The saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” In the age of Google and social media, your senior center website is your first and best chance to make that impression. Taking the time to make it great will highlight the best and most beautiful things about your center.
Show Up in Searches
Where does your senior center show up in search engine results? If it’s not close to the top, chances are you aren’t being seen. Five More Talents says Google’s My Business program will bump your website to the head of the pack. More people will see it, which is the first step to better engagement. Similarly, investing in targeted ads that connect to the website on Facebook and other social media platforms can do the same thing.
The home page is your impact moment. Use a lot of visuals here. Showcase smiling, vibrant members engaging in conversation or activities. Put a link near the top to invite new visitors right away. This can be a short welcome letter, testimonials from members, or anything unique about your center. Find a way to include important information — contact information, mission statement, upcoming events — on the home page.
Keep Your Writing Short
Writing for the web is different than print. The average person doesn’t engage with website content for more than a few seconds, and they are mostly skimming content. You don’t have much time to get ahold of their interest. So brief, concise writing is key to delivering the most information in the least amount of time. Keep your paragraphs short and simple and your tone upbeat and casual.
The University of Maryland Baltimore has a set of style guidelines and best practices to help you tailor your writing for the web. Use commonly searched words within your website to help your search engine optimization (SEO).
Consistently Update Your Content
Keep your website fresh by updating your content regularly. Any content from the newsletter can also be used on the website. Include communication from the director, a calendar of upcoming events, and photo slideshows or videos. Remember that web visitors can see an out-of-date website and think the center itself might be out-of-date as well, so it’s worth investing the time.
What has worked for your center? Let us know!