Spring is in the air! Well almost. It won’t be long until the clocks change and our minds turn to spring. It’s about this time of year that we also start to think about having a spring clean of our homes. But shouldn’t we also consider a spring clean of our church website. Maybe you have left it to go a bit stale over winter, or perhaps even longer. According to Google Trends there is a spike in the number of people who search for a church around Easter time. With this in mind, have you considered whether your church website is able to provide visitors with clear signposts to discover your church and what it has to offer?
This post contains a few ideas about how you can spruce up your church website in time for Easter.
Spring Clean Your Church Website
Reduce Clutter on the homepage
The homepage should be a window into the life of your church. However if the page is full of content from either winter or worst still, years out of date, it’s not giving a very good impression. Try stripping back the text on the homepage instead of talking on about everything you do. Highlight what makes your church who you are. Provide simple signposts to other parts of your website. Make it easy for people to find the service times, your location and perhaps a link to a recent sermon, if you’re doing a series.
Update copy elsewhere
Ensure you don’t have content that is really out of date. Like having a photo of the previous minister, even though they have moved on a while ago. Take some fresh photos of your leadership team and any other staff. This way if someone comes through the door to visit they recognise the actual people as opposed to one who has aged a bit since the last time you updated the website.
Add New Images
We live in an image-driven communications world and many churches are way behind in showing their church in action. If your homepage is full of text, visitors are unlikey to spend time reading. The average attention span on a website is around 8 seconds. That’s very little time to communicate your message. Always use pictures of your actual congregation. There’s nothing worse than visiting a website to find that you’ve seen the photos somewhere else, promoting something other than that church. Too many churches seek to put a photo of the building from the outside instead of showing potential newcomers what normal christians look like.
Add Appropriate ‘Calls-To-Action’
CTA’s (Call-To-Actions) are easily recognisable links, often buttons, encouraging users to do something on a particular page. Think of a Submit button on a form, only make them really stand out from the rest of the content. You essentially need to think about “what’s next” for your users. CTA’s can be used as signposts from the homepage to make it easy for visitors to find out more information about a particular subject. A really useful one I try to always suggest is “I’m New Here”. This is a great way to tell someone a bit about what to expect and especially inform them about what there is for children.
Check That Nothing Is Broken
Things can go wrong with websites. It’s important then to check through all the links on your website. Make sure they go to the correct page. Check all emails and forms to ensure they work correctly. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. I know I keep banging on about this, but that’s because it’s so important nowadays. Ensure you don’t have any old pages that aren’t necessary still lying about. If you have access to the website’s 404 page, make sure that it has links to other parts of the website and a search option to try again.
Maintain A To-Do List Of Future Updates
Just because you decide to give your website a spring clean for Easter, doesn’t mean you should forget about it then for another year. Google loves freshly updated content, so don’t let your site get left behind. It’s a great idea to check in with Google Trends to see what other important search words or phrases people are looking for. That way you always be thinking of new ideas to update your website.
It might be that as you read this post and look at your church website that you realise that it’s just not possible to apply any of these tips to your current website. If that’s the case , why not get in touch with myself using the telephone number/email address at the top of the page, or alternatively (here comes one of those Call-To-Action things):