6 Website Optimization Tips Associations Need to Know

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Your association’s website serves as a prime resource for news and professional development opportunities that are available to your members. For that reason, your website should not only appear professional but also be optimized to make the greatest impact and establish your association as a leader in your industry.

The thought of optimizing your website might sound daunting, but with the right tools and resources, you can accomplish this more easily than you may think. In this article, we’ll discuss some key website optimization tips you can incorporate to make your association stand out from all the others.

Fine-tuning your association’s website can be easily done by incorporating the strategies above. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Here are 6 optimization tips for your website:

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1. Responsive Design

The first and arguably the most important tip for optimizing your website revolves around responsiveness. A responsive design means your website will look good and function well on a variety of devices, including desktop, mobile, and tablets.

A fully responsive design makes it easy for your members and other site visitors to view content without the frustration of zooming in and out or needing to rotate their device. This is especially important when they first reach your landing page.

With a responsive design, your members can:

  • Easily access important links, including the login to their member portal, from any device.
  • Complete any sort of activity within your AMS, including registering for events, from any device.
  • View multimedia content, such as images and videos, on any size screen.

A responsive design makes it easy to perform all the above activities and more. Even more importantly, it helps present your website in a professional manner, which reflects well on your association.

Designing responsive association websites doesn’t need to be a challenge, however. If you use an AMS that offers a content management system (CMS) along with it, you’ll avoid having to find a workaround to make your AMS and CMS communicate effectively. You’ll also be able to easily build a functional and attractive website for your members.

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2. Intuitive CMS

As an association, it’s important that you provide accurate and up-to-date information to your members. This also offers an opportunity to encourage participation and turn new site visitors into future members.

You already know your CMS should be part of a package deal with your AMS. But what features should you look for in your CMS?

Your platform should offer:

  • An intuitive interface that doesn’t require your staff to have a background in web development or coding experience.
  • Click-to-edit capabilities that allow your staff to edit the front-end of your website without having to access the back-end source code.
  • Mobile editing features that allow your staff to make changes to your website on-the-go.
  • Options for more experienced staff members so if a team member has some coding or development experience, they can easily access the source code.

Because you can easily update your site using the above features, you’ll be able to keep your members updated on what’s going on in your association. A mobile-friendly and intuitive interface are among the tools you should look for in a CMS. 

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3. Google Analytics Capabilities

Google Analytics offers tools that provide insight into the web traffic your association’s website is getting. That’s why using a CMS that has Google Analytics added to your website will help you measure its impact.

With Google Analytics, you can track:

  • Where visitors to your site are arriving from (whether this is a referral from another website, an organic click from a Google search, etc.)
  • What outreach efforts are driving the most traffic to your site. This could include ads, newsletter links, or other marketing materials you send out.

When your website’s performance is tracked through Google Analytics, you’ll be able to measure the effectiveness of your site as a whole or specific pages in achieving your outreach goals.  

The more accessible your website is to members and other visitors, the more visible your association will be. Increasing web traffic can also help your organization grow, so be sure to track the most-visited parts of your website and base your planning off of that.

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4. Search Engine Optimization Tools

A large part of optimizing your association’s website means using search engine optimization (SEO) tools. When users are searching for information related to the field your association is part of, it’s important that your website appears within the top search results, indicating that it’s a valuable resource in the field.

Using a CMS that offers SEO tools can help improve your website’s visibility in search engines, especially if your team doesn’t have anyone with SEO experience. However, if certain team members do have some more SEO experience, they can also help create:

  • Optimized page titles for each page of your website.
  • Meta descriptions for each page of your website, which describe what the page is about.
  • Web-friendly file names that incorporate SEO best practices.
  • 301 redirects for URLs that have changed, so users are never directed to a broken page.

Whether you have a team of SEO experts or novices, SEO tools that come with your CMS can help your association’s website stand out.

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5. Online Presence

Your online presence is key to making your association’s website an accessible resource for your members, as well as individuals in your field who may want to become members. That’s why it’s important to use the SEO tools offered by your CMS to work on increasing traffic to your website.

For example, you can do this by:

  • Analyzing high-traffic pages. If a certain page of your website is getting a lot of traffic, look closely at why this might be and try to apply some of that page’s elements to other parts of your website.
  • Incorporating social media. Social media offers additional marketing opportunities for your association and gives you more ways to communicate with your members. Engage them by embedding a social feed on your website and using an AMS that links to your social media accounts. This can be done through social media integrations, which you can learn more about here.
  • Creating high-quality content. Create more engaging content on your website by using multimedia elements, like embedded videos and images. The more engaging your content is, the more visitors you’ll get to your website and new members as a result.
  • Building a large email list. Include incentives to sign up for your email list, such as discounted membership fees, in exchange for an email address.  You can also include information about what users can gain from signing up for your email list right on your website’s landing page.

Improve your online presence by analyzing your high-traffic pages, using social media, focusing on your content, and building your email list. Set your association apart from the rest in your industry with the right SEO and AMS features, and you’ll improve these essential components of your website.

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6. Calls to Action

The final piece of optimizing your website involves using effective calls-to-action (CTAs). A CTA is what it sounds like: calling your web visitors to action, whether that’s clicking on a button for more information, purchasing a membership, etc.

In order to help your association grow and encourage member engagement, including the appropriate CTAs on each part of your website so that members can stay connected. For example:

  • For current members: Encourage members to upgrade their membership, register for events, or purchase custom shirts and other merchandise through your eCommerce platform.
  • For potential members: Include CTAs encouraging these visitors to learn more about the benefits involved with joining your association.

Make your CTA stand out and encourage your web visitors to take action. By strategically placing these CTAs throughout your website, you’ll convert more members, gain emails for your communications list, and continue growing your association.

With the right tools and resources, you can optimize your website to continue building your membership and establishing your association as a leader in your industry. Make sure you use a CMS that works with your management software, is easy to use, allows you to build a responsive design, and lets you take advantage of analytics and SEO tools. Combine this with your content and online presence, and you’ll set your association up for success.


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