What do you think is the number one thing viewed on a church website?
I asked that question on my FaceBook page today and got some interesting responses.
I’ll give you a hint about what it is not:
It’s not The New Sermon Series or Volunteer Opportunities. Neither is it the weekly meeting for the needlepoint group. Some churches still put that stuff on their home page. *shoulder shrug*
I looked at stats from several church websites I built and this data is pretty consistent for the past seven years:
Here’s some quick observations:
1. Leadership is important. Lé duh! I was surprised to find people think it’s more important WHO is leading than what a congregation believes. Where did beliefs and core values place in stats? With the exception of one church for one year, those pages didn’t even make the top ten. Hmm.
2. Calendar/events. Probably because events are a good starting point for people. It’s an easy on-ramp. Churches promote those events. People will more readily attend off-campus events than weekend services. Events add value to people’s lives. (Insert lots of reasons why church sponsored events should be well done: people are busy, they can have great experiences elsewhere, etc. Realize this is a whole ‘nother post and move on).
3. Contact. Looking at navigation data I found that people move from these and various other pages to the contact page. That’s good! They’re looking to take a next step – like call or come by.
Some other pages moving up the ranks:
What To Expect / New Here / Plan Your Visit
More people are checking churches out online first. What do I wear? Which door do I use? People who haven’t attended don’t know what to expect – they want to be prepared.
My informal FaceBook poll showed people want to know what is going on for their kids. Hey, the first time I showed up that was my question: whatcha got for my little people? Churches should be sure to include this information on that page.
The stats for online giving are growing as more people have less cash. It’s in the top 10 for all the churches in the years it was available. I’m curious as more people automate their giving, will the page continue to be visited? Hopefully it will as more people join and begin giving or as people commit to give more.
At the beginning of the post I mentioned sermon series, volunteer opportunities, and needlepoint meetings. Those things are important to INSIDERS-people who are already attending. But the website is primarily for a different audience. Just another nugget to think about for church communications strategy.
Have you visited your church website? If you read this far, it’s because you are genuinely interested (Hi, Scott!). Maybe you are in charge of your church website? If you are – maybe you need to make some changes. If you aren’t – offer some (gentle) feedback to leadership. Maybe this is an area of ministry for you!?
***EDIT*** Just a few days after I published this, Brady Shearer and Alex Mills released this video about the most important pages on your church website. So cool! I have so much respect for the Pro Church peeps. They’ve taught me so much and I’m ever grateful to them. For sure one my favorite resources! Check out the video:
I love you, and so does Jesus. He does it better. -KT
If I can help you with YOUR website, let me know. It’s probably easier than you think!