I build websites for ministry leaders and churches. A new acquaintance recently looked at some of my work and pointed out some obvious oversights. It reminded me of the fact that other people see things we don’t.
Here are some website tips people have given me over the past few years that all of us can learn from.
1. Put your welcome information on the first page!
People shouldn’t have to dig for your welcome information. Furthermore, tell people who you are and or what you’re all about up front. There is nothing more frustrating for people than to have to search for basic information.
2. Contact information should be comprehensive and clear.
Never bury contact information. People should be able to find your contact page quickly. In addition, give people as many ways as possible to contact you. Email and or a contact form are standards. Social media connections like Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn are also important.
And don’t forget to put your physical address on the contact page. A few years ago we had two people in the same week tell us that our church address wasn’t on our website. An address isn’t necessary for a personal blog, but it is essential for a church or ministry.
If you have a blog, consider getting a Google voice number and using it as an additional contact option. Google voice can forward calls to a voice mail account and then send you an email letting you know you have a message.
If you have a church or ministry website put the office phone number on your contact page.
All of these options may not seem that important to you, but they are to the people you serve. Serving means giving people plenty of options to connect with you in a way that best works for them.
3. Know what you want visitors to do.
What do you want people to do when they find your site? Sign up for your newsletter? Visit your welcome page? Listen to a sermon, watch a video, or sign up for an event?
You need to have a good idea of what you want people to do when they come to your site and then make it easy for them to do it. If you have a church or ministry site make sure you answer their questions right away. Questions visitors might ask are:
What is it like?
Where is it located?
Will I feel welcome?
Is there something there for me (my kids)?
Why should I visit?
How do I get involved?
Have three or four people take an objective look at your website or blog. Make sure they can be objective. Family members and friends will most likely tell you everything is great when it may be terrible.
After taking a survey, make a list of improvements and then take another survey.
I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment if you have any questions or if you have some tips of your own!