4 Vital Stats About Your Church’s Website
By Rhonda Abbott Blevins, Pinnacle Web Coordinator.
No pressure, but you’ve got less than one second to make a good first impression with your church website. That’s what researchers at Missouri University discovered utilizing sophisticated eye-tracking technology. Their conclusion? First impressions of a website often determine whether a user views an organization favorably or unfavorably.
Simply put, if you want to make a great first impression, your church needs an eye-catching website . . . yesterday.
Here are four vital statistics about church websites:
1. 17 million non-regular churchgoers check out church websites every year. (Source: Grey Matter Research)
This means that some of the traffic you’re getting on your website is likely from people looking for something that your church offers. They’re searching for community. They’re seeking meaning. They’re hoping for a deeper experience of God and faith. These are just the kind of people you’d love to see walk into your church. If they’re visiting your website, they’re knocking at your door.
Is your site user-friendly for the first-time guest? Can a visitor quickly find service times, location, and contact information? Do you describe what will they experience when they visit? Do you tell them if music will be traditional or contemporary? Can they readily find out your church’s beliefs and values? First time guests want assurance that they’ll feel welcomed and comfortable. Your website might just be the “hook” to help you be “fishers of people.”
2. 80% of new visitors head to a church’s website before stepping into its building. (Source: Josh Blankenship via Abide Connect)
Your website is the low-key, zero expectation entry point for someone wanting to know more about your church. From the comfort of their living rooms, potential guests can watch services on YouTube and determine from there if they’d like to visit. Is there a nursery? What about parking? Does this church have the type of music I like? Does this church share my theology?
If 80% of newcomers visit your website before ever entering the building, it is increasingly paramount that a church prioritizes web design.
3. 46% say a website’s design is their number one criterion for determining the credibility of an organization. (Source: Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab)
This goes back to the split-second first impression your site makes. Yes, the verbiage is important, but less so than the visual attractiveness of your site. Does your current site offer striking graphics and eye-catching design? If not, the statistics suggest that a make-over might be a valuable investment.
4. 59% of senior adults give online. (Source: ChurchMag)
Over the past few years, donors over the age of 66 have become just as likely to donate online as the 65 and under crowd. An aging congregation is no longer an excuse for not offering online giving. Cash and checkbooks are becoming increasingly obsolete. Does your current website enable easy online giving?
While it’s true that a quality church website can impact giving and attendance, it’s more than that. Your church’s website is about hospitality—digital hospitality that welcomes the newcomer, inviting her to come inside, share some coffee, and relax. It’s also one of the most powerful evangelism tools available to contemporary churches. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “And how are they to hear without [a striking church website]?” (OK, not really . . . but you get the picture.)
If you’d like to learn more about church web design services through Pinnacle Leadership Associates, contact us today. We’ll work with you to develop a website your church will be proud to showcase.