PRACTICES - How often does someone in your union really think about
your website? What's good, what's bad, how to make it better? Frequently, we
get so busy just getting from this day to the next day that we don't take the
time to pull back and take the long view.
As you might imagine, we read a lot about communication
trends here at Unions-America. And, big disclaimer, there are lots of opinions
out there, so they can't all be "right." But here's a list we ran across
recently that has a lot of merit. It's a list of "Website Best Practices." This
list is for websites in general, not union websites specifically, but it's a
good checklist to measure your union's site against.
* Logo in the top left
* Contact in the top right
* Main navigation bar across the
* Home page slide-show
* Value proposition high up on the
* Call-to-action high up on the
* Search feature in the header
* Sign-up box in the footer
* Social media icons in the header/footer
* Responsive design
Again, this is not the Bible. If your site navigates down
the left side
that's not "wrong." But the above is a list of 10 "standards" that
communications experts currently deem the best way to do things, so it's worth
THREE MORE - Taking
this a step further, based on our years of experience with union websites
specifically, we could easily give you a long list of things we consider "best
practices." But for now, we'll hold it to three - three things not mentioned
* Change something - anything! - at least
weekly. Ideally, you'd have a new article or update on your website
every day. In most cases, that's just not going to happen. Many webmasters are
member-volunteers with full-time jobs. Some unions aren't that big and don't have
that much going on. So if a daily change is out of the
question, make at least one weekly change a goal. Fresh content on some regular
basis brings people back.
* Avoid boring, generic headlines.
Here's one common example and a way to make it better. Meeting minutes. Rather
than just posting them under a headline like "May Meeting Minutes," find one
item of interest in the minutes and play off of that. You don't have to be a
trained investigative reporter. Something simple like "New Stewards Appointed
at May Membership Meeting" may not be earth-shattering, but it's infinitely
better than "May Meeting Minutes."
* Do something
interactive. People like to talk back. Ask a question or do a poll. It
doesn't have to be hardcore union stuff every time. Sure, you'll want to do
bargaining surveys and such at the appropriate times. Or a question about what
members think about new overtime rules or whatnot. But it's also OK to just do
something fun. "What did you think of the new Star Wars movie?" "If you had to eat
one genre of food exclusively for a full year, what would it be?" "How do we
fix the Blazers?" (Insert your own local sports team that didn't win it all.) Getting
people engaged and interacting with your site will pay long-term dividends.
WE CAN HELP! -
Here's the good news: we can help improve your website in any number of ways. If
you go through the first list above and want to make some design changes, or
content updates, or don't know how to do an online poll - just holler! We're
here to make your union's website the best communication tool it can possibly
be. We are all in this together!Â
CONTACT US - Our
customer service center is always ready to assist you. We have professional
support staff trained to get you answers and/or help you through an issue as
quickly as possible. E-mail us at support@UnionActive.com or call (888)
248-5557, Ext. 3.
TECH TIP/ITEM OF THE
MONTH - Are You Big On Ideas For Your Website But Short On Time? Let Us Do It For You - Affordably!
Did you know that Unions-America.com offers web-mastering services in addition to website, email and mobile app hosting? You can email website content to us and we can post it for you in no time at our hourly webmaster rate - $40 an hour. What can be achieved in an hour or less? A lot!
- Hundreds of photos can be added to a photo gallery in an hour or less
- Content could be copied into 10 What's New articles and captions added to each article in an hour or less
- 20 or more calendar events could be posted into the Main Events Calendar - or a Custom Calendar in an hour or less
- An email blast, a text message blast, a push notification and posting of multiple articles can be done in an hour or less
- 5 new Main Menu or Member Resource pages - with sub-articles - can be created in an hour or less
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If you find that you have ideas for website content, but don't have the time or interest to post it, you can send us text and pictures and we'll take care of the rest providing you with a constantly updated and professional looking website. The simplest way is to type the content up in a Word Document and email it to us. We are here to help!
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