Your church website is the critical center of your digital communication hub. An app requires downloads (few download and fewer will use more than once). Social media relies on algorithms to deliver to followers (~12%). Emails are only opened by a third (and very few actually read them).Think stage announcements work better? No, since most ignore promotions. So what’s the solution?!?
Your website. It’s on the smartphone of most members and interested community members!
What needs to happen? Ensure your church is found on Google and get people interested in what you’re offering by having these 10 critical functions people expect from a church website:
- Confirm service times. One of the most sought-after details. So put it on the homepage (the higher on the page the better). Putting it in your header makes sense!
- Give directions to where you meet. Seriously, tell people where you’re located. Another essential detail for your home page! Making it clickable takes mobile users to their directions app.
- Let them see themselves. You want your audiences; congregation and community, to see people like them all over your website. Demographic and psychographic. Take and edit images with this in mind. It’s impossible to invite someone to your brand if you don’t talk and look like them. Plus your team/staff page needs to feel like your audience too. At the very least, have everyone dressed in clothes that can be purchased today (at stores your audience frequents).
- Easily connect them to staff. On your team/staff page make it clear who leads ministries they’re seeking. And then have a simple communication link to a channel THEY want.
- Discover what’s in it for them. Have an easy-to-navigate calendar so your audience can see (and filter) what’s happening what they’re interested in. Provide benefits (rather than details) on the listing (add details on the event page).
- See your thread played out. Your thread is your main church promise and/or story that’s a benefit of attending. It IS your brand. Each menu item should explain how you provide your thread.
- Give an invitation to engage more. Identify the engagement path you want people to take and lead them to it. Ultimately take them to Jesus!
- Listen to sermons anytime. Don’t rely on people attending a service. After COVID, does this need to be stated?! People want to listen when THEY want to. Make it easy! Editing the video makes it even easier.
- Provide excellent reasons to give. Ensure your audience knows how you use tithes and offerings. Ensure it fits your brand thread and matches their needs. And make it easy to give!
- Connect on an email or text list. You want to grow your email or text connection. Have an easy way to subscribe (then honor it with great, needed content).