I’ve been helping out a company with their website recently and it got me thinking about getting people to take action when they visit a website. The general consensus in website design is to highlight something and put in a call to action button on the top 2/3rds of the website; in fact, if you visit the home page of GeekOut Technologies you’ll see that we have a call to action in the top 2/3rds too. Unfortunately I have found that many Christian nonprofits and churches have a tendency to shy away from utilizing this space to full effect. Often the reason is they don’t want to appear to beg for money, which while I had no real qualms about when I managed nonprofit programs, I can understand and appreciate their reasoning. Here are a few tips for the top 2/3rds area and how you can use it regardless of your views on asking for funds.
1.) Your Logo
Your logo is your brand identity and it is a given that it should be near the top so as to identify to the user that they have indeed landed in the right place. I prefer the top left, but top center or top right is also an okay spot. Make sure that the colors of the logo contrast with the background and make sure you are using a logo and not a piece of artwork (here, here, and example of reducing artwork into a logo).
Navigation should always be near the top, this makes sense as the header is usually called up near the top anyhow, but even more importantly your users are looking for it up there. Make sure it is clear, well structured, and easily navigated.
3.) Attention Grabber
You need something in the middle of the page that grabs attention. You can use a big bold text element, a video, a slider, striking images, etc. It doesn’t really matter as long as it draws the attention of the visitor. I personally like the video for highest conversion rate in service industries, but sliders are also quite good and may be better for organizations that sell a lot of products. Of course, you can also combine both by sliding between videos and that is a viable option for some organizations.
4.) Call to Action
Along with that attention grabber, you need to have a call to action button. Your button can say “Donate Now” and take the user to the donations page or, if you are adverse to that sort of thing, there are always ways to utilize “Volunteer Now”, “Join Today”, “Subscribe” (Newsletter), “Follow Us” (Facebook), “Download” (app or program), “Try Today” (for free trials), or “Visit Us” (redirect to a page with embedded Google map). The key is deciding what you want your visitor to do before going away and tailoring your action button and attention grabber to fit.
I hope this has given you some ideas for your own website, and hope you’ll use it as inspiration that will cause users to take action on your site. If you find yourself lost in creating your website, check out our earlier post on content management systems and/or contact us for advice or help setting up your website.