Are You Making These 7 Errors on Your Church Website?
in Websites / 28 May 2018
As the virtual front door of your church, your church website needs to be at its best. It should not only be visually attractive, but also engaging and informative. Otherwise, it will turn away new visitors and fail to effectively engage with your congregation – both of which are best avoided.
So, how can you ensure that your church website is an effective ministry tool? Well, you can start by identifying and avoiding common mistakes that most church websites make. To help you get started, we have compiled seven major mistakes that you must avoid at all costs. Keep reading to find out what they are!
1. POORLY CONSTRUCTED WEBSITE
Most churches fail to regard their websites as potential tools for outreach and ministry. Therefore, they end up with poorly constructed websites that do not help their ministries in any way.
Just as you would only trust a qualified architect to build your church building, you need to get a professional to design your church website. Even if you have to shell out more money, it is worth investing in a professional who understands the vision of your church. Has your church website been professionally designed?
2. IGNORING FIRST-TIME VISITORS
Many churches make the mistake of designing their websites without keeping the unchurched in mind. It is important for your church website to highlight information that is relevant to first-time visitors, otherwise it will shut the doors of your church to newcomers.
For example, your church website needs to prominently highlight your church’s location and service timings on its home page. Sections such as ‘What to Expect’ or ‘I’m New’, which describe what first-time visitors can expect on a Sunday, are also must-haves on every church website. In fact, you can check out all the 10 Key Elements That Your Church Website Can’t Afford to Ignore here.
Finally, avoid using any ‘churchy’ jargon that might alienate those who are unfamiliar with such terms. Is your website built to cater to first-time visitors?
3. UNENGAGING HOME PAGE
Your home page has only 7 seconds to convince a visitor to stay on your website. Therefore, if your home page is dull and boring, you will lose the opportunity to convert online visitors into actual visitors.
Your church website must captivate your visitors from the outset. A good way to ensure that is by using striking images or videos. You can also place compelling CTAs such as ‘Meet Our Members’ on the home page to nudge your online visitors to connect with your church right away! Take a look at how these 7 church websites are successfully engaging their audiences.
In addition, visitors must be able to gauge your church community by simply looking at your home page. Does your website’s home page reflect your church’s personality?
4. LACK OF CLEAR CALL-TO-ACTIONS
A website would be incomplete without call-to-actions (CTAs), which are instructions given to web visitors to prompt them to take an immediate action. For example, Grace Church’s home page has three CTAs – ‘LiveStream’ and ‘Plan A Visit’ on the top right and ‘View Locations & Service Times’ in the middle – to nudge visitors to take that next step.
However, simply using CTAs is not enough. In order to be effective, CTAs need to be well-written and sensibly placed. That is why it’s crucial to feature clear, well-placed CTAs across different sections of your church website.
For example, consider using a ‘Join Us For Coffee First’ CTA on the ‘Plan Your Visit’ page to encourage visitors to connect with you right away! Have you placed compelling and clear CTAs across different sections of your church website?
5. ASKING FOR DONATIONS UP FRONT
Asking for funds before establishing a relationship with a person makes it seem as though money is more important to you than fellowship is. Surely, that’s not what your church believes in!
Therefore, allow your visitor to explore your church on the website before you ask for donations. Not only that, it is also a good idea to place the ‘Give’ or ‘Donate’ button after explaining what and how you intend to use that money.
This will help you establish a relationship of trust with your donors. Are you highlighting donations at the very beginning?
6. INEFFICIENT NAVIGATION
It is very frustrating for visitors to browse through a website with a cumbersome navigation system. In fact, bad navigation is one of the main causes of high bounce rates (an indication of the number of visitors who exit websites within seconds).
Therefore, you need to have a logical, intuitive and easy-to-understand navigation on your website so that visitors don’t have to click unnecessary buttons or tabs to access information.
A logical navigation system will give your visitors a memorable experience on your website. Is your church website easy to navigate?
7. NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY
Did you know that 80% of Internet users browse on their smartphones? This statistic shows how important it is that your website is mobile friendly and responsive. You need to ensure that you don’t end up ignoring the majority of your target audience. Otherwise, your church website would only be half as effective. Is your website mobile friendly?
These are just a handful of mistakes that can hamper your website. We have put together a full list of 50 Common Mistakes on Church Websites in an e-book to help you identify and fix all the errors your church website may be making!
So, what are you waiting for? Get your free copy below and take your first step towards turning your website into a fruitful tool for ministry!
Image source: gracechurch.us
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