5 Tips for Building a High-Impact Church Website
Your church’s website is an important digital presence for your message. It’s a place people can turn to find out about events, programs and missions. Depending on how you do it, it might help you grow your membership or develop donors for fundraising efforts.
However, if your church website doesn’t work well or isn’t updated regularly, those benefits might fall flat. Get five tips for building a high-impact church website that supports your congregation’s goals below.
Busy working on your church website and want some other ideas for church outreach? Check out our article with over 30 outreach ideas to help grow your church.
1. Ensure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
More people use mobile devices like smartphones to access the internet instead of laptops or desktop computers. When your site isn’t mobile friendly, you could miss out on connections with many people. And that’s the best-case scenario because mobile users who attempt to find out more about your church or connect with your programs via their devices may feel alienated or not cared about if nothing works for them.
Whether you’re working with in-house DIY church website design or paying for design services, ensure your site is responsive. Responsive means that it’s designed to look and work well on screens of all sizes.
2. Keep Site Architecture Simple
If your website is slow to load or hard to navigate, people will bounce. A bounce means they leave your pages without taking action or sticking around to engage with your content.
Cut down on bounce rates and support higher levels of visitor engagement by keeping things simple. Take some time to plan your site ahead of time. The main navigation should have a few major categories and other information can be organized under those.
It’s intuitive for most people to look for information about the nursery or children’s Sunday school under a tab labeled “Children and Youth,” for example. But if you make all your programs their own tab, people won’t be able to find what they need because of the confusing layout.
It’s also a good idea to have someone check the site periodically to ensure all links work and that there aren’t out-of-date categories or events being promoted.
Want some ideas for adding no-nonsense, easy-to-use donation pages to your church website? We’ve got you covered with 15 donation page examples.
3. Add a Blog and Post Consistently
A blog is a great way to add a unique spin to your church website while letting people know more about who you are as a church and what’s going on in your ministries. Church blog posts can range from devotional or Bible study type content to newsy pieces about events, mission efforts or new members.
If you decide to add a blog, make sure you post consistently. Posting on a regular schedule builds trust with your audience because it shows that you care for their time and can show up regularly for them — traits most churches want people to associate with their ministry.
Pastoral staff can take turns writing blog posts, or you might ask for volunteers in the congregation and find members with the gift of sharing through the written word.
4. Take Time to Understand and Use SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s critical to the success of any website. It governs whether people can find you by searching for relevant keywords in the search engines.
At a minimum, you want your pages to rank for keywords such as “Church in (your town).” But you might also want to rank for specialty keywords such as “churches with contemporary worship” or “best church for family.”
The best way to rank for keywords is to write high-quality, relevant content that provides value to people and is centered on the topics the keywords seem to relate to. You’ll also want to include the keywords themselves in your content, including in titles and subheadings.
5. Integrate Various Forms of Media
Not everyone takes in information in the same manner. Around 65 percent of the population are visual learners, which means they engage better when you provide information via videos and images. Around 30 percent are auditory learners, and they learn best when they hear information.
Include videos, infographics, photographs, audio files and other media on your pages to serve the widest possible audience. Using various forms of media can also help with reach because people are more likely to share content that includes images or videos.
Ensure you’re attending to practical and legal matters. Don’t publish pictures of members without their permission and be especially careful when posting images of kids online.
It’s also worth noting that you don’t need a big budget or a lot of equipment to create videos for your church website. A good smartphone camera and the microphones you likely already have at church can be used for informal videos that introduce different church staff or discuss programs or donor efforts.
How DonorWerx Can Help
Your church website should be part of an overall communication and marketing effort that helps people understand your mission and learn how they can get involved. That takes a lot of work and leadership willing to commit to communication. DonorWerx’s consulting and leadership development tools help you build church leadership that can connect with others, and our donor development solutions help you grow donor networks to support your efforts. Find out more about our solutions today.