Article by Adam Johannes
Church websites are a difficult thing to get right. I mean, conventionally, the church isn't viewed as something that usually goes hand in hand with technology. So the struggle to get the two to work together can be real.
If you're looking for tips on how to get your church website to make an impact, then read on. We've put together 10 of the best.
Actually have one
With the explosion of social media, some people have had the idea of doing away with a website altogether and relying on Twitter or Facebook to serve as their online presence. However, a Twitter account is not the most effective way to communicate with potential visitors or a congregation.
Check out the competition
Not that churches are really all competing with each other. But, have a look at good websites run by other churches (emphasis on the word 'good') and see what they are doing. Maybe get in contact with other ministries and share ideas. Two heads are better than one after all.
Invest in good church web design
If church website design is poor, it can make the site difficult to use. A huge 94% of people have clicked away from a site based on ineffective design. A web designer can help your church site avoid falling at the first hurdle. Take a look at our range of templates that are specifically designed for churches.
Prioritise mobile compatibility
Increasingly people are using their phone to surf the web on the go. In fact, traffic from mobile devices is set to take over that from computers in the not too distant future. Make sure your church website is designed with that in mind to avoid missing out on a significant number of hits.
Cater to your audience
Think about the kind of people that will be searching your site, and what they will want to hear from you. Make sure you give them that, and that you are giving off a vibe true to your mission. Your website is often the first experience that visitors will have of your church. Your website needs to be welcoming of guests. You wouldn’t put the most grumpy, unfriendly people in your welcome team so don’t do the same with your website.
Less is more
When it comes to including information on your church website, many make the mistake of listing every tiny event that has ever happened there since the dawn of time. We strongly suggest you don't do this, and just stick to what is relevant and what visitors will want to know. This make it easier for your website visitors to find what they are looking for.
Another aspect of church web design. A huge chunk of visits to any church site come from a quick Google search. Turn that search into a hit for your page by creating SEO content that will appear high up in the search results. Make sure you tell people the city, town or village your church is based in. I’ve often seen things like, “St Andrew’s - we meet in our building on the High Street”. Not very helpful for your website users or Google as it tries to help people searching to find your church.
Put out a call to action
The goal of your site isn't (or shouldn't be) to just provide some light reading material for web browsers. It is a marketing tool and should be used as a way to engage with potential congregation members. Add contact details and encourage people to use them. Inspire them to come out from behind their screens to actually visit your church.
Listen to feedback
It's not enough to just ask for feedback. You need to listen to it and act accordingly. If someone goes to the effort of telling you something could be improved. Chances are, it could be.
Make donating easy
These days people do trust the web with their money and are willing to give online. However, they don't have the patience to navigate their way around a complex site in order to do so. Keep it simple.
We are here to help you along the way. If you are looking to get a new church website design or just want to have a conversation about how to improve your current church website, then give us a call.