Our Blog

Posted by

Dan Gothard

Operations Director

Charity website tips – Giving Options

As a charity, maximising your websites visitors giving is an important function of your website. It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing giving as purely financial by making your single donation facility easy to find without letting visitors know clearly how else they can support you.

Some visitors are going to be looking to make a single donation to your charity, where others are going to be prepared to support you on a regular basis. Other visitors may not be in a position to support you financially but still have many other ways they can contribute to your cause, perhaps by fundraising for you or giving their time. Or maybe they wouldn’t make a donation but would purchase an ethical gift or use a paid e-card facility.

Taking some of the principles often used by e-commerce websites, charities can help to increase their response and level of support. Cross selling, and clearly showing other options can help visitors find the information or method of response they are looking for.

One often forgotten page is the ‘Thank You’ page that someone is taken to once they have completed an action. It is easy just to think of this page as somewhere to put generic text, “Thank you for your support…” but this page can be put to much better use introducing other ways a visitors might like to get involved. Visitors who have already chosen to support you in one way are much more likely to be prepared to further support you if you give them good opportunities.


Posted by

Dan Gothard

Operations Director

Merry Christmas

Adept would like to wish all our clients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2012 is going to be an exciting year at Adept as the company continues to grow and move into new markets, with some big announcements along the way. Watch this space for more...


Posted by

Dan Gothard

Operations Director

Integrating social media into your charities website

So you’ve started using social media? Started a Twitter feed or a Facebook page? That’s a great start. The next question we often hear is “Can I put it on my homepage?”.

Showing your visitors that you are on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook from your website is a good idea, but how it is appropriate to do this very much depends on how you use the networks. (Also, if you haven’t updated Facebook in 6 months, maybe that link to it on your website is doing more harm than good!)

The two common routes chosen are just linking to the pages via an icon or text link, or integrating a feed into the page.

Having a Facebook or Twitter icon is appropriate for most charities who actively use these tools. The links don’t need to be too obvious unless you are running a specific campaign, a link or icon in the footer of your site is normally just right.

Many charities choose to integrate a Twitter feed (or RSS feed from another platform) directly into their homepage. The homepage of your website is vitally important to the effective navigation of your website, so space here is definitely at a premium. If your Twitter feed is regularly updated and your tweets provide relevant information not found elsewhere, or show how much “buzz” you are creating, then this may be appropriate. If your tweets are really just links to content on your website such as news articles, it may be more appropriate to have something else on your homepage instead, as Twitter may not be the best way to present this content.

If you do choose to integrate your social feeds into your website, remember that you do need to keep them up to date. If you are trying to show the buzz you are creating and your feed hasn’t been updated for a month, it can look really bad and do more harm than good. Also remember if the feed is of user generated content you lose some control of the content of your website so it will be necessary to carefully monitor that this isn’t used for abusive purposes.


Posted by

Dan Gothard

Operations Director

Charity website tips - Keep it simple

In order to maximise the effectiveness of any website, it is essential for charities to keep their website easy to use. Simple and clear navigation is of the utmost importance, without it no-one will find the pages of your website beyond your homepage.

Attention spans online are rapidly reducing, visitors want to be able to find the information they want quickly and move onto their next task. If any process takes too long or is too complicated, people will be put off.

As a charity the key activities you want people to complete such as making a donation or completing a response form should be as straight forward as possible. That means it is essential to keep the number of fields as low as possible, make it clear what you want people to fill in, and make validation effective. Long processes can be split into multiple steps to stop them looking too daunting to improve the conversion rate of your website.


Posted by

Dan Gothard

Operations Director

Beginners Guide to SEO – Part Three

Today’s post continues our popular series of posts on search engine optimisation you can do yourself. If you haven’t already check out our “Beginners Guide to SEO – Part One” and “Beginners Guide to SEO – Part Two”.

Image Descriptions

You should already be filling in the ALT tag (otherwise known as an image description) for all images on your site, but it is worthwhile remembering that this is an ideal place to include relevant keywords. Remember don’t try too hard though, it could look like you are trying to trick the search engines.

If you aren’t using ALT tags at all, why not? You could get your charity into trouble under the disabilities discrimination act if you don’t keep your website accessible.

Meta Data

This used to be a key point in SEO, however the value is no longer anywhere near as important as the major search engines don’t use this content for ranking.

The meta description however is often used on the Google search results pages, instead of the automatically generated snippet of information. This can help entice visitors to click on your page in the search results. Try to make the meta description of each page unique to that page and its content.

Remember, Google makes the words that the user searched for bold in the title and description, which draws more attention to them. Getting these keywords into the description helps your page to stand out. Make sure it is readable though, and not just a list of keywords!

Use of Flash and Images

While search engines are starting to get better at this, don’t expect them to understand text that is in a Flash file or an image. Text should be written on a web page as standard HTML text with CSS styling to make sure the search engine can read it. Make sure text is marked up correctly in the HTML, so headings are in heading tags, body copy in paragraph tags etc, that way the search engines can understand the hierarchy of your content.

If you have to use an image, there are CSS replacement techniques the more advanced user may be able to use.