Is your church website helping you grow your membership?
Or is it just listing your basic church information?
Studies have shown that US adults spend as much as six hours a day with digital media, so making sure that your website is engaging and informative to visitors is more crucial to growth now than it ever was—any visitor to your website that doesn’t get drawn in and can’t find ways to connect with you will leave as quickly as they came.
To make your church website a 24-hour resource that will engage your members and visitors and make connections with people when you aren’t even present, follow these six tips:
1. Sermon Audio/Video
Having an archive of your sermons on your church website is a wonderful way to connect with your members, and to show them you care and can accommodate them when they have missed a sermon or a talk. It also provides a forum for people to discuss your message as well.
Also, if you have the technology to do videos , then you can use that to film events, other talks, and classes as well—having this visual element on your website is going to build a stronger connection with your members than simply the audio would.
When you have a photo album on your website, it adds a personal element that will attract more people and engage more members. People can go through the pictures and get a real glimpse of what life at your church is like, what your members are like, and what the community is like as a whole.
In addition, it makes your members feel important when they see the activities they participate in show up on your website.
3. Event Calendar
Displaying a calendar of your church events is a huge benefit for both you and for your members.
Your members get to see all of the details that pertain to any upcoming events; and it advertises the events to new members who visit the site and were unaware of them. This brings more people to the events, and can bring new members to your church.
4. Bulletins and Newsletters
Offering the option to download and view bulletins online is a huge benefit to any member who missed a service but still wants to hear all the announcements and access all of the information.
It’s a great way for visitors to see what your church is all about. If your church has a newsletter as well, the same rules apply.
Having a blog where you can post articles, sermon synopses, and opinions allows your members and visitors to hear your voice and know what you’re thinking and where you stand. If you allow comments, then you also have another place for having conversations.
6. Contact Pages
Make it easy to contact you—some of the most important pages on a church website are the staff pages and the “About Us” pages—people want to have an idea of who you are, what you are about, and how they can contact you.
You should make this as easy as possible for your members and visitors, and list the names of your staff members on your contact page, including their title at the church, and their contact information: phone, email address and, if you want to add more of a personal touch, Twitter and Facebook.
Bonus: Social Media
As an extra, though not a necessity, posting your most recent tweets on your website is a good way to promote any upcoming events and keep your content looking up-to-date. Also, when you post your Twitter feed you’re providing your members and visitors with a link that will take them to your account and let them follow your tweets.
Additionally, if you put a Facebook Like Box on your website, it’s a great way to promote your Facebook page through your members—when a members “likes” your site, that will be seen by their network of friends, which will expand the reach and exposure of your church.
Know of any other great ways to use your website to connect with your members? Add them in the comments below!
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