Those are the questions posed by .orgSource’s Sherry Budziak and Doug Klegon in an article for “Vantage Point,” the quarterly magazine published by the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives.

“If your website has gradually evolved over time without revisiting its relationship to organizational objectives, then there is a good chance that it suffers from a combination of bloat as well as major gaps that limit the ability to meet members’ expectations,” Budziak and Klegon wrote in the article. “Not only is the member experience negatively impacted, but there can be major inefficiencies adding to the stress on your scarce resources.”

Budziak and Klegon provided seven steps associations can take to “transition the website from something that merely is a basic requirement of doing business into something that the members find valuable.”

They are:

  1. Have a clear strategy
  2. Be member-focused
  3. Prioritize content
  4. Make it easy to find and retrieve content
  5. Foster a sense of community
  6. Provide a personalized experience
  7. Implement an ongoing marketing/communication strategy

“Armed with a clear vision, a plan for the website can be developed that defines key audiences, content needs, metrics and web governance as well as operational policies and procedures,” Budziak and Klegon wrote. “But the plan is only the first step — to be followed by the hard work of execution to create a member-focused, content-driven website where relevant resources are targeted to key segments, are easily accessible, and where knowledge can be shared collaboratively, adding value to the membership experience.”

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