Posted by Jay Wilkinson

When it comes to your nonprofit’s website, landing pages may be the single most important thing for you to be concerned about this year. They’re critical for many reasons, including SEO—so let’s start with the basics.

What are landing pages? Landing pages are the pages on your website that ask visitors to take a specific action. People come to them from a variety of places, including social media, search engines, email messages and blog posts. Just know that when you send someone to your website, you don’t want them to land on your homepage. You want them to land on a page that allows them to take a necessary action (donate, sign up, subscribe, register, etc.) without having to navigate around.

What makes a good landing page? First of all, a good landing page should be stripped of all top line navigation. This is important because once you get someone on a landing page, you don’t want them to have options. You want one call to action, and that’s it. You also want to have a strong headline that complements the anchor text that got them there. For example, if someone clicked on a link in an email that said, “Register for XYZ event,” then the headline on the landing page should reflect that anchor text. This makes the flow from point A to point B seamless for your audience.

You also want to feature a video or a powerful image to evoke emotion and help tell your nonprofit’s story. And then, of course, include a clear, concise call to action that stands out and directs your visitors to do what you brought them there to do.

Why landing pages? Simply put, landing pages will increase your conversions up to 10 times. This means you could have up to 10 times the number of donations from those who land on a landing page as opposed to those who simply land on your homepage. A conversion means “an action.” And getting people closer to the point of action is what landing pages are all about.

I recommend that every nonprofit organization have a minimum of five landing pages. If you have three events that happen throughout the year, there are three landing pages right there, one for each event. If you have a general campaign to take donations from the community, there’s your fourth. You should easily be able to create five, and if you can come up with more, all the better.