When your growth has slowed, it might be time to take a look at your church’s website.
We’ve talked before about what types of research people sometimes do before they make a decision to attend a church. Many people start by looking you up online, and at some point will probably click on your website. A church’s website is where they get to tell their story: what kind of services they have, what their congregation is doing, and how to get a hold of someone that can help. Many church sites can have potential parishioners looking at other websites for answers.
1.You have too much on your page
A general rule that’s used in many industries, people don’t like to read that much and when they see large paragraphs they skim or simply skip the content. If your homepage has a full essay for their About US section, that might be something that’s driving people to seek other options. You can always simplify what you’re trying to say, break it up with bullets or by adding some extra spacing or pictures. Make sure the content that people are searching for is on the front page, things like your address, phone number, and service times. Do your best to make sure your church website is able to be read quickly and easy to understand.
2. You haven’t been able to update your site
It can be hard to find a volunteer or room in the budget to always have someone updating your website, it’s understandable. It might also be the reason people won’t stay on your site. When you see something under “Upcoming Events” that are dated from two years ago, or even from a few months ago, you have to wonder when the last time anything on the entire website was updated. This can tell people that your church has nothing new going on, or you’re not doing anything as a whole worth talking about. If you have someone that can help you maintain your website on a regular basis, set reminders to provide them with current events and any changes that you want to make.
3. Your website isn’t visually appealing
This rule applies in general, but especially for those trying to appeal to younger crowds. You have only a few seconds to impress someone enough with your website visually before they make up their mind to leave. This means your website can’t look like it was made in 2002 or isn’t responsive (usable on a mobile phone or tablet). Having a strategically placed photo, or photo-slider can keep people interested long enough to read through some of your content, but it also shows them your church’s personality.
4. People Can’t tell what you’re about
Many people go searching for churches with passion in outreach, and when they go to websites that only cover the basics, they’re left wanting more but might not want to spend their time attending a church that might not even be the right fit. If your church is active in the community, you should have a page dedicated to all the things you’ve done recently to serve them. If you’re fundraising for a goal, if you’re trying to sponsor a child, your youth group is going to an event: you want to let site visitors see that your church is active.
5. You think updates are too much work
Many churches fall victim to an out of date and unengaging website, but what they don’t know is that they don’t have to. Many board members or leaders in the church think that maintaining a website is either too complicated, too time-consuming, or too expensive. What they don’t know is that this simply isn’t true. Professional companies such as ChurchNet USA offer affordable pricing for web design and maintenance and have a background in working with churches and nonprofit organizations nationwide. We’re able to easily make changes and updates on a regular schedule to keep your church’s website looking great and drawing in crowds. Contact us today to learn more about convenient and affordable options for your new website today.
-Kristin Orr, Marketing Coordinator at ChurchNet USA 11/13/17