Professional websites can be a tricky beast. While your organization may have their dream website in mind, the initial build, everyday maintenance, and slew of recurring design problems can quickly discourage you from putting effort into it. Not to mention that your emergency service organization typically only has marginal windows to truly concentrate on marketing efforts.
At 9-ONE-1 Marketing, we provide first responder website services that centralize the digital marketing process for your organization. Below, we’ve compiled some first responder marketing tips to take your website to the next level, and also included what to avoid when designing a website for your first responder organization.
How to Create a Good Website:
Unsurprisingly, one of the most important features of a website is that visitors are able to use it. More specifically, visitors are able to easily navigate through pages, links, photos, sign-up documents, and more without getting lost, distracted, or frustrated. While the style of your website is obviously crucial, if potential volunteers or similar prospective visitors cannot find your essential information quickly and simply, your website has failed. Design your website layout to be simple, organized, and include tabs that are easily identifiable and straightforward.
As a first responder organization, you’re going to need a website that responds quickly as well! As your organization has utilized technology and modern methods to enhance your first responder practices, your website should do the same. One major key to a responsive website design is understanding “mobile-first design.” The majority of website viewers, and specifically your target audience of younger volunteer candidates, visit sites on their mobile devices or cellphones. Your website needs to respond to directions quickly and efficiently so as to not lose these visitors.
If you’re wondering how to create a good website, the next question you should ask yourself is how to create engaging content. Your pages all need to include relevant, updated information that speaks about your organization’s core missions. You’ll also want blog content that positions your department as a thought leader within the industry and provides informative, engaging content to your audience. For first responder organizations, every website should include multiple CTA’s (Call to Action). Typically, this would be in the form of “Volunteer with us today here!” or “To learn more about our organization, sign up for our newsletter!” For certain organizations, you may also want to include links to donation pages or fundraising initiatives.
What To Avoid When Designing a Website:
Too Many Clicks/Scrolls:
A website that makes you click on too many pages or scroll through too much content is one that often loses sight of their initial mission. Your organization has unique objectives for your website, but whatever those missions are should be very clear to visitors. Too much clicking, scrolling, and backtracking can quickly lose your visitors and frustrate them. When you include too much information to read through, the chances are that visitors will not read all of it regardless.
As mentioned above, your website’s content is so crucial to keeping visitors engaged and proving your legitimacy. In the same sense, outdated information or content that doesn’t seem relevant to your organization in the current day can be incredibly damaging. Is your fire department still showing pictures of your old apparatus? Does your police info page include former officers or chiefs? Keep your website constantly updated, and also be sure to link to only active websites, pages, or your social media channels.
Too many Ads or Pop-Ups:
Nobody really likes ads. Despite their necessary function on many websites, excessive banner ads, pop-ups, or active commercials can quickly turn people from your site. Emergency service organizations should not be heavily posting irrelevant advertisements on their sites. Any advertising should be more for internal functions like recruitment or fundraising.
Ready to Develop Your First Responder Marketing Strategy?
Trust 9-ONE-1 Marketing, a specialized marketing agency with the knowledge and unique experience to upgrade your website. Our team of specialists will handle every part of the design, development, and website maintenance processes from content creation to digital web build, a personalized account management system, and more! Connect with us today to get started on your website!