As my daughter grows up, she will never understand what life was like before iPads, iPhones and the ability to Google anything and everything. For churches to be effective at reaching people who are far from God, we have to be able to create a viable presence on the web.
Professional church websites have become as important in today's world as the front door to your church. Potential visitors browse the web every day looking for a local church. Visitors will use your website as a gauge for what your church may be like, what your beliefs are and what their experience at your next service would be like—long before ever stepping foot in your auditorium. Gone are the days of a glance at an ad in the newspaper or a flip to "church" in the Yellow Pages. People expect information via your website, and if they can't easily navigate to you and find it, they'll look elsewhere—or worse, give up entirely.
Your website should also serve your members, and be a resource for them to find valuable information on service times, event dates and even catch last week's sermon again. You can provide insight and details on upcoming classes or outreach events. Members will have a place to send their friends and co-workers to when "church" comes up at the water cooler. Your members and community want to be more involved, but they may not know where to start. Your church website should be the resource.
Lastly, make sure that your church's website includes these four vital items:
- Your service times. This will be the most commonly viewed information.
- Your location, including a map. Once a visitor makes the decision to attend your service, they'll need to easily be able find you.
- Your beliefs. A visitor will want to know what you are preaching on—and what they should expect upon visiting.
- Nice, clear and real photos. Visitors want to know whether or not they'll fit in with your congregation. Pictures from services and events are a great way to show the community what you're all about.
For more tips, visit our blog at blog.aginto.com.
An organic marketing specialist, Chris Williams is founder of Aginto Solutions and has worked on tasks ranging from search engine optimization to social media marketing to conversion optimization.
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