In my last post, I laid out what landing pages are and why they are important in communicating to your target audience. I wrote about how the retail industry uses landing pages, and hopefully you did your homework to see how effectively the industry uses them to communicate targeted information to its customers.
Sociologists maintain that you can learn a lot about looking in people’s medicine cabinets. In the same vein, I believe a narthex tells a lot about a congregation. When I visit a congregation, I notice so many things:
Most people think that a website is an end goal for any online effort. But it’s not. The final goal is to let people know they will find Jesus in the Church, and we want them to come and meet Him there.
There are other reasons why the website isn’t the final goal when trying to draw people to your church.
In the past, the front door of your church was probably, well, the front door. These days, however, the first exposure visitors get to your church is probably via your church website. Our church websites give visitors a small taste of what our churches are up to and what they can expect when they actually set foot in the building. They also can allow visitors to find the information they’re seeking without having to call the church secretary.
It’s important that we have the right information in the right location on our websites so visitors can find that information without having to dig. There are no hard-and-fast rules that demand every church website look the same, but there are some considerations you may want to keep in mind to help your website best serve visitors.
Creating a church webpage should be easy, shouldn’t it?
Whether we’re talking about a home page, an about page, or a simple blog post—type it up and hit “publish,” right? But if you want your page to actually get read, it’s not that simple.
Don’t worry, it’s not that hard, either, but it is important to know how to structure your page so that readers want to read it.
Websites have a rather interesting history. At first, they were difficult to create and required a certain understanding of HTML. Then tools were introduced that made it easy to create websites. Then everyone had a website, which made it hard to get traffic. Then social media came along and made it seem like no one needed a website anymore.
That’s a rather over-simplified history of the internet, but the reality is that it’s never been easy to build a website and gain traffic, and today is no different. One interesting thing about today’s internet is that Google is its king. Over 63% of internet searches start with Google, an overwhelming majority in a previously competitive market. That means that while your church website is competing to gain traffic, it’s really only competing in one arena.
It’s a trend among some churches, especially smaller ones, to have only a Facebook page and not a website. In some ways, this makes sense. Facebook pages are easy to set up, they are free, and Facebook has more than two billion users, so most people are already using that platform. With that in mind, it certainly begs the question, “Is it still necessary to have a church website?”
In the bad old days of the web, users had to specify the formatting for every page and item on the page in the HTML tag. This worked, but it led to a lot of repeated code, and it made changing your site’s look or design an absolute nightmare. (In fairness, designing a site was a bit of a nightmare, so it evened out.)