Here at ChurchTrac, we probably see 20 different church websites every day. Doing the math, that means we see roughly 5,000 church websites per year! We’ve seen it all too. From amazing sites that are informative and easy to navigate… to sites that have unreadable neon fonts with a banner from a spaghetti dinner that happened in 2012. We’re not even kidding!
There are many factors that determine how often people will visit your website. When it comes to churches, we’ve narrowed it down to 6 reasons why nobody goes to a church’s website. Here they are from the biggest reason to the smallest:
1. Your website isn’t mobile friendly.
Over 50% of people that visit your site are doing so from a mobile device. If your website isn’t mobile friendly or responsive, it’s very hard for your mobile visitors to navigate and view your information. Many mobile users will decide not to visit your site again if they have a bad experience the first time around. If your site isn’t responsive, you’re missing out on viewers.
2. Your Website is SLOW.
You have under 7 seconds to make a good first impression to new website visitors. If your church’s webpage takes too long to load, site visitors may move on and never come back. As much as we love the trend of having captivating videos and high resolution photos on church websites… we find that most of them are not properly optimized and take FOREVER to load. If you don’t have volunteers or staff that know how to properly optimize your site, it’s best to just keep it simple.
3. Your content is either old, irrelevant, or non-existent.
In the words of Bill Gates, “Content is King“. It gives your members and would be guests something to read, listen to, or watch what’s currently happening at your church. Half of the church websites we encounter look like they haven’t been touched in at least 6 months. Not having any events, sermons, pictures, or videos regularly posted on your site/social media gives the perception that your church doesn’t have it all together. Regularly post on your site or direct visitors to your preferred social media to see what’s happening in your church.
4. You don’t have online giving.
Over half of all church going adults give online. That number is growing every year. Many of your active members will only go to your site just to give their weekly/monthly tithe. Much how not having a website isn’t an option anymore, so is online giving. Don’t believe us, check out the Three Myths of About Online Giving.
5. You don’t tell people to go to your site.
Many churches treat websites like the movie Field of Dreams. They believe that “if you build it, they will come”. That’s not the case though. You have to tell people to go to your site. In every church service you should mention the website. When people ask when the (fill in the blank event) is happening, you should be telling them it’s on the website. Your website needs to be the hub of all communication for your members and would be guests.
6. People can’t find you on Google.
Roughly 2/3 of church website traffic comes from a search engine. If your church’s website can’t be found on the first page of a search engine like Google or Bing, your chances of having people find you are slim. Your page rank is dependent on MANY factors. Some of these factors are easy to fix while some are a little more complex. For ways to increase your page rank, check out this blog HERE.
Don’t feel like you have to dedicate countless hours or thousands of dollars to building a new site or giving your current one a massive facelift. Some of the best church websites we’ve seen have been very simple sites built on a basic theme using a service like WordPress or Square Space. With just an hour or two a week and a few dollars a month, your church can have a website that people will actually want to go to!