Guides & Resources

7 Website Statistics to Guide Your Next Refresh or Upgrade

Stewardship & Marketing: Online Fundraising/Social Media
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When planning a nonprofit website refresh or upgrade, it can be difficult to determine where to start or which website elements to prioritize. You can take the website design process in many different directions, and you might be uncertain of which changes will actually make the biggest difference in driving traffic to your site.

Therefore, it can be immensely helpful to turn to research, studies, and hard facts to help guide your process. Assessing relevant website refresh statistics can help you create a data-driven game plan for your revamp project.   The top nonprofit websites take user experience (UX) best practices into consideration to create a better visitor experience through an iterative process. With this in mind, we’ve compiled some illuminating statistics to guide your website refresh strategy.

1. Visitors can assess your website’s visual appeal within 50 milliseconds.

A negative first impression can cause would-be donors, volunteers, and advocates to click away and dismiss your organization. By contrast, a positive first impression can influence a casual visitor to learn more about your cause, get involved, and even donate.

Since you only have milliseconds to impress visitors, it’s crucial to have a streamlined, well-designed home page that offers visual harmony and multiple opportunities for visitors to engage further. 

In your website refresh, optimize your home page by including a variety of calls to action (CTAs) that appeal to different audiences. For instance, you might include buttons or links to sign up for your email newsletter, register to volunteer, or donate. Also, your home page should be visually cohesive, fully branded to your organization, and make effective use of white space.        
 

2. The average website lifespan is 2 years and 7 months.  

This metric tends to surprise marketing professionals because of how short it may seem. Although the exact time frame varies from organization to organization, research has shown that just over two and a half years is roughly the time it takes for a website to start looking out of touch.

A website could become outdated for many reasons, whether because of a branding change, audience shift, or content strategy adjustment. If your website hasn’t been touched up in three or four years, it’s probably time to start thinking about making some changes to align it with current best practices.

Take this opportunity to also review your website’s content management system (CMS) to see if it is effectively meeting your needs and helping to grow your online presence. If your current CMS doesn’t allow for easy updates or content strategy changes, consider whether a new platform might better meet your needs, like Drupal or WordPress. These platforms offer the flexible, intuitive user experience that most nonprofit marketing professionals are looking for.

Migrating to a new platform can be confusing, so make sure to review resources like Kanopi’s guide to migrating from Drupal to WordPress for information on each system and how to approach the migration process.    

3. Average online revenue declined by 4% in 2022.  

Online giving has experienced some recent declines compared to its major popularity during the peak pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. Providing online giving opportunities is just as important as ever, but it’s crucial to design these opportunities in a way that promotes long-term donor engagement and retention.

Ensure your online giving page is as simple as possible so donors can fill it out easily. Only ask for necessary information, such as donors’ names and payment information. Also, offer suggested giving amounts so donors can determine how much they want to donate without having to fret over the decision. 

Look at the online giving process as just the start of a longer donor journey. Add online donors to your constituent relationship management system (CRM) to continue following up with supporters via thank-you messages and email newsletters. Send feedback surveys to ask for their input and get to know new donors on a more personal level.    

4. Approximately 96.8% of website home pages have accessibility failures.

Taking steps to improve accessibility makes your website usable for everyone, including those with and without disabilities. Accessible websites make the internet a more inclusive place, but unfortunately, the vast majority of sites come up short.

As you redesign your website, follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards to improve accessibility. These guidelines include adding alternative text for images and captions for videos, using a color contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for text, keeping navigation consistent across pages, and more strategies to make your site more inclusive.     

5. Creating a better user experience can increase conversion rates by up to 400%.      

As you can see, a positive user experience can translate into more donations for your cause, volunteers for your volunteer opportunities, subscribers to your email newsletter, and so on. 

Ensure your nonprofit’s web design creates a positive user experience by:

  • Offering intuitive navigation that’s uniform across website pages. 
  • Reducing page load times by compressing images and reducing unneeded code. 
  • Using heading structures and typography to create a clear page hierarchy and improve scannability.

Assess your website’s analytics, such as time on page and bounce rate, to determine whether you’re engaging visitors effectively and what you can do to improve your user experience.         

6. The Google Ad Grant Program has given over $9 billion in free advertising to more than 115,000 nonprofits in over 50 countries.      

The Google Ad Grant Program offers eligible nonprofits $10,000 per month to spend on Google advertising. Using Google Ads, you can connect with individuals who are searching for terms related to your organization, allowing you to reach an audience that’s already interested in your mission.

Getting Attention’s Google Ad Grant guide recommends optimizing your website to drive conversions before using ads to direct audience members to it. During your website refresh, take the opportunity to create a targeted landing page to use for your Google ads. This page should include an engaging headline, compelling visuals, impact stories, and CTA buttons that encourage visitors to get more involved.        

7. Consumers listed photos/images (40%), color (39%), and videos (21%) as the top visual elements they appreciate in website design.       

If you’re looking for a few quick ways to make high-impact updates to your website, focus on these visual components. Photos, colors, and videos all help drive engagement and foster emotional connections with website visitors.

To drive the greatest impact with your visuals, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Choose eye-catching photos that show faces—these tend to be more engaging for visitors.       
  • Select a high-contrast color palette that offers visual accessibility.        
  • Incorporate videos on high-traffic pages like your homepage and About page to capture your audience’s attention.

Ensure all visual elements align with your nonprofit’s brand to promote visual cohesion and brand recognition.

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As you plan your website refresh or upgrade, keep in mind that you aren’t just updating your website; you’re creating new ways to engage and build your online community. When you design your website with trends and user research in mind, you can appeal to your audience more effectively and create a more positive website experience.  

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