person phrasing.” So, try sentences like, "Give my donation today,” rather than "Give your donation today." Confusing your website visitors is a big no-no. Instead, be straightforward and tell them what you want.  

    5. Create a Mobile-Friendly Site

    Experts found that 91% of the world population owns a mobile phone, and nearly 30% use smartphones and tablets to browse the web, check email, and make purchases. Increases in mobile use means your nonprofit must be ready to market to this audience. And simply rearranging your full website design won’t work. Create a mobile-friendly site that possesses larger font sizes, so people don’t have to zoom in and out. Keep the design simple—no complex menus. Furthermore, optimize your images for mobile viewing by:
    • Choosing images that are still viewable at smaller sizes;
    • Sizing your images to be proportional with all site content; and
    • Compressing your images with a photo resizer.
    DoSomething.org is a great example of mobile-friendly site. It contains the nonprofit’s logo, a painless menu, and short copy. Nonprofit Mobile Site Your visitors like options. So, always leave the full site choice available for mobile users. “No matter how beautiful your mobile website is, always include a “go to full website” or “view desktop version” option at the bottom of your site. Some people still prefer the full site experience and if they do, why constrain them from experiencing it?” states Kristina Cisnero, an online strategist at Hootsuite. Are you catering to mobile visitors? If not, this is the perfect time to start.  

    Prepare for Giving Tuesday

    Giving Tuesday is a holiday movement to engage people with charitable participation. It’s also a chance to showcase how your nonprofit is making a difference. Update your website before the big day by sticking to your brand message. Revamp your donation page to make it easier for people to give. And create a mobile-friendly site to fit the lifestyle of on-the-go supporters. Take action this holiday season. Upgrade your nonprofit website for Giving Tuesday with HostGator.
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