Did you know that you only have 3 seconds to make an impression on a website visitor?
In just seconds someone is going to click away if they decide that your website isn’t relevant or interesting to them. While the window of opportunity to make a great impression is small, the good news is that the power is in your hands to change the fate of website visitors.
One of the key ways to keep them from clicking away is to connect with them.
Connection can be formed at a couple of levels.
First is through shared values. Inherent within this is that the fact that the website visitor begins to identify parts of themselves in what they see/read.
Second is through emotions that are evoked. Emotions are a very power took at our disposal that we can use to really tap into our audience’s mind.
We can communicate values and emotions through stories.
As you already know, telling someone a story contextualizes information for them because they begin to empathize with the character and their conflict.
But unfortunately, most non-profit websites don’t reel visitors in within those 3 seconds. Instead we seem to be on a mission to bore our readers while demonstrating that we are worthy institution.
Forming the Connection
Before we starting talking about how to use stories on your organization’s website we have to consider a bit more information about our audience. Specifically – why are they visiting your website?
Answering this question is super important because as you get to know your audience better, it means that you’ll be able to make more informed choices about your website’s content. And that means that you’ll be able to form that connection in that 3 second window.
There are many ways you find out about your website’s audience including Google Analytics and Crazy Egg. You can also run a survey to get to know visitors even better. All of this does require some research and analysis, but it completely worth it!
Incorporating Stories into Your Website
Your website’s home page has to do the most heavy lifting of any page on your site. Let’s make sure it does it’s job well.
Go to your website right now and take a look at the front page with fresh eyes. Think about who the copy and images might currently appeal to. Is this aligned with the types of people who actually visit your website?
If the answer is no, this a great time to think about ways that you can refresh your front page to appeal to your audience.
Start by getting a clear picture of your audience in your mind and go back to the question of why that person is visiting your website. For example, if it’s a donor, they might be visiting because they are interested in making a difference by giving.
Next, think about the emotions that you could evoke in that person to draw them in. I recommend using a story to bring this to life.
Going back to the example of our donor visiting the website, they probably want to know that your organization is making an impact in the community. You could opt to tell them a client story. Alternatively, they may want to know that other donors have had a good experience with your organization. In this case you could tell them a fellow donor’s story.
In addition to using a captivating story on your homepage to form a connection with your website visitors, you can also use stories on your about page, donation page and program page. The possibilities are endless and I encourage you to explore what’s possible for your website by telling more stories!