An Advocate’s Website Checklist

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As we close in on the end of the year, many of you are (or at least should be) in the process of reviewing your marketing plans in preparation for the new year.

Others among you, those who are just getting started with building advocacy practices, may be looking at ways to improve what you’ve started (or maybe you even just hope to get started!)

Among the marketing tactics we should all be using is a marketing website. In fact, except for finding public speaking opportunities, your website is arguably THE most important piece of marketing you can use.

Most of you realize that, and appropriately put your efforts into building effective websites. During the past few weeks, I’ve been asked to review a handful of advocates’ websites. Unfortunately, I have had to say no – there has just been no time to do so.

So I thought about how could I help out without getting myself into a time pickle… and began writing…

To that end, and to help you all review your sites, I’ve just posted a new article to the myAPHA.org site:

An Advocate’s Website Checklist
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In the past few years, use of the web has changed dramatically. The biggest change has been how those people who are looking for us advocates, find us – the technology (devices) they choose. In looking at the last six months of analytics for the AdvoConnection Directory site (which should be well-representative of the analytics of your website, too), it appears that about 60% of the directory’s visitors are using a desktop computer to search for advocates. The other 40% are using mobile devices – phones and tablets – meaning your site needs to be optimized for mobile devices or you’ll miss 4 our of 10 of the people searching for you. These many-device optimized sites are called ‘responsive’ (because they respond to the size of the screen on the device the visitor uses).

Further, people have changed!  Few of us “surf” the web anymore. Web users are in search of a piece of information, they want their answers quickly, and then they want to get on with life. So if your site isn’t built to give those quick answers, then you need to take a new look. (Look at this a different way – how do you search for information?)

There are 20 points on the checklist. If you’re building your site yourself, they will guide you. If you have a developer who works on your site, run these ideas by him or her. If your site is already up and running and you just want to determine if there are improvements you can make, the article will help you, too.

They will all make sense – there’s no rocket science here.  But missing any one of them could prevent a potential client from reaching out to you.

Don’t have time to do it now?  Then mark your calendar to revisit in a few weeks, or whenever you can make the time. I promise – it will be worth your effort.

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