The Goal of a Church Website

I manage the Website for Norcross First Baptist. It isn’t a bad looking church website. There are still a lot of things that need to be done to it… but, it is one of the hats that I wear. I try to keep content up to date. I make sure that sermons are added to our podcast. I try to make sure that information is available for anyone who might happen across the site. I also attempt to stay ahead of the needs that will come up, but am frustrated that I often am playing catch-up instead of having time to properly prepare.

In my everyday job at AVID Design, I am the Director of Web Development. I am often involved in discussion on Website strategy with clients. One of the things that we discuss when developing content for pages is having a goal for every page of your site. One of the ways you figure out what that goal is, is to get in the head of the end user. You have to develop content that will speaks to ‘one person.’

Yet, when I look at the church site, I realized tonight that I have no developed strategy.

I realized this when I reviewed the analytics from the site tonight. Take a look at this keyword analysis.

realization

On July 19th the site had a visitor that searched for the phrase “traditional southern baptist churches near norcross, ga.” I can tell from digging into this visit that the user visited 17 pages on the site, was on the site for 8 minutes 59 seconds and was from Montgomery, Alabama. Obviously from the search, I can deduce that this user is searching for a church to visit in Norcross, Georgia and probably visit. The depth of visit would lead me to believe that this is a fact finding mission to find out as much about our church as they possibly can, probably before checking out the church in the first place.

But, currently I have no good method of feedback for this person to engage in conversation with us. There is no obvious next step that I want that user to take. That needs to change. I’ll be putting some thought to that starting tonight.

On the flip side, it got me thinking of how many people might be searching for a place in or near Norcross where they can be introduced to Jesus and how to begin a relationship with him. They don’t know what “Traditional” means, and they may or may not know that they want a “Baptist” church. There should be content that would allow such a person to find us too. We need a way to engage those individuals too. We’ve got the answers they seek.

Time to Get to Work. Websites are never done. It may be time to start at the top again.

What are your thoughts?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “The Goal of a Church Website

  1. The question I would be asking myself is; 'what do we do to bring people into our church community apart from the web?' Then I take those strategies and reinterpret them for the internet.

    The same church that is in the building should be on the website….right?

  2. A 9 minute visit! That's intense.
    Is a church website's primary "conversion" metric found in people who discover the church online, and eventually attend a weekend event? I think so…

  3. As we investigated churches in our area, I've had several visits to the Norcross FBC page. As a Christian, I was looking for 1) core beliefs, 2) service type (music, prayer, sermon type), 3) service dress (if I visit I don't want to feel out of place), 4) service times, 5) childrens ministry, 6) map.

    As a non Christian, I'm sure the list is different, but still the same. Information as to who Jesus is would be the biggest difference (Christian knowing, non Christian probably not). May want a way to contact a pastor on staff, or get information mailed to them, request a Bible, etc.

    It could be that people are hurting and looking at the church as a place of refuge. How do churches communicate this, and how can people communicate to churches their needs?