This week’s Guest Blog post was written by Michael Cornett, founder of Church Website Design .Co – a Christian web design company with the goal of helping churches use social media and websites to share their message throughout the world.
If your church’s website is underwhelming, is it really sharing the message of your church? In today’s times, most people will visit your church’s website before they ever set foot in your door. While a church website or social media can’t take the place of God, they can show how He is moving in your church. To fully show this, let’s look at 5 elements every church website needs:
1 ) Social Media – Over 40% of churches do not use any social networking tools, yet Facebook is on pace to garner over a billion users in 2012. Not only can churches use social media to stay in touch with their congregation and reach the lost, but they can actively promote their social media right from their website.
2 ) Email Newsletter – Email marketing is one of the most productive types of online marketing with an average return on investment of $43.52 for every dollar spent according to Direct Marketers Association. If your church’s website isn’t sending out email newsletters and capturing new leads on its website, start now!
3 ) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – When you search keywords such as “church in Houston, TX” does your church show up on the first page? Chances are, if you church is not on the first few pages of search results, your website may need some SEO love. SEO will help improve the rankings of your website, increasing targeted traffic to your church’s website.
4 ) Online Donations – A recent LifeWay Research study showed that only 14 percent of churches allow their members to give online, yet in 2011 Black Friday shopping increased by 26 percent over 2010. As people become more comfortable using credit cards online, every church will benefit from the capability to accept tithes online.
5 ) Podcasts/Online Sermons – Allowing visitors to view podcasts of previous sermons online is a great way to reach the 80% of Christians who don’t experience God on a regular basis. Also, anyone seriously considering visiting your church will be able to hear your weekly teachings. Since most churches already record their sermons, adding them to your website is the next logical step!
Conclusion: In today’s times, churches have the capability to do some amazing things through their website. As technology advances, so will our church websites! In the midst of all these design elements, it is important to remember that your website should accomplish its essential purposes first, rather than being over-complicated and confusing.
What do you guys think? What do you look for in a church website? Do you watch online sermons or tithe online regularly?
This post was written by Michael Cornett, founder of Church Website Design .Co – a Christian web design company with the goal of helping churches use social media and websites to share their message throughout the world.