You always hear you should create a website, but what gets overlooked in all the excitement is the importance of setting clear church website objectives.
Without objectives, you don’t really have a direction for your site. Outside of just providing some basic details about your church, you might feel uncertain as to what to do next.
Whether you already have a church website or not, take a moment to clearly define what your objectives are with your site. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes both in site performance and how visitors respond to it.
Table of contents
- Common Church Website Objectives
- Gives Your Church Website A Purpose
- Introduces Conversations For Improvement
- Helps Churches Grow
- Provides A Guide For Blog Content
- Defines Your Call To Action
- Ensures Your Church And Website Match
- Gives You A Way To Measure Progress
- Helps Better Engage Members
- Helps You Reach Your Target Audience Easier
- Improves Marketing Campaigns
At first, your main goal might just be to get your church online. That’s a good reason to create a website, but what’s your objective once your church is online? Are you trying to increase new visitors, reach a wider audience, engage your members more or something else entirely?
If you’re feeling stumped and aren’t really sure what type of church website objectives to set, consider the most common ones:
- Increase the number of new visitors to your church each month
- Boost engagement among your members during the week
- Help people worship online
- Increase member attendance
- Build an online community (this can pair well with a social media presence)
- Stay in contact (blog posts, email newsletter, etc)
As you grow your church website, you’ll likely set even more specific objectives. For instance, if you want to stay in contact with site visitors, you might set an objective to double monthly website signups by a set date. Or, you may set a new member goal of X new people during the year throughout resources provided on your website.
Just remember that you can have a main objective along with many small objectives that change. These are goals that your website helps your church achieve. However, without an objective, your website might flounder.
Gives Your Church Website A Purpose
Have you ever visited a website and you weren’t really sure what it was about? Without clear church website objectives, your site might feel more like a meandering conversation that never goes anywhere. You might have a few basics, such as contact details, but not much else.
If you’re just getting started, setting up at least these six main pages can help give your church website some direction. However, there’s still more work to be done.
When visitors arrive, what do you want them to leave with? Is it just your contact details and service hours? Or, do you want to gather their contact details or encourage them to worship with you online? Maybe your goal is simply to inform and spread God’s word and guidance through your blog. Whatever your object is, that’s the purpose of your site.
Everything else you do with your website helps you achieve this overall purpose. While you’ll have smaller objectives, having one main one sets the tone for your site.
Introduces Conversations For Improvement
Once you have objectives in place, you’re able to see areas where your church’s website needs to improve. If you’re trying to gain more traction online, such as getting more website traffic to meet a set objective, you can check traffic statistics to see what areas of your site aren’t performing well.
Then, you can take action to improve your site. Ideally, take a look at your overall site performance and how well you’re meeting your site’s objectives every year. An annual refresher could be just what your site needs to help your church meet its goals.
It might be time to discuss moving from a free website to a professionally designed church site. This can help lift limitations that could be hurting your site’s Google rank, leading to more visibility and more traffic.
You might discuss changing your content strategy to drive in more organic traffic. Or, it might be time to pair your site with an ad campaign. This could lead you to applying for a Google ad grant for $10,000 in free ads every month, among other benefits.
Without objectives, it’s hard to see where you need to improve and why. There’s always room for growth and clear objectives help you discover how to grow.
Speaking of growth, when you have clear church website objectives, your church grows as well. Since you have a set goal with your website, you’re more focused on what needs to be done to achieve it. This leads to several benefits, such as:
- More traffic to your church website
- More in-person visitors thanks to finding your website
- A more active online community
- More shareable content which leads to your members sharing your church with more people
Having an online presence is just the start of helping your church grow faster. Knowing the approach you’ll take is the next step. For example, your objective might be to encourage visitors to sign up for your church’s newsletter. This lets you stay in contact with visitors, gradually building a relationship with them. Even if they don’t become in-person visitors, they may still choose your church as their online church community. They can worship and tithe from wherever they might be.
Another objective might be to increase tithing to help your fund your church growth. Adding online tithing options to your site and making it simple and easy to donate is the solution. You can market this option on your church blog, on social media posts, at the end of services and even in your church newsletter.
Provides A Guide For Blog Content
Blogging is an integral part of creating an online community for your church. It helps engage your members, boosts traffic to your site, spreads God’s word and so much more. In fact, 92% of marketers agree that blogging is a key part of their marketing strategy. And, businesses that add a blog get 55% more visitors than those without an active blog.
As the most popular way to boost traffic to your site, your church needs to know what to blog about. Clear church website objectives give you a general direction for your content. If you’re trying to reach more new visitors and the unchurched, your blog might focus specifically on questions they might have, common doubts, myths about church and faith and similar topics.
If you want to better engage your existing members, you might focus on questions they’ve asked, ways for them to worship during the week, family activities and more.
While you can definitely vary your content a bit, focusing more on meeting your objectives ensures you’re reaching the intended audience more easily.
Every church website needs a call to action. This is the action you want a visitor to take before they leave your site. But, what action should they take? That depends on your site’s objectives. Far too often, churches just add a subscribe button for their blog or links to social media profiles. While you should have both of those, knowing what your main call to action should be helps you better draw attention to it.
For instance, if your objective is to increase blog readership, your subscribe form would be front and center. If tithing is your main CTA, the focus would be on that.
Ensures Your Church And Website Match
You probably have set objectives in your church, including a mission statement. But, if you don’t set objectives that mirror or complement those within your church, your website might not accurately reflect your church’s values, tone and personality.
While you might not think of your church as a brand, the same principles of marketing apply. In order for people to instantly recognize your church online, your website should focus on the same objectives, principles, tone/feel, colors and more. Your website is essentially your church, but in virtual form. Having a consistent brand across every channel, both online and off, is important for overall brand recognition for your church.
Gives You A Way To Measure Progress
One of the most important reasons to set church website objectives, and yet one of the most highly overlooked, is to have a way to measure progress. For example, if you want to get a larger live stream audience, but don’t set a goal, how do you know if things are progressing as well as you’d like? It’s hard to tell if your efforts really are working if there isn’t an end goal in place.
If you build a church website and put it online without any clear objectives, you’ll never see the true potential. Yes, you might get some visitors, but what do those visitors mean? And, if your site isn’t steering visitors toward the action you want them to take, it’s difficult to tell if your site is helping or not.
Set website goals. For example, you might have a general objective of “increase visibility of our church online.” A clearer objective would be “triple the number of website visitors within six months” and/or “increase email signups by 50%.” Those are clear objectives with a finish line. You know what to work toward and you take actions to make sure your site helps achieve those goals.
Helps Better Engage Members
For most churches, one of the general objectives is to provide information to members throughout the week. This could be as simple as having an events page so members can quickly check dates and times. However, with clearer objectives, you’re able to better engage your members.
For instance, you might set an objective to help members worship between services. This would lead you to developing worship resources, such as study guides or suggested scripture reading. You might also create a blog post during the week focused on faith-related challenges Christians face everyday along with scripture and a suggested prayer for dealing with them.
Naturally, the strategy you take depends on the objectives you set. If you’re trying to get your members more active in the community, you might blog about a weekly Christian challenge or list pop-up volunteer opportunities for members to participate in.
Helps You Reach Your Target Audience Easier
We’ve talked about SEO and keywords before. What we didn’t mention is the importance of having clear church website objectives so your site reaches your target audience easier. For example, if your main objective is to increase new visitors to your church, you’d want to focus heavily on local SEO.
If you’re trying to increase online tithing, you’d want to ensure you’re providing online worship options that keep visitors coming back to your site, no matter where they’re located in the world. For instance, you’d want to focus more on adding videos, live streaming services and directing blog posts and other site content to your online audience versus just your members. This makes them feel included, leading them to worship with your church, even if it is just online.
Improves Marketing Campaigns
When it comes to marketing your church outside of your website, you still need clear objectives. Simply putting an ad on Facebook to visit your church’s website isn’t enough. Your marketing should match your church website objectives.
For example, if you’re creating Facebook ads or Google ads, you have to set a target audience. Choosing a general audience if your objective is to increase new visitors in your church won’t help you reach your goal. Instead, you’d create ads that reach people in your general area. The ads would lead to a “new visitors” section of your site which introduces interested visitors to your church, how to interact with you online first and answers to common questions they might have.
The clearer your objectives are, the easier it is to create more effective marketing campaigns to match them. Plus, you’ll already have the right type of content on your site to direct people to.
Introduce the world to your church with a church website. Contact us today to learn how we can help design a site that will aid you in meeting your church website objectives.