Over the last few years, church technology has changed the face of ministry in many organizations. In previous years, the only way to actively gain new members was to encourage your church family members to invite friends and family to join fellowship on Sunday mornings. Now, your church has the ability to increase exposure and facilitate the process of inviting new members by creating and maintaining an informative church website.
According to a 2012 study from network, 46% of church attenders said that the website was a key factor in their decision to visit a church. For 33% of these visitors, the church’s website was the first place they learned about the organization. Though it may seem to be a simple luxury to many of the more traditional church-goers, your church’s website is an effective means to create awareness of your church, its mission and its vision.
If your church already maintains a website, it is ahead of the game. If it’s looking to get started by designing a website or simply looking to make a few updates, keep a few of the following factors in mind.
The design of your church’s website can have a profound impact on the first impression many potential visitors have when searching for a new church. Is the layout easy-to-navigate? Does your design speak to your church’s mission? Does your homepage include easy-to-find links to more information? Take a moment to poll a few church members about their user experience on the church’s website and listen to their advice – are there any changes that you can make in the short term to make the user experience more enjoyable?
Though user experience is a key factor in keeping both church members and casual internet surfers on your site, the look of the page will not matter if users are unable to find you through a simple search. Take a few moments to run a local search for your church and website. Does your church appear on the first page of results? If your answer is “no”, it may be time to make small changes to increase your church website’s searchability.
Easy Links To e-giving And Social Profiles
Members of the millennial generation spend up to 18 hours a day interacting with various types of media, the majority of which are online. If your church has taken the time to create social profiles, including a link to these platforms could be an additional invitation to new users to interact with your church online. Social profiles are a great way for potential members to gain a further understanding of the culture of your church family. Additionally, your church should consider displaying links to your e-giving platform on your website’s homepage to facilitate the online giving process for members of your church family.
Designing and maintaining a website takes a degree of expertise. Though many of your church volunteers may be well-intentioned, it is important to find a volunteer with the proper skill set to help coordinate online efforts. There are a number of variables that go into making your church’s website successful. Engage a volunteer that understands these facets and is able to keep up with changing trends, and your church’s website will be one step closer to being successful.
Both current and future members are turning to your website to gain an understanding of and connect with your organization. Invest the time to maintain an updated website that reflects your church’s personality to promote growth.