Churches and places of worship are frequented by millions of people every year. With this sort of traffic, one would think that these places would find their way online. But that isn’t always the case.
And that’s a shame.
Only 15% of Americans don’t use the internet. That means that 85% are using it.
Churches should be taking advantage of this, just like any other niche, segment or industry. They can use the internet for similar reasons as anyone else could.
An effective website will answer questions that your user may have. For a church or place of worship, this is just as important. Your visitors may either be current members, or prospective members who are looking for a place to worship, for any number of reasons.
Your church may have specific worship times. It could have a nursery or a Sunday school, or serve a specific denomination. Serving up relevant information, such as worship times during the week, if your place of worship has a nursery or Sunday school, and what their schedules are, is important so that you can answer questions that your current and prospective members may have.
And if non-members are looking you up online, they may have questions that need to be answered.
- What do you have to offer for new members?
- What is your purpose?
- What is your mission?
Having a website is an excellent way of listing upcoming events for your church.
How these events can be listed is between you and your developer, depending on your needs. They could be organized in chronological order or displayed in a functional calendar, allowing for the opportunity to list relevant information pertaining to that event.
From church softball games to special holiday services, listing events on your church website can help members stay up-to-date.
You can show pictures of the church, both the exterior and interior. You can show pictures of the church staff and its congregation, or of any of your special events. Perhaps there is meaningful or relevant scripture that you would like to share that week.
You can even get a little more advanced, and post weekly sermons online, so that members can view or listen to them at their convenience. Potential members can also use these to see what the teachings are like.
Your site can serve as a communication tool. Really, this can go for nearly any website, but providing users a way to communicate with your staff can be useful. If users have a question that isn’t answered anywhere else, then a contact page with a simple form is needed. A contact page can also display:
- Your address (using Google Maps is optional, but can be helpful)
- Phone and fax numbers
- Social media links, if any
A well-placed phone number within the header or footer of each page on your website can also be helpful, potentially reducing the amount of time spent by the user looking for it.
Launching a website for your churches and places of worship is arguably the best way to reach out to your community, to increase membership, to help others in need, and to spread your message. This is your chance to become a Google search away from doing just that.
All of the items listed above are benefits that churches can take advantage of. If you don’t have one, it’s time to look into getting one developed. And if you do have one, you should consider evaluating if it is being maximized to the best of its ability.