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Enhancing User Experience for Charities with SEO

How User Experience Effects SEO

Enhancing User Experience for Charities with SEO

Is the world of online search heading towards a new reign; where user experience, not content, is king? With Google making more and more updates to its algorithm with a core focus being on the experience a user has when they come to your website, it’s only natural to think, ‘will this soon be the number one priority for Search?’.

 

Content vs User Experience

We’re not saying content won’t continue being vital – of course it will be. You can’t sell a product you don’t have. You can’t get clicks to a webpage you haven’t created, and people aren’t as interested in an article three years out of date.

Google still wants new, fresh, and updated content to rank. But in a world where more charities are becoming increasingly inclusive of SEO in their strategies, there is now more new content being created than ever!

Charities also need to focus on enhancing user experience on their site to achieve a competitive edge against others in their industry. Our SEO team have put together some top tips on things you should consider reviewing to optimize user experience on your website, including:

  • Maximising donations
  • Targeting your audience’s demographics and preferences
  • Having a clean, easy-to-read page design
  • Use simple navigation
  • Give your visitors clear next steps

 

Do you want donations?

User Experience for Charities - Making donations

Donations are the lifeblood of many charities. Securing donations enables a charity to fund valuable research and services to support society. It’s therefore crucial to make sure that user experience throughout the donation process is as simple and easy as possible. Increasing donations means maximizing the positive impact your charity can have.

You should think about the whole user experience, which starts the moment someone enters a search query into Google. Users will either be coming directly to your charity to donate, or they are going to be looking for the best charity to donate to.

Once they have found your charity, consider the following:

  • Can a visitor get to your donate page with one click?
  • Do they know why they should donate and what their contribution is going to do?
  • Have you told a real-life story or given some statistics to back up the why?
  • Are they able to donate on the domain or will it take them to a third-party platform?
  • Can they make a choice on how much and frequently they want to donate?
  • Is the form simple and easy for users to understand and fill out without assistance?
  • Does your donation form require them to fill out irrelevant information?
  • Do you have a cookie policy compliant on the page?
  • Does your donation landing page target the keyword ‘donate’?

These are some good starting points to get you thinking about the user experience of your donation process. If you’d like to conduct a more in depth analysis, you might want to consider a full user experience audit.

 

Are you targeting the right audience?

Target your audience – not someone else’s. You should know the type of users coming to your website. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • People seeking advice or support for themselves
  • People looking for a charity to support someone they know
  • People who want to support a cause close to their heart
  • Friends and family of someone suffering looking for a support network of their own.

Using the correct language is also key. Some charities champion causes which can cover quite sensitive topics, so using the correct tone of voice is crucial to ensure people feel safe and respected. Also, it’s important to make sure your copywriting uses language that is accessible and relevant to your target audience. If your charity focusses on supporting the elderly, don’t write using unfamiliar slang for a millennial audience.

Engage your users with content targeted specifically to meet their wants and needs. This will encourage them to stay longer and click around to other areas of your website to gather more information.

 

Have you considered page design?

Never underestimate the power of page design. Good page design can drive an increase in conversion rates and lower bounce rates. If the navigation on your pages is a nightmare, users will just leave.

Some simple tips to enhance page design include:

  • Clear and easy to read copy
  • Easy-to-read fonts
  • Clear and readable font sizes
  • Easy to read and visually appealing colours
  • Making use of white space to highlight important elements on your page.

Use of white space on the Google Homepage to highlight the search bar.

White space doesn’t mean worthless; it’s just free of any content, which enables users to focus on the most important information on a page. Google’s homepage is over 88% white space, drawing you eye to the search bar. Try to work out what’s most important on your page and, instead of making it bold or bright, make it stand out by clearing everything around it.

 

Navigation and flow of the pages

Navigation menus, page titles and headers should be as straightforward as possible for users to understand; don’t lose your audience amid a sea of irrelevant pages. Charities need to ensure they have all of their most important pages in the main navigation menu. This may include things such as:

 

  • Services or products
  • Guidance and information
  • Donation page
  • Fundraising events
  • Volunteer vacancies
  • About the Charity

 

Why are navigation menus important for user experience?

It has been reported in this B2B Web Usability Report that, after reaching a company’s website, 50% of visitors will use the navigation menu to orient themselves; so ensuring your navigation menu is simple to use is vital for keeping users on your site!

The research also suggested that 47% of people go straight to ‘Products and Services’, 33% to your homepage and 16% to ‘About us’. These pages should therefore be prominent in your navigation menu. Having your most important pages at the left-hand side or top of your nav menu will help them find relevant pages quicker and signal their importance to Google.

 

Search bars and user experience

Remember, don’t underestimate a search bar; if a user wants something specific and is having trouble finding it, they will look to the search bar. 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site. Don’t give them the chance to exit your site and go to a competitor!

You can use the data collected from search bar queries to find out what people are looking for when they come to your website. It will also highlight any pages which are too difficult to find on your website – giving you a list of pages to work on.

The principle of flow is to have as few clicks as possible between the user coming onto your website to converting, whether that is purchasing a product or downloading a PDF. A user should be able to click their way through your easy-to-use navigation to find exactly what they are after.

Help your users convert more frequently by providing clear call to actions and making the buying or donation process easy for them to follow. Charities that have a best-seller displayed as a recommended product improve its chances of being seen, clicked on, and purchased. Perhaps you keep the ‘Add to Cart’ button prominently displayed on each product listing on a product listing landing page. Customise to your charities unique goals and make it easy for your audience to convert!

 

Give your users a reason to stay

You might be getting good levels or traffic to your site, but what are users actually doing once they are on your site? Are they bouncing straight off? Are they signing up to offer volunteer support? Have they donated to your charity?

Once users have consumed the information on your page, you need to give them a next step to encourage visitors to stay longer on your site. This could be to explore other service pages, asking them to donate to your cause and getting them to sign up to an event or newsletter. Make sure to clearly signpost the next step of the journey for a user.

 

Want to upgrade your user’s experience?

If you are looking to have a UX audit of your website to identify ways to improve user engagement, get in touch with us today to find out how we can support your goals.

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