Struggling With Your Website Navigation During COVID-19?
Here are Tips to Ensure a Great User Experience
The theme of 2020 can be summed up as adjusting and adapting to new normals and new ways of operating business. Many Chambers quickly updated their website during the Coronavirus closures to adapt to their members’ needs. These updates included creating a specific landing page to display pertinent information for businesses and employers navigating through COVID-19, reopening, available funding programs and government updates. Some have since even added a specific ‘COVID-19 Updates’ to their main or utility website navigation.
Since we don’t know how long this health pandemic will be here – and in the event there is another virus or outbreak that occurs – it’s best to ensure that your website is up-to-date so your organization continues to be a valuable resource to your members and the community.
If you’re finding that your Chamber’s website needs some refreshing, whether it’s with updating your navigation or content, we have some tips to help your organization provide members with a great user experience.
You might find that your Chamber of Commerce needs to add or update some items to your main navigation to fit the needs of your members during this time. For example, ‘Events’ on your main navigation might need to be changed to ‘Virtual Events’ for the foreseeable future. Perhaps you want to temporarily update your most important main or utility navigation item (see image below) from ‘Join’ to ‘COVID-19 Resources.’
When working on your website navigation, it’s important to remember that you want the user to get to the information they are searching for in 3 clicks or less.
In updating or adding to your current navigation, you will need to develop content for the new pages on your website. Many website design companies offer to develop and organize the content for your site as an additional service, but this can come at a large price. Since you and your staff know your organization and the needs of your members best, this can be a team-led effort.
Creating your own content can seem daunting up to your workload, but with some helpful tips, you can create useful and engaging content, while saving your organization money. You want to carefully structure your website’s content so that it is intuitive, easy-to-understand, and acts as a spokesperson for your economic development organization and region. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when writing any content for your site.
- Know Your Audience
- Start off with identifying your target audiences and determining what kind of information they will be searching for on your website. One way to do this is by creating audience profiles. Here are a couple questions to answer to help you in the process. Who are the members you’re looking to attract? What kind of industries are they in? What is the size of the company? What are their needs as a small, medium or large size company in your area?
- Avoid Jargon
- Keep your text plain and straightforward so the user knows exactly where to find the information they are searching for.
- Information Hierarchy
- Content should be easy to scan on your site, especially vital information. You can convey important details by using subheads, bullets, bolding information, using grid boxes and various typography.
If you’re looking for applicable best practices to freshen up your current website navigation, we have a free downloadable Sitemap Tool with most used terms and categories for utility, main and secondary navigations from Chambers across the country. Here’s a preview of the Sitemap Tool with drop down items to help inspire your navigation. When you open the Sitemap Tool document, please go to File > Make a Copy to access the drop down categories like seen in the image below.
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