This is a guest post by Laurie Neumann of http://dlchurchwebsites.com. If you find this post helpful and you’re interested in determining your target audience, be sure to also read my post on how to increase traffic to your site.
Who is your church website’s target audience? Some church websites focus on the newcomer and what they can tell them to help them be more comfortable at the church when they visit. The websites include sections like:
- New Here/What to Expect
- Ministries that are offered
- Service Times/Directions
- Meet the Staff, Pastor or Elders
I think these should definitely be included on a church’s website. They all give unique information that will help the visitor/newcomer become quickly acclimated to the church and feel more at home. And that is what we want – to be welcoming and help new visitors find their place.
But I also think the second purpose of a church’s website is to connect their members and those already attending. We can sometimes make those who have been going to a church for a while feel less important. I don’t think it’s intentional, but it can happen, so we need to purposefully try to minister to them online as well. How?
- Include information on upcoming events that members would be interested in attending.
- Have a blog where the pastor/staff can share their thoughts during the week. Invite your congregation to leave comments and engage in a discussion.
- Post audios or videos of sermons, so that those who have to miss a Sunday for some reason can still hear the message.
- Post ways the congregation can serve or volunteer during the week.
When planning your website, sit down with your staff and talk about what information is important to offer. Different people will have different opinions on this, so it’s good to get all the thoughts down and then consolidate the information into specified sections.
Try to think from a newcomer’s point of view and what they would want to know before visiting. Then think of what your congregation needs and what can help them grow and stay connected. You can even poll them for a better idea of what they want.
Your church’s website should meet the needs of both those already attending and those who are new to your church. Both groups are essential to your church’s health and growth.
Laurie Neumann works with her husband at DL Church Websites, their church web design business. Visit them at http://dlchurchwebsites.com and see all they can offer your church.