People often first become acquainted with your organisation through a website. For this reason, an appealing and comprehensive website is essential.
Let’s take a look at the homepage. You will already have gained a lot if, at first glance, the homepage clearly states the goals of the initiative, who the project initiators are, and for whom the initiative is intended. To engage the reader, it is good to let local people contribute to this section. Key words and key terms about the subject, such as ‘structural poverty alleviation’, ‘international cooperation’, ‘education’ and ‘healthcare’ ensure that search engines like Google find the website quickly. Key words and terms will also help the site rank higher in the list of search results.
[Photos and film] work well on the homepage alongside brief, eye-catching texts. Another great thing to open with or to place somewhere on the homepage are captions stating any results from your project. In addition, you could indicate the project location on Google Maps
A transparent and realistic perspective gives your supporters the feeling that they can really contribute, for example, by donating money. It is therefore very useful to make donating online as simple as possible. Just a few clicks to settle it. If people have the opportunity to leave their e-mail address (only that, as people usually do not like leaving additional personal information), then you can keep them up-to-date on the project for an extended period.
More tips for a user-friendly website:
Building the website yourself
- Place links to the project’s social media accounts and newsletter on the homepage
- Give visitors the opportunity to like the project or to tweet about it via buttons on the homepage
- Make it simple to subscribe to the newsletter and also to unsubscribe
- Place your contact information in a highly visible place
- If you have the resources: hire a copywriter to write up the text in an attractive manner
Does the above already seem pretty complicated? It is not as bad as it might look! Programmes like WordPress
make it relatively easy to build and publish your own website. The WordPress site contains a step-by-step plan
for getting started with the programme. However, before you begin, you need to register a domain name through a site such as Hostnet
. Once the website is built, you can also use this site to host it. The costs associated with this are usually reasonable and there is often someone around you who has a good handle on this process and who might enjoy contributing their services to your initiative. Perhaps you could ask an ICT student to help you.
SEO, or: make sure that your website is found!
How do you ensure that search engines like Google rank your website high in the search results? This happens via Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You can read a number of easily applicable tricks for this internet marketing strategy below:
Links to your site
The more links you have pointing towards your site from other online sources, the better. More links do not only mean more visitors, but it also means you will rank higher in search engines like Google. To achieve more links, you can begin by first linking from your own site to relevant websites about topics like structural poverty alleviation, international cooperation, the Millennium Development Goals, etc. People will now visit your website as a way-station for information. This places your project in a broader context and others will also be more likely to link to your site. You can of course, also just ask to be linked up. In addition, you can sign up to keyword-related web directories, such as http://ontwikkelingssamenwerking.startpagina.nl/
Do not forget to link to your partner organisation as well!
What type of content will help you be found more quickly?
In order to publish good and interesting information, it is important to have a strong collaboration with your cooperative partner. The partner can contribute videos and photos for you to post. Large files such as videos can be easily shared using Dropbox
or Google Drive
. Up to 2 GB can be sent at once via WeTransfer
. Information that is appealing is shared and viewed more often. A good example of this is ‘Africa for Norway
’. This humorous video has been shared and published countless times (a ‘viral’ video) creating much amusement, while simultaneously prompting discussion on the perspective of development cooperation. If you can get people talking about you, then you matter! An attractive story is therefore important to have on your website and on your social media accounts. The Storytelling
section in the Communication Toolkit will help you along the way.
If website addresses contain keywords, such as ‘www.projectx.com/poverty-reduction-in-Gambia’, then they will be found more quickly. In the above example, this will occur if someone searches for poverty reduction in Gambia. Place the keywords also in the content and in the file names of photos and videos. You can add a good description using specific keywords in the ‘metadata’ of your website code under the ‘description tag’. The ‘title tag’ should also be filled out well. The ‘title tag’ is what someone reads first when the website appears on search engines. You should place relevant words and terms, such as poverty alleviation and international cooperation, upfront in the text. This way the reader will understand more quickly what your website is about and Google will rank you higher in the list of search results. Programmes like WordPress have basic tools for this, so you do not have to be an expert to accomplish this. A good tool for finding keywords is the Google Adwords
More tips and tricks
Read more tips on how to make your website easier to find at: http://www.seo-writer.com/reprint/top-seo-tips.html
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