While successful websites vary in their design, content, and many other aspects; there are several elements that have proved to be universally essential to online success. While it is important that your website appear polished and aesthetically pleasing, it is equally crucial that your website provide easy navigation to whatever the viewer might be looking for, and also learn about you and what you and your campaign stand for.
1. Your “About Page”
This is possibly the most important page of your website, and often one of the first places that viewers look.
This page is meant to convey to visitors about yourself, your platform, and how you plan to help them. This page gives you the opportunity to form not only a good first impression, but a personal connection.
This page should contain a professional, yet natural photograph of yourself, a short biography conveying what you feel are the most important things a potential donor or voter should know about you, and a few personal details about yourself. Relating your interests and hobbies to your audience will make you appear more human, so to speak. Instead of a page on their computer, you will be someone that they feel they can admire and trust.
What better way to show viewers that you are worth their vote than to show them how many people and organizations that you have helped?
This page can operate in a few different ways. You can allow individuals to post their opinions of you, share pleasant experiences in working with you, relate ways in which you helped them in the past, etc., or you can operate the page and post things yourself. For example, if you receive a letter from an organization thanking you for your hard work, or bestowing you with an honor, you can type up the letter and post it for your viewers to see.
If you show people that you already have a following of individuals whom you have impressed, they are much more likely to be impressed with you also.
3. Contact Information
A rather self explanatory element of your website, but an often neglected one.
Your contact information should not only be present on your website, but also easy for your viewers to find.
It is best to have a page solely for your contact information. Your page, ideally, should contain at the very least: an email address and a mailing address. The more ways someone has of contacting you, the more they feel that you are someone they can rely on to be available to listen to what they think, and more importantly care what they think.
4. Search Feature
A search feature is essential to the navigation of your website. It will make it much easier for viewers to find exactly what they are looking for with ease, and will therefore have time to see all of the great features of your website without growing frustrated.
There are many tools available to build a search bar into your site, and the use of them makes it a very simple task.
Your website’s search feature is of the utmost importance, because with the internet comes a lack of attention span. If viewers cannot find the information that they are looking for efficiently, they will not spend a lot of time looking for it.
5. Subscription Options
If your website offers any weekly or monthly updates, such as newsletters or blogs, it is important to incorporate a sign up or subscribe option into your design. This will not only help you by allowing you to see how many people you are reaching on a regular basis, but also allows your audience to have information of interest to them sent directly to them for immediate and efficient viewing.
There are innumerable elements and methods to improve your website, but the best place to start are with these 5 fundamental elements have proved time and time again to be the most important. If you integrate them into your website, they will not only grow your viewership, but make your current audience a more satisfied one.
Source: Brian Gardner