How to Audit Your Nonprofit Website: A 5-Point Checklist

David Pisarek • Oct 14, 2021
How to Audit Your Nonprofit Website: A 5-Point Checklist

A good nonprofit website will face an endless number of modifications as it goes on. To get the most out of yours, you need to keep reviewing its performance to ensure that it continues to resonate with your donors and supporters. This review process will require auditing your nonprofit website, and in this article, you’ll learn how to do just that. 

This article outlines four aspects of your nonprofit website that you need to pay attention to when auditing it. It also includes suggestions that can help you improve your nonprofit website performance so you can attract more traffic, convert better quality leads, and engage more donors

5 Point-Checklist for Auditing Your Nonprofit Website

1. Content 

Your nonprofit website content plays a vital role in your donor acquisition and retention strategy. Content refers to everything from text, pictures, videos, and charts to illustrations on your website. When conducting your nonprofit website audit, you should assess the quality and performance of your content. 

Is your content updated? Does it resonate with your donors? Does it truly communicate your nonprofit’s story and mission? Is it visually appealing? These are just a few questions you need to answer when reviewing your content. 

Be sure to have a solid content strategy in place that outlines how each content piece resonates with donors and connects them to your mission. More so, plan your content using a content calendar and consider hiring a professional writer if you don’t have one on your team.

content calendar for nonprofits
Sample Content Calendar for Nonprofits

Streamline Your Content Marketing Efforts with this FREE Content Calendar

With this content calendar, you can start creating content that’ll help tell your nonprofit’s story, engage more donors, and maximize your marketing and fundraising efforts.

2. Design and Layout

The next thing you need to keep in mind is your website’s design and layout. Design and layout refer to the ease at which visitors can use, navigate and access information on your website. You want a website that provides a seamless digital experience for your visitors, donors, and supporters. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing online engagement and donations. 

So, how interactive and engaging is your nonprofit website’s design and layout? Is your website easy to navigate? Is it designed in a way that points visitors to the essential information and details they need to know? Is it easily accessible? Does it showcase your nonprofit’s brand

When conducting your nonprofit website audit, be sure to review its design elements and check for the following common mistakes:  

  • Ineligible and inconsistent font styles 
  • Poor, or lack of, website accessibility measures
  • Misplaced, or lack of, branding assets
  • Too many advertisements or pop-ups 
  • Requires more than three clicks for visitors to find the necessary information

3. Organic Performance 

Organic performance, in a nutshell, is how your site performs on search engines, such as Google or Bing. Good organic performance means that more people can find your nonprofit website through these search engines using relevant keywords. In other words, if your website is performing well organically, you can expect more visitors who could become donors. 

Organic performance may also be referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The more optimized your nonprofit website is for search engines, the better organic traffic and reach you can expect. Good nonprofit website SEO performance is key to having a high-converting nonprofit website.

If your website doesn’t have a good SEO performance, it will rank much lower on search engine listings, and donors won’t find your organization online easily. This decreases the chances for brand awareness and will also affect how well your site converts visitors into donors and volunteers.

These are two fundamental types of SEO to keep in mind:

A. On-page SEO

On-page SEO is the process of optimizing your website content to make sure that it’s visible in search engine results. It is a great way to drive traffic to your website while providing a good web experience for visitors. It is one of the most cost-effective and straightforward ways nonprofit organizations can improve their search rankings in organic search engine result pages (SERPs).

To review your on-page SEO performance, pay attention to the following questions and use them as a guide to make any necessary updates:

  • How relevant is your content to your target audience?
  • Are you using H1 to H6 heading tags appropriately in your website’s copy? 
  • Do you include internal links between articles, pages, and other related content?
  • Do your images have alt-text included? 

B. Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO involves activities that can be done outside of your nonprofit website to help improve your rankings in search engines. This includes:

  1. Link Sharing: Building links from other websites that have similar or relevant content to your nonprofit website. You can do this by engaging your partners and encouraging them to add your links to their websites. Links could be added to blog posts and images. 
  2. Social Media Referrals: When you publish posts on social media, be sure to include links back to your nonprofit website. 
  3. Influencer Marketing: Consider working with leaders or experts in your community and cause area who can help spread the word about your mission and share your website with their network. 

In this day and age, SEO is a must-have for any organization. To ensure your site is at the top of the results page, you need to consider both on-page and off-page SEO. That way, your search engine ranking will improve over time, and your website will attract more donors.

Get Tips on Influencer Marketing for Nonprofit

Listen in on a conversation with WOW Digital’s David Pisarek and Derren Ohanian, CEO & Founder of Social Sensei, discussing how nonprofits and charities can take advantage of influencer marketing.

4. User Experience (UX)

We’ve been talking about user experience (UX) in one way or another throughout this article. Essentially, it has to do with how easy it is for your visitors to engage with your nonprofit website. To retain these visitors and get them to take the desired action (i.e., make a donation), your website needs to provide optimal UX. 

UX is crucial to the success of your nonprofit’s digital marketing efforts. Everything from your website’s loading speed and navigation to its overall appearance play a role in determining the quality of its UX. 

Chances are you’ll need a professional digital marketer to assess your website’s UX. But some things you can do on your own include getting rid of too many pop-up advertisements and auto-play videos and ensuring that all web pages are at most three clicks away from your homepage. 

5. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) refers to the rate at which your nonprofit website converts visitors to leads. An effective CRO can improve your nonprofit’s ability to convert visitors to donors and volunteers and increase online donations and email list subscriptions. More so, you’ll be able to reach a broader audience and achieve your fundraising goals faster. 

To attain a good conversion rate optimization for your nonprofit, review your current website performance using tools like Google Analytics and consider optimizing your donation landing pages. You could also optimize the top 5 most visited pages on your nonprofit’s website, as these are the pages that most visitors could easily get converted on. 

To optimize your pages, consider:

  • Simplifying your website copy: Nobody likes to read large blocks of text especially if they include words that are difficult to understand. So, break it down and ensure your copy is easy to read and grasp.  Think “less is more”.
  • Reduce Distractions: Ads and unnecessary graphics, images, or videos that do not point your readers in the right direction are simply a distraction. Consider revising how you use these assets. 
  • Use better CTAs: Be sure to include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) to help your website visitors know what the next step is. Your CTAs should be compelling and action-oriented. 

See How Nonprofits Use Keela to Collect Online Donations

Get a glimpse of how Keela’s fundraising smart tools help nonprofit organizations strategize, streamline, and automate their fundraising efforts.

Your nonprofit website is the first point of contact between your nonprofit and several donors and supporters. It’s essential to make a great first impression so you can boost your chances of securing more online donations. Take advantage of these tips shared in this article as you start reviewing and auditing your website, and don’t hesitate to reach out to an expert if you need assistance.

About the author:

David Pisarek, Chief Digital Aficionado, Wow Digital

David lives to break things – having worked across non-profit sectors designing, programming, and management for 30 years, David launched Wow Digital Inc. in 2017, with the goal of providing transformative websites, design, and branding for non-profit, NGO, charitable, and community-based organizations.

Breaking apart processes and tearing down department silos, David uses his background to effectively bridge the gaps between IT, Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising departments to align processes, streamline operations, and ultimately help his clients achieve digital success.