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3 must haves for your association website

The initial stages of planning your association website can be overwhelming. What’s on the home page? Will the site have a video introduction or a static image slider? Where should the policy or member information be placed? And don’t forget about optimization for tablets, mobile, desktops and more.

We’re here to help make your early steps of project planning easier, by giving you 3 things to consider for your site.

1. Define and execute your overall website goal. Is the goal of your association website to educate and inform? Is it to have members contact you to learn more or participate in a program? Is it to have them become more engaged with your policies? When you begin the planning process of developing your association website, it is important to identify your overall goal, balancing the needs of members and that of your organization. This thought process should follow every move you make when it comes to website content and design, from developing calls to action to selecting home page photos.

Our work with the American Frozen Foods Institute (AFFI) is a great example of setting goals. When AFFI wanted a redesign of their website, we recognized how much their impressive data and resources needed to be highlighted to serve their goals of information and advocacy. So, the redesign prominently features colorful infographics, videos, interactive data and upcoming events that members and the public can quickly access. Navigation is simple with the grid-based design. There’s a powerful search feature and an easy content management system for staff to keep the site current.

2. Tell your story through your website. Associations usually have a clear and defined audience to target. Using video, images and strategic copywriting, be sure to tell your story through their eyes. They need to see themselves in the story—their challenges, their issues—and this is something that can be done so uniquely online. Let your website visitor see that you know what they’re interested in and have the information they need. This can be done through sections labeled Insights or Analysis, or strategically through a frequent series of blog posts.

Consider:

  • What differentiates you from other associations in your industry?
  • What is on your roadmap for this coming year, and how can you express this to your audience?
  • How do you want your audience to engage with your story?

We developed a video for the American Beverage Association that tells the association’s story of 2017. Through bold, colorful, animated graphics and live clips narrated by the CEO, members learned about the year’s initiatives and advocacy campaigns.

3. Create a clear and simple user experience through navigation. According to a HubSpot survey, 76% of respondents said the most important element of a website’s design is ease of finding information. Navigation makes it easier for your site’s visitors to find what they are searching for. This means that button labels should be consistent with the information that follows in the drop-down. If your audience clicks on News, then consider using this subsection to contain your blog and press releases. Your Contact page should include current contact information, locations and more.

Our redesign for the Distilled Spirits Council website embraces easy navigation. Defined labels, bold colors and images differentiate content and guide visitors to what they need. The main navigation bar is divided, with the top level focused on association information and the lower level focused on industry issues. Secondary pages use a grid-based design to direct visitors deeper into the site.

We understand how overwhelming it can be to begin the initial steps of project planning for developing a new website—but it doesn’t need to be! By defining your goals and creating a website that is easy for visitors to navigate, you’re taking the first steps toward telling your brand story in an engaging way.

Find out how FCI can be a trusted partner for your website redesign.

—June 2018

We developed a video for the American Beverage Association that tells the association’s story of 2017. Through bold, colorful, animated graphics and live clips narrated by the CEO, members learned about the year’s initiatives and advocacy campaigns.

Our redesign for the Distilled Spirits Council website embraces easy navigation. Defined labels, bold colors and images differentiate content and guide visitors to what they need. The main navigation bar is divided, with the top level focused on association information and the lower level focused on industry issues. Secondary pages use a grid-based design to direct visitors deeper into the site.