Growing your church might seem like an impossible task, but it could become a little easier with the right website. The key is to make that website completely irresistible to visitors.
Your website has the power to inform, engage and turn visitors into life long members. However, if your website turns visitors away, they’ll never even try your church. All it takes is a little effort to turn any church site into something engaging and irresistible.
Avoid Driving Visitors Away
Obviously, the first step is to avoid driving visitors away to begin with. We covered church website mistakes back in October and it’s vital to look over your website and make sure it’s not making any of those errors. Your website is capable of helping boost your church attendance and membership, but only if it’s not turning visitors away at the digital doors.
Show The Real Church Experience
You want to show visitors how much fun your church is, but it’s easy for visitors to tell real from fake. The entire reason someone is checking out your website is to get an idea of what your church’s community and atmosphere is actually like. If the website shows one thing, but your service is something else entirely, visitors won’t come back.
Start by including real photos, instead of stock photos, of your church community, pastor, and staff members. When a visitor does attend a service, they’ll instantly recognize the people they saw online. Think of your church like a business. Clients want to know who they’re working with, just like visitors want to see the actual church in action.
If your church is more fun loving, showcase that in images, blog posts and other site content. If it’s more serious, showcase that. When someone’s trying to find the right church, it’s vital that your site shows them what to expect.
Guide Visitors To What They Need
Simple and intuitive navigation is crucial for any website, not just church websites. It should be easy for visitors to get from point A to point B on your site with ease. However, you can take navigation a bit further and make your site so easy to use that it’s irresistible.
When growing your church, think about the type of members you want to target. Do you want to target younger members, families, singles and/or seniors? Include areas on your site for different types of members. For instance, include a menu for parents or families that includes details on child-specific services, classes, and events.
Answer All The Basic Questions
Any church website that doesn’t answer all the basic questions that a potential church member might want to know is instantly going to drive that visitor away. Growing your church means thinking ahead to what a visitors wants and needs to know. For instance, you’d need to include service times, which door(s) to enter by, type of dress (include images of members), how long services last, what type of community service the church might be involved in, number of current members and what denomination or if you’re a non-denominational church.
Keep The Message Welcoming To All
If your church’s site only caters to members, you’re going to have a difficult time growing your church with your website. For instance, if your blog posts only focus on upcoming events and provide short text, such as “We still need volunteers for Saturday’s bake sale. Please contact Sarah to sign up.”, visitors might feel like your church’s community isn’t welcoming to new visitors.
When posting content on your site, ensure it’s engaging to both members and visitors. Show visitors that you’re eager to welcome them.
Offer Free Podcasts
While some churches may argue against podcasts, the truth is, visitors still want to know what a typical service is like. The podcast isn’t going away anytime soon, mainly because it’s too convenient. The one thing that podcasts don’t offer is the community aspect, which is what most church members love most.
Offer the convenience to worship on the go, but go a step further. Include conversations with members at the end. Let listeners hear how involved members are and the type of community they could be a member of themselves. Add an online donation feature so online listeners can help support the church too.
Growing Your Church Digitally
One of the easiest ways to find new members is by taking your church online. Let your website be your starting point. Turn it into a true representation of your church and make it easy and welcoming for anyone to use.
Ready to make your church’s site irresistible? Start with our free website strategy review to receive custom feedback on how to perform better.
Another great post Thomas! I specifically like the advice and reference on “keeping your message welcoming to all.” You definitely need to be careful with internal language. Even though it is great to promote member unity/involvement, you have to always imagine yourself as a potential first time visitor on your site.