Heal Your Church WebSite

Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Conversion Goals part ‘Duex’ – 1st impressions count!

“It is vitally important that the first contact someone has with our church is a positive one. Andy Stanley says it this way, “Your sermon starts in the parking lot.” As more and more people begin their search for a church by looking online, the “sermon” could very well start with your church’s Web site. When I look at your church’s Web site, I can immediately tell you a lot about your church, your values, your mentality, your approach, and whether or not I’d want to be a part.” – Todd Rhoades, MondayMorningInsight.com

Let me translate the above quote for those of you who still think a long animated Flash splash page leading to a huge image of your church’s empty parking lot is the way to go …

… as more and more individuals shop for church homes online, the greater the risk your church runs into never seeing them visit if your church website sucks!

Jesus saved me, the rest of you are going to h-e-double tooth picksYeah, pretty brutal – but enough of the ‘meme’ that God content is important, that aesthetics aren’t important.

If you pull into the church parking lot and you’re greeted by a smelly, un-bathed, 3x-large individual wearing a dirty medium sized t-shirt and speedos, that the former reads in between the filth and holes reads “Jesus Saved me, the rest of you are going to H-E-Double Tooth Picks!” .. I’ll guarantee a majority of you will spend some quality family time at the local Perkins or Waffle House that morning.

Same is true with the internet.

If you have a web site that looks like you don’t care about their needs – then individuals seeking a new church home, or a conversion-conversion experience will go some place that does look like they care. It is that simple. Or as Rhoades writes:

‘Researchers in Canada have shown that the snap decisions Internet users make about the quality of a Web page have a lasting impact on their opinions. According to a nature.com article, “Web Users Judge Sites in the Blink of an Eye,” by Michael Hopkin’

In other words solve their problems; don’t show off your fancy-schmancy solutions. Solving their needs is as simple and common sense as making the following information easy to find, read and render in print:

  • Church denomination
  • Geographic location
  • Days and times of services and studies
  • What stuff you have for their kids
  • Example sermons that show you’re not some slathering cult
  • Smiling, inviting faces instead of stony facades
  • Email contact
  • Phone number

Yeah, you’d think the above list is obvious … but in the next few weeks, we’ll be referring back to this article as I show yet more good examples of bad church web design by well meaning webmaster type individuals who don’t have a clue as to what the conversion goals are for their cool church web site.

Oh yeah, and a super-huge hat-tip and ‘terima kasih banyak-banyak‘ to one of my Malaysian friends: Wilful Sunflower for forwarding this article/link – keep’m coming folks!