Click here to visit the APAW site now!
American Poodles at Work was one of the first non profit websites I did for my clients. The founder of the organization, Jillian Gartner needed her old site re-vamped to solve a few problems. Here were some of the issues she needed to solve in her own words:
- Bad ease of navigation
- Lack of social media friendliness
- Site did not stand out enough
The first thing I did was take a thorough look at her old website. As expected from Jillian’s list of issues, here is what I found
- Difficult to navigate; not able to easily find what you are looking for
- Logo was not very prominent nor in an ideal visible location
- Too much going on in the middle of the site
- Lots of links going to other places on the main page that didn’t necessarily need to be there and made overall direction poor
- Contact Info was difficult to find. No ‘Contact’ page on main menu
- Service Dog application was cluttered and didn’t flow well
Here is a screenshot taken of Jillian’s site before the re-do:
There were more issues but these were some of the ones that stood out. When I went to re-do her site, I made sure I addressed each and every one of these concerns for Jillian. I wanted her to be happy with APAWs new site and I wanted updates to be simple and painless. Most of all, I wanted the site to be easily navigated by potential service dog clients. I didn’t want there to be any roadblocks on-line with people that needed one of these great poodles.
Non profit websites can be very similar to small business websites; they both often require the same principals to be applied: ease of navigation, contact info easily viewable on the front page of the site, and an aesthetically pleasing design that really makes them stand out.
After the site was re-done, APAW saw a 33% overall increase in applications submitted for service dogs and a 200% increase in applications submitted for psychiatric service dogs in only a 3 month time period. This is with no AdWords done, no Off-site link building and no Local Directory listings. This was simply from changing her website from a hard coded platform over to WordPress, one of the best website platforms for SEO in the world.
Here are a couple screenshots of the re-done site; but even better, visit APAW’s real website here.
(Note: They have a free non-profit grant for a web host that is not the fastest in the world (and weren’t ready to change hosts), so give it a second to load.)