4 Common Website Mistakes (with Simple Fixes)
Sadly, common website mistakes abound on church websites. And we’re called to better! Let’s correct these online errors so our audience will find solutions and discover what they need on our websites.
Today, most prefer getting information from a website. They don’t want to carry around a printed bulletin or remember where they put it. They want to find information and details when they’re ready for it. They want a trusted source to find “everything” conveniently. Your church website should be that place. Hopefully.
Let’s fix these common website mistakes, so the congregation and community will love your website:
Common Website Mistake 1: No location or service times on your homepage. People visiting your website need to quickly know where you’re located! Google also wants to associate your website with searches for churches in your city. And when your community decides to visit, they will need “main” service times. SIMPLE FIX: add this information as high up on your homepage as possible. Make the location a link to get directions and the service time can also be a link to get more details that a visitor needs to know.
Common Website Mistake 2: No email address or pictures on a team page. Members wonder who’s in charge of ministries when they need to contact them with a concern or request. Your community also loves this team page to see if they’ll fit into your church from the pictures. They look to see people similar to them (gender, diversity, age, etc.). SIMPLE FIX: Add a team (or staff) page under the “About” menu. Ensure each person has a similarly-cropped picture (friendly, head/shoulders), dressed like you’d expect a visitor to wear. Be clear about what everyone is in charge of and have an easy way to contact them (phone or email).
Common Website Mistake 3: Improper headline tags on each page. Google wants to deliver search results to your internal pages but often doesn’t know what the page is about from your headline. SIMPLE FIX: Write page headlines appropriate to the page content AND ensure it’s what would be googled to find the information. For example use “Kid’s Activities” instead of a branded name like “Awana”. Place your keyword-rich headline at the top of your page (with keystroke characters and not just a graphic) and tag it as an H1 headline (usually the largest headline styling) in your content management area. Ensure it’s the only H1 tag on the page and then use those exact headline words in the first sentence of the first paragraph too. Continue to use those same words 2 or 3 times on the page. Google will love your content!
Common Website Mistake 4: Not enough links on every page. When someone gets to your page for information they subconsciously ask “now what?” but often have to figure next steps for themselves. It’s frustrating. SIMPLE FIX: Provide 2 or 3 links throughout each page that connect to other information on your website. Near the bottom, think about their next probable step and suggest a link to it. For example: if someone’s on the “Kid’s Activities” page they probably will want a link to the “Kid’s Safety Procedures” page. Bonus: Having a link allows access to the information without taking up space on the page.