At Plain Vision Agency, we call websites a digital home address. Simply put, in the same way, you wouldn’t invite your friend around to an untidy house; the same is true for your website.
Now more than ever, visitors will scope your church out online before stepping foot inside the actual building. Many marketers have noted that websites have only between 5-10 seconds to capture the attention of their site visitors. It’s why it is absolutely essential to have a website that is engaging and can concisely convey your message from the start.
We have looked at various church websites, and we can say there are many common themes that all churches struggle with. So we have created 5 simple tips which you can do to help improve your church’s website.
Update, Update, Update
Out-of-date information is a huge red flag to visitors when browsing your site. The first thing you need to know about your church website is that it is never completed. It doesn’t matter how good it may look or how smooth it may run; there’s always more work to be done.
Not only for your website visitors, but Google loves it when fresh new content is regularly added and updated. Whether it’s a new blog post, a recent sermon, an upcoming event or any other type of content, as long as it’s engaging, valuable and relevant to your community, put it on your church website.
Say No To Stock
As we said earlier, your church website is your digital home address. How strange would it be if you went to your friend’s house and all you saw around the house were photos of strangers smiling with perfect white teeth? *Confused maybe?* Well, that is the same way your church website would be perceived.
Your church website should aim to represent your congregation, and one easy way of doing this is by taking photos of them that you could use on your site. Images have a powerful way of expressing what words can’t say and when it comes to your site visitors, it would show them exactly who you are as a church and let them see if this is a place they could fit in.
And one bonus tip. Although hiring a professional photographer would be great, the camera on the phone you are probably reading this on is more than good enough to use to take these photos.
Keep It Simple
Your website visitor should be able to move around your site in a few simple clicks. Simply put, they should never feel lost when going onto different pages. One rule of thumb we use at Plan Vision is to have no more than seven links in our main menu, not including the dropdown. The easier it is for your website user to get around, the more likely they will stay on your website longer and come back in the future.
Define Your Brand
A brand is more than just your pretty logo or fancy tagline. It is the complete essence of your church. Good church branding represents who you are and what you want to be known for and brings familiarity to your community. And just like in person, your website should be an extension of that feeling. Your brand should be consistent throughout your website, from the colours, fonts, photos, and even how you describe your church.
Make sure your church website is mobile responsive
Last but certainly not least, maybe the most important, make sure that your church website is optimised for mobile devices. As more and more Google searches are conducted on mobile phones, Google has emphasised that your website’s performance on smaller screens can seriously impact your rankings. Things to check on your mobile are to ensure that the website content is easy to read, not too big or small and that the buttons are easy to click. These are some things Google is looking for when ranking your church website.
Now it is over to you. We know this can be overbearing, especially as you’re likely the person in charge of everything and may lack volunteers or staff to help. But take it one step at a time. Look at your church website and, using our 5 tips, rank them, one being the most significant issue. Then start there.
If you want further help to update your church website, contact us. We strive to help local churches strengthen their community presence by providing affordable design and church marketing services, including church website design and development.