Christmas is right around the corner!
You're probably already planning for all your church events, services and other programs.
It's fun, exciting, and stressful all rolled up in one because we know that Christmas services are the most well attended events for churches every year! Often times, these services are more well attended than any other event a church puts on.
While you're busy trying to figure out your service details, sound, decor, invites, and promotional materials, don't forget to make sure your digital front door is ready for a first-time visitor looking for a place to attend on Christmas.
Most visitors will pull your website up on Google before ever walking through the doors of your church. So what does that mean for your church? It means that when they first land on your website, you have a precious few seconds to give visitors the necessary information they need to come for their first visit. This remains true throughout the year, but is amplified at Christmas when we all see a huge rise in the number of people interested in attending our Christmas service.
Today, we want to equip you with some very practical steps that will help you prepare your website for the Christmas season:
1. Make it easy
Check to make sure your service details, time, and location are incredibly easy to find.
They should be visible right on the homepage, not hidden in other pages of the website. A person frustrated that they can’t find the basic details they need, likely won’t last long on your website. And the odds of a new visitor calling the church office, or sending an email to ask when the service is being held and where, are very, very slim.
2. Visitors are coming over - is it time to tidy up?
Go through your website (and yes, we mean every page) and make sure your content is all still timely. Are the contact details still up to date? Is there any information posted from past events that needs to be removed? Out-of-date content gives the wrong impression from your visitor. Make sure everything feels fresh for their arrival.
3. First impressions stick with us
Use good quality, powerful images and a strong introductory headline. The first image they see and the first words they read set the overall tone for their experience. Make sure it’s relevant, inviting, and powerful.
4. The season of generosity
If you have not yet set up giving through your website, now is a great time to consider making the move. According to research released last year by First Capital Cashflow, over one in three people (38%) said they are more likely to donate to a charity during the run up to Christmas. Compound that with the fact that mobile-based payments are growing over 60% per year (TendOne). With this in mind, allowing for online giving at your church really seems to be a natural next step.
5. Mobile matters - a lot!
Global mobile browsing accounts for 51.3% of of time spent online. (StatCounter, 2016).
That means that over half of visitors to your website could be viewing it on their phone or tablet. It is now crucial that your website be mobile responsive, meaning it will look and work great on a phone. For each church, Christmas is an amazing season where people in each of our communities express an openness to visiting church.
While we take care of all the important details around our services, let’s make sure we get them there in the first place by rolling out the red carpet when they take that first step of searching for your church online. Looking after of our new guests could be the difference in seeing some new faces in church come January.
I pray that you and your community have an amazing Christmas season!
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Guest post by Matt Morrison, the founder of Church OS. Their team is always working to find new ways to help you grow your church and is excited to have just released a new guide, “18 Ways Your Website Can Grow Your Church”. Click here to download this free website assessment tool.