Unlike businesses where website ideas, processes and platforms are guarded secrets; it should be the opposite for churches. Sharing ideas and best practices will help further the Gospel. We are not in competition with one another, but should provide a united front against our true enemy. In this article I will discuss a few ways you can help churches around the world make better websites.
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Churches often help their local community, but their websites often just display evidence of that help. Why not help the community right on your website? Yes you should focus on recruiting new members, but we should also strive to love our neighbors. This is content that will not only let visitors know that your church cares about the community; but it should rank well in search engines.
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How you deliver content dictates how your visitors can consume it, as well as what they can do with it. The easy route is often to simply a link to a file, but why restrict your audience. Give them content the way they want it, and with the ability to share it with their friends and family. The first part in this series will deal with the common approach to posting weekly bulletins; the PDF.
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Christianity is unique in many ways, but one that was controversial for early believers was the inclusion of the Gentiles. Faith in Christ was not be restricted to any group, race, or nation. So how do you market your church website to a particular demographic if you want to welcome everyone? Instead of narrowing your market, focus your content to answer the most frequently asked questions of potential members.
Continue reading "Constrict Your Content, Not Your Audience"
When words are the primary means of communication, they matter... a lot! Church websites need to be especially careful with how they word things because of the hot topic religion has become. Even among fellow Christians, theological differences can cause splits in groups. I trust that your pastor will proofread the copy for your tenants of faith; however, you as the web team leader need to take great care when crafting the rest of the words on your site.
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I started this blog with an article about conversations, and I feel compelled to revisit the topic. Often everyday experiences can be leveraged for writing. In this case, a quick conversation and questions that arose from it made me think about what can be lost in translation. The weakest form of communication, writing, is what we primarily rely on for our websites. A renewed focus on your church website's content may help improve your message, and further the Gospel.
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Everything on your website must have a purpose. Just like a Sunday sermon, if you go off on an unnecessary tangent, or leave a key piece of information out; you are doing your listeners an injustice and may lose their attention. I imagine most pastors research and prepare an outline for their sermons. The content on your website should be no different and not treated as something we should do at the last minute. A great tool to focus your efforts is a content strategy document.
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Writing content for your church website is different than any other type of writing. That is because websites are not printed material. Despite what you think, most people will not read your website; they will scan it. Fortunately plenty of research has been conducted on how people read websites, and we can use this data along with industry best practices, to craft good content for your church's website. Plus you can do all of this while creating content that search engines will rank high. This may be confusing at first, but a few easy steps will ensure all of your audiences can effectively find and comprehend your content.
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