6 Tips for Creating Content For Your JCC WebsiteWednesday, June 28, 2017
This post is the third in a series about creating content for your JCC website.
Finally, after hours of carefully planning your sitemap and gathering content from each department in your JCC, it’s time to write your content and place it on your website. Whether you’re starting from scratch or revamping existing content, it’s certainly an intimidating task. But not to worry—after more than 15 years of experience working with JCCs, we’ve seen it all, and we have tons of tips to help you develop and publish great content.
Let’s get started!
1) Share testimonials
One sure-fire way to add authentic, high-value content to your JCC website is to share testimonials from members. A survey of more than 2000 individuals found that 70% of people read reviews before making a purchase and 88% trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. And, if you consider the results of a case study featured on Kissmetrics, adding testimonials to different pages on your website might even boost class sign-ups by 34%.
The Merage JCC of Orange County has a great testimonials page within the Preschool section of their website.
The JCC of Northern Virginia shares success stories on their Personal Training page.
2) Write compelling staff bios
Another way to build trust on your website is to collaborate with your teams and include staff bios and photos. Let your audience get to know the real people they will be interacting with at your JCC.
In addition to the standard information (name, title, certifications, contact information), share something in each person’s bio that shows their personality. An article by Nonprofit Hub suggests asking staff these questions about themselves:
- What do you like to do when you’re not working?
- What inspires you?
- Why do you love your job?
- What is something unique or quirky about you?
We love the camp staff bios on the JCC of Greater Kansas City website—they’re written in the first person and feel really conversational!
3) Lighten up
Your staff bios aren’t the only place where you should show some personality. After all, you’re writing a website for a JCC—a place where kids, adults, and everyone in between comes to play, learn, and be part of a welcoming community. So your website content should be warm and inviting, too!
Of course, your tone of voice will need to be different across departments. On some pages, such as your Maccabi Games page, it should exude enthusiasm. But on other pages, like your Film Fest event description, you might choose a more reverent tone of voice.
When appropriate, lighten up and have a little fun with your content!
Check out how the Aaron Family JCC of Dallas keep things lighthearted with this headline—who doesn’t love a good tennis pun?
4) Use consistent formatting & styling
Much of your JCC website content will be information about programs, classes, and events. For instance, your Group Fitness page might consist of a brief introductory paragraph followed by a long list of every fitness class you offer. This similar type of content will appear on other pages—Gymnastics (list of programs for different age groups), Jewish Learning (list of different subjects to study), Summer Camps (list of camps for different ages and interests), etc.
To create a consistent user experience across your entire site, be sure to establish a single format and style for how all of these lists should appear. For example, you might decide that the program name will be an H3 headline, the age group will be listed next and italicized, then a one-sentence description in your default font style, and so on.
We suggest creating one web page as a style guide (you can delete it later). On this page, include a sample of every type of content that will be on your website (programs, classes, events, staff bios, etc.), and then use it as a point of reference.
Keep in mind these formatting best practices:
- Use bulleted or numbered lists
- Use headings (H2, H3, H4, etc.) to break up and organize different sections of content on a page
- Put some space between different sections of content
- Bold or italicize important text
- Avoid using tables, if possible. They don’t work well with responsive designs.
On the Alper JCC of Miami website, you can see that the formatting used to list programs on the Sports page is consistent with the formatting used on the Special Needs page. Both pages use bulleted lists and expand-and-collapse content areas.
5) Add images
In addition to written content, be sure to add plenty of high quality images and videos. It’s best to use your own custom photography, so go ahead and snap some photos of your JCC’s fitness center, swimming classes, theater performances, and so on (just be sure to get permission from people before posting their picture to your website).
Custom photography—showing real people participating at your J—adds authenticity to your website and builds trust. But if you are having a hard time coming up with large-scale, high quality photos for your homepage image rotator, it is possible to use stock photos tastefully.
The website for the Mandel JCC of Cleveland does a great job with custom images. Below is the Fitness page, which features an impressive shot of the fitness center.
6) Use keywords to boost SEO
When writing content for your JCC website, be sure to include the right keywords. Take the time to think about what people might be typing into Google when they’re looking for a new gym or somewhere to take their kids for swimming lessons.
Let’s say you offer a toddler swim class. Instead of using a headline like “Water Tots,” you should include a keyword—”Water Tots Toddler Swimming Lessons.”
Come up with a list of keywords that you want to make sure to include on your website, and then place them in these important locations:
- The main headline on a webpage (your H1 header)
- The URL
- The page title tag (this appears in your browser tab and in search results)
By making small tweaks to your content to include the right keywords in the right places, you can help the right people (your target audience) find your JCC on the web.
We hope you're feeling inspired now to get started on your own JCC website content! Remember to loosen up, have fun, and let your JCC’s personality shine through in the content. Include powerful testimonials, compelling staff bios, and photos that show what goes on at the J. Keep your formatting clean and consistent across the entire site, include keywords, and don’t forget to use spellcheck! (And hey, remember that site map document you made? Use it as a checklist to mark off pages as you complete them!)
It’s a big job, but we know you’re up for it.
For everything on how to write content for your JCC, all in one place, download our free ebook, The DIY Guide: Creating Content for your JCC Website now.