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Why Your Club Needs A Well-Designed Club Website

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In today’s world, your club’s website is essentially your clubhouse. It will likely be the first thing potential members see of your club, and it will be where current members spend a lot of time and find out what’s going on at the club. Like an actual clubhouse, you need to ensure your website is a well-built, good-looking place where people will actually want to spend their time. 

Today, we will discuss the benefits of a beautiful, well-designed website and how you can get one for your club. So, without further ado, let's get started.

Benefits of a Well-Designed Website

Before we even get started, I need to say one thing. A Facebook group is not a suitable substitute for a website. It just isn't; it has no branding, functionality, or ability for new members to find it. I have examined this in great detail before, so if you are on the fence about whether you need a website, please read this and come back here: Do Club Websites have a place in the social media era? Club admins answer.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it is a very common train of thought that if someone has a website that has clearly had time, effort and resources put into it, then chances are they are willing to put that same time, effort and resources into their club and members. 

It’s why we all dress up for job interviews, even if we are going to spend the rest of our time working that job dressing like we just got kicked through a dollar store. 

 

going to work when I started vs now meme

 

We want to make an excellent first impression and show that we can invest time, effort, and money into looking professional and functioning well. 

Having a well-designed website achieves the exact same thing. It can significantly affect the number of new members your club attracts, the number of members who renew their memberships, and the success of your events, among other benefits. If you have a stunning, user-friendly website, people will be more likely to spend time there. 

All of these basically boil down to three critical components of a well-designed club website: 

  1. Easy to navigate
  2. Good looking
  3. Works properly 

If someone clicks on your website, it should be pretty; they should be able to clearly see where the information they are looking for is located and when they try to navigate there, it should work properly: no broken links or taking the length of Avatar 2 to load. Absolutely nothing should not take 3 hrs 12 mins, especially not Pocahontas in space.

 

Benefits of a Well-Designed Website

So now that we know the three key factors of a great website let's look at how you can achieve them for your club’s website. 

Having An Easy To Navigate Club Website 

Your club’s website should be like a Bunnings aisle; You should be able to stand in one spot and see exactly where everything and anything you need is located. 

 

Bunnings aisle

You can then get distracted by some power tool you’ll never need or some craft project you really don’t have time for. 

 

My point is that your website's home page should have the same effect; each new visitor should be able to quickly and easily see where they can find anything and everything they’re looking for. Take, for example, the website below from the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce.

Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce

 

You can quickly see where everything is; want to see their business directory, about us page, events, news? It‘s all right there. Returning member who wants to ignore all that and just log in? It’s right there at the top right. 

Anyone jumping on this site would get an instant snapshot of who this association is and will be able to clearly see where they need to go to find out more about them. 

Making your website easy to navigate involves two main factors: having a clear, easy-to-understand layout and knowing what people will look for when they click on your website.

When potential members visit your website, they'll probably want to know your location, the nature of your business, the events you host, and other relevant information. For instance, let's take the example of the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce (RKCC) I mentioned earlier. The "About Us" page on their navigation bar is located second from the left. As English readers read from left to right, this is a prominent position and one of the first options that visitors will see. Not only that, but underneath their slideshow, they have a few paragraphs titled "A Little Bit About What We Do". This shows that the RKCC know that the first thing people will be looking for is details about what they do, and they have made those as easy as possible to find.

You need to determine which information is likely on your visitors' lists and make sure it is easy to find. Like the RKCC, it may be an About Us section, or it might be your events, your membership details or a dozen other things. 

Once you know what people will be searching for, you can start ensuring your layout is as easy to understand as possible. 

How People Will Read Your Club’s Website

In writing this article, I have gone down a rabbit hole of learning how people tend to read websites. I’ve been reading studies, trying to understand diagrams, and doing everything but booting up Google Scholar, so now allow me to share my learnings briefly.

Firstly, when people first look at your website, their eyes will travel in a Z shape, with the top left getting the most attention and the bottom right being where their eyes end up. 

 

How People Will Read Your Club’s Website

 

Terminal, in this context, meaning the eyes' final destination on the page, not death. 

When reading or scanning text, people tend to do so in a repeating F shape, working across and then down, often skipping sections here and there. 

How People Will Read Your Club’s Website

 

Again, this means that the top left of your screen will again receive the most views, with views decreasing as we move diagonally downwards. 

Finally, these two reading patterns are overlaid on the Member Jungle home page so you can see them in action. 

 

How People Will Read Your Club’s Website

 

As you can see, the top left of the screen contains who we are, what we do, our features, and how much it all costs. These will be the first questions people want to answer when landing on our site. 

Applying these layout lessons, coupled with knowing what information your visitors are looking for and creating an easy-to-navigate site, will allow you to create a much, much more effective club website. 

Now that we’ve covered that let’s talk about branding and making your website visually appealing. 

The Importance Of A Well Branded Club Website 

Having a good-looking, memorable and cohesive club brand is very important, especially when it comes to your website. It’s not just how visitors and returning members will instantly recognise your club, but it’s also how you invoke emotions in them. 

Picture Apple's sleek, sophisticated white and silver colour scheme, Red Bull's exciting and energising yellow and red, or Nespresso's trustworthy earthy browns.

 

Importance Of A Well Branded    

These are all carefully designed to invoke certain emotions and feelings in the viewer. Apple wants you to feel sophisticated, elegant and precise. Red Bull wants you to feel energised and excited, as if you're going to add vodka to your can and run through a wall. Nespresso wants you to feel warm and calm as if you are drinking an espresso on the Riviera. 

The ads below show a glossy image of Lady Gaga dressed to the nines using a MacBook and a scruffy-looking George Clooney in his pyjamas drinking a coffee in Paris. Both brands want you to feel fancy but in very different ways. 

Importance Of A Well Branded

 

Creating a cohesive brand for your club can go a long way toward establishing brand recognition, making your club memorable, and keeping members and visitors coming back for more.

Your club’s logo and primary colour scheme should be carefully designed and in sync to deliver the best results. I've discussed the details of creating a truly standout brand for your club in great detail before, so rather than repeating myself, just read the following article if you want more detailed insight on creating an awesome and effective brand for your club: How To Properly Brand Your Club.

 

Now I need to go make a coffee with my George Clooney machine because looking at their ads while finding examples for this article made me crave a coffee something fierce. 

The Next Steps To Getting Your Club An Awesome Well-Designed Website

Now that you know all the benefits of a beautiful, properly functioning website, it’s time to start taking steps towards getting yourself that nice new website. 

The quickest and easiest way to do that is to sign up for a Member Jungle-made website and have a member of our team build it for you. If you want to know more about that then check out What Is The Accelerator At Member Jungle?

If you are looking for some ways to give your current website a refresh check out, 3 Simple Ways To Improve Your Club's Website.

 

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