We understand how busy church staff members are. Not only are you trying to balance your family time with your professional careers, but you are also trying to keep up with your church duties, and sometimes you volunteer on the side. You're a busy leader!
And we know that means time is really of the essence.
In the midst of all you have to do, there is one more thing to add to your plate—you’ve got to keep on top of your church website. Your online ministry is like a plant: you can’t just sow the seeds and hope it grows. It takes nurturing, consistent care, and a little upkeep.
The good news is, you can do just that without having to spend hours of your precious time doing it. Let’s get to it!
Here are 9 easy website improvements you can knock out in just a few minutes.
1. Make Information Easy to Find
When it comes to content and essential information, you'll want to ensure the church service times and contact information are easy to find. This is information potential visitors will need if they intend to worship at your church. Remember to include it in all these places:
- About Us page
- New Here page
It doesn't take long to incorporate these updates. While you’re there, it's also a good idea to double-check that all the information is accurate.
2. Conduct a Staff Page Audit
Did you know that the Staff page is one of the most visited pages on most church websites? Your members (and potential members) want to see some friendly faces and really get to know their community leaders.
Which is why you'll definitely want to make sure your Staff page is up-to-date. This includes removing staff that are no longer part of the church and adding new staff members. Remember, good team pages should also contain photos of each staff members. If you don’t have time to actually take a photo right now, use the moment to put some time on the calendar.
3. Perform a Quality Check
A quick “quality check” is an easy task, especially if you have recently moved, combined, or deleted any pages. In the tech world, we call this QA, or “quality assurance.” Take a minute and act as the tester for your own site. Look for links, buttons, popups, and any part of your website that a visitor should be able to do or experience.
Be sure to click on any links to not only check if they are broken but also to make sure they take you where you expect them to. If you find anything broken, start a list to make sure you don’t forget to find the solution when you have more time.
4. Audit the Quality of Your Photos
Check all the photos on the website. Is anyone's head cut off? Is there an image that's blurry? Does the worship service photo need to be updated? If so, keep track of what photos need to be added, updated or replaced and schedule a time to get some photos retaken. Actually replacing these things will take a little longer than a few minutes, but the check itself should be quick and painless.
5. Check Your Website on Common Mobile Devices
80% of adults connect with the world wide web on their phone. You probably know it’s important for your website to be mobile-friendly, it’s also important to know if it’s working with all kinds of devices.
If you only have an iPhone, ask your Android coworker if they can pull up the church website on their phone. If something doesn't look right on any mobile device, such as an iPad or tablet, you'll want to make a note and get that fixed. Your website needs to look just as snazzy on a mobile device as it does on the computer. If you can’t figure out what’s going on, contact our Support team.
6. Ask a Friend to Look Through Your Website
On your next coffee or lunch date, ask someone who doesn't go to your church to give a 3-minute review of your site. Ask them if anything on the site is confusing or doesn't look right. Have them click on some links and go through the menu to make sure it's easy to navigate. This simple, quick impression could be the key to understanding why visitors might not be spending more time on your church website.
7. Delete Past Events
As you keep your church website as up-to-date as possible, you'll need to remove events that have already taken place. One good way to remember to do this is to set up a recurring 5-minute block in your calendar each week where you look for outdated events on your site, and remove them. Don’t forget your rotator images, too.
8. Check Church Ranking
To check where your church is ranking on a search engine results page, open a new browser in incognito mode. In the Google search box, type the name of your church or search phrases visitors use—these should be your keywords. If you're not as high up on the list as you'd like to be, take some notes about what the top-ranking churches have that you don’t––and make plans to increase your ranking by following suit. For help with this, read our recent blog post on SEO tips for churches.
9. Audit Your Online Giving Experience
For your online giving platform, check to see that it’s “visitor-friendly” for those who are brand-new to your system. Go through the experience like a recurring member, and then repeat the process pretending you’re a new one-time giver. Online giving content should include the following:
- A prominent button on the homepage saying "Give Online Now" or "Support Us Now”
- A page that explains why giving is important to the mission of your church
- A story, video, or picture (or all of them) to creates an emotional connection
- Instructions specific to the donation process
- A thank-you message for the donor
As you navigate through the online giving process, pay close attention to branding consistency and how compelled you feel to give as a new user. Does the process work? If so, great! If not, take some quick notes and get some time on your calendar to make corrections as soon as you can.