If you have read the first part, then you will have been thinking about who you are aiming your website at, as this can greatly affect how you structure the website and the kind of content that is put on. Just like we find different cereals in the aisles that suit different people, so should our websites reflect the unique calling that each church has from God.
The last article suggested some elements that a website should include for church members, however, a church website should never be just about church members. Church needs to be a beacon of light, welcoming people to come and know Christ.
Again, by shifting your mindset to be thinking from a visitors perspective, you will start to come up with various ideas that work for your unique church. When someone new comes to your church, have you thought about the journey they may have taken to get there?
Whilst some may have just happened to walk past at the time of a service, more often than not, they will have planned their visit. So where did they hear about your church, was it from a friend - perhaps this person is dipping their feet into what it means to be a Christian. Perhaps your town is a top attraction area and they found some scenic pictures of your church on the internet.
Knowing how and why people are coming to your church should be a question at the top of your mind because how and why they are coming is the key way for the church to be tailoring its website!
Whilst of course, you can’t tailor the website for every need, by asking this questions there will soon start to be patterns that emerge which you can then use when planning your web content - not just on your website but across all your communications whether that be online or offline, guiding your conversations with people and how you approach them. You may even want to embed a poll onto your homepage (see how to do that here)
Once you know this key piece of information you can start customising your web presence. For example, if people are visiting your website and church because of scenic walks in the area, then you could consider arranging a walking group, which is advertised via the council and other websites, other than your own but referring traffic to your website for further information. Not only does this create great SEO by giving you backlinks (you can find out more about this on our tips for Increasing Website Awareness) but it gives your church a wonderful missional focus, where members of the church can meet with non-Christians in an open, welcoming environment and bond over a shared interest in walking.
By looking at your website from this perspective, it can really help you shape the church to best meet the needs of the community you are placed in.
In our next and final part of the series, we will be looking at how your website can connect the members into the church further. You can read the next part by clicking here.
If you would like further help or suggestions for your website on the information above or anything else from this series, contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0121 651 1120