There were 284 million internet users across the United States as of November 2020, and this number is projected to grow to 296.7 million by 2025. That is A LOT of people accessing the web from their computers and smart devices. When it comes to marketing, you have a lot of tools at your disposal digitally. From social media channels to Google ads and email—you have the tools you need to demonstrate to potential and current customers that your organization is dependable and is able to provide a much-needed service within your community.
One marketing tool that is often overlooked is an organization’s website. Websites offer a plethora of information to potential and current customers, both on a surface level and deeper, and they help create an excitement about your organization, establishing a sense of stability and dependability within your community.
Your organization’s website should be the centerpiece of your recreation marketing. People within your community need to have the ability to access your website around the clock, which saves time for your staff and improves the experience for your customers. You need to make sure your website is functioning like a well-oiled marketing machine and get the most out of your biggest online presence.
Have a Memorable Web Address
People need to remember your website’s URL to be able to come back directly for information, news and updates on programs and classes. Your URL should be distinctive and at the very least encompass your organization’s name as it’s likely going to be the first thing people search for on Google. Make sure to put it on all of your marketing materials.
According to Forbes, consider the following when picking a web address:
- Be brandable
- Make it pronounceable
- Keep it short, but not too short
- Go after a “.com” (e.g. activenetwork.com)
- Avoid trademark infringement & confusion
- Make it instantly intuitive
- Use keywords sensibly
- Append or modify if necessary
Rank in Search Engines
People within your community currently and will continue to search on Google and other search engines for things to do that your organization offers. If you want to be one of the first websites that appears on the results page, you need to make sure that your organization’s website is optimized to rank on the first page within the terms being searched. This includes:
- Properly placing the appropriate keywords
- Creating and implementing relevant content
- Implementing linkbacks
- Optimizing URL structure
Create and Optimize Google My Business Page
To better establish your organization, as well as create a sense of dependability, you need to create and optimize a Google My Business Page. This is a free service for all businesses, specifically with a physical address, that organizations can use to easily share quick information like location, website, business hours and phone number.
Through Google My Business, your organization can share offers, photos of your facilities, be contacted via phone or a message and view engagement. Businesses can see how many calls, website clicks and direction requests were executed via their Google My Business listing and make adjustments as necessary. You can choose to have or not to have whatever information you deem pertinent to the customer experience. This appears on the right-hand side of the Google search results page when a person searches for your organization directly. Customer reviews will appear below the listing.
Engage Your Visitors
Copy alone is not dynamic enough. Engage your visitors with enticing photos, interesting and informative short form videos, synced social media updates and more. If it’s attractive, visitors will stay longer and interact more with what you offer. But don’t overdo it. You don’t want to overload visitors with media. You want to give them just enough to be interested in what your organization offers and register for memberships, events, classes and programs.
Have Clear Navigation
Navigation is key. A lot of times, visitors will come to your page with a specific intention in mind (to donate, to register, to read news, etc.). Make sure your navigation bar is well-organized, visibl, and prioritized based on your popular pages. A good rule of thumb is to have your navigation present at the top of your webpage, as well as the bottom.
Update Your Content
Many websites suffer from having a news section that has articles that are old, irrelevant and never change. Since the rise of social media, people expect fresh content that is updated regularly. Make sure you change and update your website often to reflect your latest offerings. It’s easy to do this with an intuitive content management system.
Offer an Online Recreation Guide
Save money and make your recreation guide more accessible by posting it on your website. Make it easy to find. Add it to your home page and possibly even your navigation. Share it regularly via email and on your organization’s social media channels.
Make Calls to Action Prominent
You have goals. Whether you want someone to donate, volunteer or register, make sure you encourage people and make it easy. It’s as simple as having prominent buttons on your home page or listing some of them in your navigation. It is likely that the CTAs will have their own landing pages within your organization’s website, so make sure to link them in emails and social channels as well.
Keep Branding Consistent
Stay consistent across brochures, letterheads, ID cards, signs, emails, your website and more. That way, people will start to recognize your recreation brand across all touch points. A good way to maintain consistent branding is to create a brand book for your organization that includes various iterations of brand logos that can be used, color scheme, outline of the brand story, brand language and fonts.
Enable Social Sharing and Social Media
Social sharing buttons on your website allow your visitors to share your web pages, blogs and anything they deem worthy of sharing with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and more. Social network buttons allow you to accumulate your own followers and likes right from your website, as well as help get the word out about whatever your organization offers to your community like programs, classes and events.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
If you want to rank on Google, it is imperative that you make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Otherwise, Google will not index your website first. If your website isn’t fast, responsive and suited for mobile devices, your ranking will suffer immensely. You can check to see if your website meets Google’s mobile-friendly standards with this quick and easy test.
Another reason you need to have a mobile-friendly website is because mobile has a huge market share when it comes to the device on which users are viewing websites. In fact, mobile user share increased by over 10% in 2020; mobile market share worldwide was 52.1% compared to the desktop market share of 44.2%, according to TechJury.
ACTIVENet, ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager and ACTIVEWorks Endurance will be there for you when it comes to your organization’s needs. Whether that means engaging your community, streamlining operations or managing participation, our software is here to help your organization perform at its best.