There are three important web realities for 2015, that are relatively easy to apply, to reach the new-comers and potential members in your community. Get these three right and you may soon find yourself meeting new people who say, “We found you online.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF AN UP-TO-DATE WEB SITE
QUOTE: “Increasingly, people are finding their way into the pews and programs of your church by first ‘kicking the tires’ online. If your website doesn’t make the cut, people won’t go.” ~ Anne Rudig, Episcopal Church Director of Communication
- Arbitron: For those ages 12-44, the Internet has become the most important medium.
- Monk Development Research found that of people who’d been attending a church for less than a year, 61% said the church website had been ‘somewhat to very important’ in their decision to attend the church.
- In research from 2012, over 17 million American adults who don’t regularly attend worship services visited the website of a local church or place of worship.
- In 2009, roughly 40% of the visits to church websites came from New Visitors. In 2012, the number of new visitors using church web sites had jumped to 46.2%.
REVIEW, ANALYZE AND REDESIGN IF NEEDED …
Review Your Web Site – See if you have any expired or outdated information. If you do, be sure to get your site up-to-date right away. A visitor to your site, finding outdated information, will have a negative impression of your church and will likely pass on a visit.
Seek Unbiased Reviews – Ask several people, not affiliated with your church or organization, to look over your web site and give an objective review. Ask them to give feedback on both the look and feel, navigation and content. Listen closely and try to address the concerns that are shared.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WEB SEARCH RESULTS
Think about how often you go to Google to find what you are looking for. If someone were to search for churches or non-profits in your community, will your organization show up? Consider these stats:
- Research by Monk Development found that of people who’d been attending a church for less than a year, 27% had found that church online.
- Now more than ever, Internet users depend heavily on search engines to get them to a church website.
- The number of people who found out about a church website using a search engine increased 91% from 2009 to 2012.
- From 2009 to 2012, churches saw a 110% increase in the amount of traffic going to their sites through search engines.
- Test Search Your Organization’s Web Site – See if it shows up and where it shows up in search results. If it is not there, or way down on the list, you can impact your placement by implementing simple SEO plugins that are provided free with our services.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MOBILE & TABLETS
How does your site look and function for mobile users? According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 61% of Americans own a smartphone. More and more, they’re becoming the primary way people access the web regardless of screen size.
- It’s official, mobile accounts for 60% of all web traffic! According to a 2014 report by comScore report, smartphones and tablets combined now account for 60% of all online traffic, up from 50% just one year ago.
- Perhaps more impressive, mobile apps accounted for more than half of all digital media time spent in May 2014, coming in at 51%.
- Be Sure Your Site Is Responsive – A responsive web site will automatically adjust the layout to fit whatever device you view it on, making it easily accessible to any visitor. To quickly test and see if your site is responsive, open it on a smart phone. If you must scroll left-to-right to see everything, or if the site is reduced so small that you have to pinch zoom, the site is not responsive.
As we go forward in 2015 and beyond your organization’s online presence becomes more important than ever. The web is our 21st century market place and the market place is where we must go to impact the world!
Want to know how you are doing on the web?
Want to know your organization’s web search ranking?
Want to find ways to improve your web presence and reach?
My desire is to help churches, ministries and non-profits take full advantage of the web as a means of accomplishing their mission. If you would like a free consultation or more information contact us at Webs4Faith@gmail.com or call Lisa at 505-715-7845.