With 245 million internet users across the United States accessing the web from their computers, phones, and tablets, it’s no surprise that your website should be the cornerstone of your race marketing plan. It’s your strongest marketing tool and often the first place participants go to get information or register for your event. To make sure your website is functioning like a well-oiled marketing machine, follow these ten tips:
1. Have a memorable web address
People need to remember your website’s URL to register or check for event news. Keep it as short as possible and make sure it matches your event title. Then plaster it on all your marketing materials and anywhere you advertise!
2. Get your website to rank in search engines
Participants may or may not be familiar with your event, so make sure they can find it if they search for it directly (using your event name) or generally (searching for a certain distance or type of event such as 5K or triathlon). Find out how to get your event to rank in Google for both types of searches.
3. Engage your visitors
Words are not enough. People like visuals, so engage your visitors with photos, videos, Twitter feeds and more. If it’s attractive, visitors will stay longer and interact more with your event website.
4. Have clear navigation
Navigation is key. A lot of times, visitors will come to your page with a specific intention in mind (to register, find course maps, check start times, etc.). Make sure your navigation bar is well-organized, visible, and prioritized based on your popular pages.
5. Update your content
Many websites suffer from news section that have stories dated from 2009, or content that never changes. Since the status update and tweet came along, people expect to see fresh content. Make sure you change and update your website frequently. It’s easy to do this with a content management system.
6. Offer online discounts
Reward your visitors for using your website! Offer discounts on your event merchandise or event registration fees if they order online through your website. This will save you time and keep participants coming back to your website to check for great deals.
7. Make calls to action prominent
Whether you want someone to register, volunteer, or donate to a cause, make sure you encourage them and make it easy to do. It’s as simple as having prominent buttons on your home page that say things like “register now” and “volunteer here.”
8. Keep branding consistent
Consistently use your logo, tagline and primary messaging throughout your website, as well as on brochures, ads, signs, and anything a participant might see. Participants will start to recognize your brand, creating a presence for you in the industry and helping to increase registrations.
9. Enable social sharing and social media
Social sharing buttons on your website allow your visitors to share your web pages with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, and more. Social network buttons allow you to accumulate your own followers and likes directly from your website. Here’s how
10. Create a mobile version
For our consumer-facing site, Active.com, 18% of visitors come from mobile. That accounts for millions of visitors per year. Have you viewed your site on a smart phone? What does it look like? Check your analytics and consider creating a mobile version for your website. Learn more about mobile trends