Many churches miss out on growing their congregation and improving attendance to various church events due to their church webpage. A church webpage is an extremely useful tool, which if used properly, can grow a congregation, improve attendance and inform curious visitors and guests about your church community.
Here are four ideas to consider when looking to improve your church website for 2016:
1. Make it easy for guests and visitors
Your church website needs to be easy to navigate for viewers who are new to your church. Make it as easy as possible for guests and visitors to navigate through the main page and find important information. There needs to be easy access to information such as your church mission statement, service times and possible childcare service options available for visitors with a family. It may also be useful to include past sermons and a brief Q&A section that is easily accessible for potential guests that are wanting to know what messages and beliefs to expect from your church.
2. Provide Easy Access for Online Giving
To boost online giving, your church website needs to have a donor button that can be easily found and accessible. It doesn’t have to be the largest icon on your homepage, but it should be easy to find. You also don’t want to seem too repetitive or pushy by having the icon in too many places. If your church does not already have online giving, many providers such as easyTithe, SiteOrganic, Church Office Online and SimpleGive provide the option to customize your online giving page with your church logo, pictures and colors. These online giving providers typically offer plans starting at $0/month, and allow you to integrate your online giving page with a “Donate” button on your church website.
3. Event Forms
Just like the donation button, many of these online giving providers offer the ability to add Event Registration Forms to you church website homepage. What event registration forms do is they ensure registration information is organized in one place and allows you to keep your congregation’s information together, unlike paper forms. Online Giving providers allow you to customize these event forms, and link registration buttons to your homepage. Being able to place these registration links on your homepage, with “Call to Action” icons encouraging individuals to sign up, will go a long way in boosting attendance to your church events.
Make sure that the resources you are providing to you guests and members are easy to find on your webpage. The easier they are to find, and the more engaging they are, will likely provide excitement to viewers and they will be more likely to feel welcomed back. Providing past sermons or even live-stream sermons is very convenient for members and guests who may have missed a week. This is especially important if you are in the middle of a sermons series, where individuals can reference back to past dates and watch or re-watch from previous weeks. Make sure they are in a location in which they do not have to be searched for and can access with ease. Providing what your congregation really wants to see, and making it convenient for them to access is the key to your website being user-friendly.
A better idea of how your visitors think, and what they want, will go a long way in improving your church website. Optimize the resources and tools that are available to you to better meet their needs, keep them engaged in church activities and connect with the church while not in service.