Church Website Mistakes (that lose potential visitors)

If you are making these mistakes on your church website, you are losing people who may have attended your church. Fix these church website mistakes today and get more visitors to your services.

Church Website Mistakes (that lose potential visitors)

I spent an hour looking over different church websites this week as I was doing some research for our Save New England Church Planting Ministry.

I was a little shocked and discouraged as I browsed the sites looking for information. I saw some excellent websites, some bad websites, and some downright terrible websites. I was reminded of the importance of our electronic testimony.

Keep in mind that these were good churches from around the country. They preach the truth and take the right stand. It would be a shame for prospective visitors to miss out on God’s blessings because they never come to church based on what they see online.

97% of consumers search for local organizations online. This includes your church. Click To Tweet

I realize that the power and grace of God can overcome our shortcomings. I’m so thankful for that! Yet, why would we leave such an imminently fixable issue to chance?

People need Jesus! The stakes couldn’t be higher!

Don’t underestimate the importance of your church website.

People look online before they act. Consider these statistics:

97% of consumers search for local organizations online.1 And 46% of all searches on Google are local.2

Churches are no different. People want to know about your church before they ever walk through the door.

Consider these statistics from the last 30 days (at the time of writing) from our church website www.CurtisCornerBaptist.com.

  • Unique Visitors = 1,748
  • Visits = 6,556

In addition, our Church info was viewed on Google Maps 4780 times resulting in 48 website visits, 33 requests for directions, and 9 phone calls.

[Learn how to leverage Google Maps Reviews HERE.]

Compare the same stats for our church website to the last 365 days:

  • Unique Visitors = 26,958
  • Visits = 177,707

These numbers are astounding considering that we are not a large church. We are a small, blue-collar, coastal country church in New England.

The takeaway from these numbers is that people are looking at our website. They are looking at (or for) yours too.

HERE’S THE BIG QUESTION –

Is your church website helping you or hurting you? Click To Tweet

If you are making these mistakes, your website is probably hurting you.

But take heart, dear reader! Your website is easy to fix.

Church Website Mistakes (that lose potential visitors)

1. No Church Website.

This is a HUGE mistake.

A Facebook page does not replace a church website. Search engines treat them differently than stand-alone sites and prospective visitors see them as inferior.

In our technologically advanced day, a beautiful and functional church website cannot be overemphasized. Society has come to expect reputable organizations to have a good website.

You are losing potential visitors if you don’t have a good website.

Websites are no longer thousands of dollars. They can be very affordable today.

You can have a beautiful, yet simple, “business card” style website that gives basic information, or you can have a fully interactive website with all the bells and whistles.

Either way, get a beautiful website.

2. Buried Contact Information

If people can’t find your address and contact information, they will not visit.

Don’t people make look for it. Have a contact page, but also put your information in multiple places in addition to it.

Best Practices:

  1. Put your address and phone number conspicuously on the home page.
  2. Put your service times on the home page.
  3. Put your address and phone number in a footer that shows up on every page.
  4. Add a map for a visual cue that people can click on for directions.

3. Ancient Website Template

If your website looks like it’s from the early 2000’s, you are losing visitors.

Update your church website template every 2-3 years. With technology today, you can update the look of your site in a few simple steps without recreating it.

We recommend a WordPress based website. WordPress runs 34% of all websites on the internet.

WordPress is easy to use, maintain, and update. Also, there are countless tutorial videos online that teach you to do just about anything you want.

Warning: There are large differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Learn the difference if you are setting up a website yourself. If you hire a professional to create your site, they will make a recommendation for your needs.

4. Generic Website Template

A bad website is almost as bad as no website.

Your church webpage is your digital front door. Choose your design wisely!

If you don’t know what you are doing, pay a professional. Sometimes the gains you lose are not worth the money you save.

If you don’t have any money, ask someone for help.

Find someone who understands website creation and design. Bite the bullet and get it done

5. No New Information

If your website never changes, it feels like the church isn’t moving forward.

New information gives people a reason to keep coming back to your website. It shows life!

Here are a few ways to add new information regularly (without knowing website code):

  1. Post your sermons. There are apps that will do this for you.
  2. Update your calendar with upcoming events. You can use google calendar.

Add new information to create life and keep people coming back.

6. Dead Pages

Pages that haven’t been updated for a while look terrible. Once again, they show a lack of concern, organization, and life.

If you don’t have a blog, take the page off your website.

If you have old articles, but no new ones, change the name of the page to Articles or Archive. The name “Blog” creates the expectation of new material.

If you don’t have sermons, remove the page or say “Under construction – check back soon.”

If you have some old sermons, but no new ones, explain that at the top of the page. Perhaps call them a sample of sermons.

A small functional website is better than one bloated with dead pages.

7. No Call To Action

A visitor on your website needs to know what to do next. A call to action gives them the next step to perform.

What do you want them to do?

  • Call you?
  • Visit a service?
  • Leave a prayer request?
  • Leave your site and never give you another thought?
  • Sign-up for email updates?
  • Like Facebook Page?

Clearly define a call to action. You can have multiple CTAs, but one should be prominent.

Our church website currently has three possible actions.

  1. Plan a visit.
  2. Leave a prayer request. This can start a conversation even if they are not ready to visit.
  3. Sign-up for email updates.

PROTIP:

A simple app from ChurchHero.com called “Plan Your Visit” creates a call to action in a modern format and collects potential visitor contact information.

It even includes “exit intent” technology that uses a beautiful pop-up before someone leaves your site. Best of all – it’s free.

Conclusion

Your church website is a great asset in your ministry for the Lord. Optimize it to generate excitement and encourage visitors to walk through the doors.

What is the craziest thing you have seen on a church website?

What obstacles are hindering you from having a great website?

Leave a comment below.


Can We Help You?

Do you need a new or updated church website and don’t know who to trust? We can help!

We offer multiple packages for your website needs through Add To Your Faith Publications. Visit our site to see which options work best for you.

I love input. I look forward to your comments. I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Your thoughts?