Does Visiting Your Website Turn People Away from Visiting Your Church?


July 5, 2016

A newcomer’s first experience with a church is often through its website, and first impressions are important! Visitors will make assumptions about a church’s target audience, priorities, and personality from its website, and may decide that the church isn’t “for them” before even entering the doors.

Part of this first impression has to do with how the website works with mobile devices, so here are 5 things to think about when assessing your church’s site and its approach toward mobile access:

        1. Mobile usage of the web is now more common than desktop usage–so it’s important to make sure that our web presence works well when accessed from phones and tablets.
        2. You probably could guess that Google’s influence in directing visitors to websites is huge, but did you know that 3/4 of all search traffic is directed through Google? Google uses algorithms to decide which sites deserve top billing in their results, and this means that it’s important to optimize websites for the search engine that a large majority of people will use.
        3. One easy way to bump a church’s site in Google’s search results is by making it mobile-friendly. Google has said that mobile-friendly websites will receive a boost in Google’s search results. So, for example, if someone searches for “churches in the Tri-Cities, WA”, church websites that play well with mobile devices will be listed higher in the results than websites that aren’t mobile-friendly.
        4. Check to see if your church’s site passes the Google Mobile Friendly access test. The quick test gives a clear thumbs up or down in a matter of seconds, and can highlight any problems that it might see for follow up.
        5.  If your site didn’t “pass”, there is surely a solution that can be implemented without costing an arm and a leg. The Alliance Northwest website is on a WordPress platform, and one of the benefits of WordPress is its mobile optimization. If you’d like to know more about why Wordpress is a good fit for church websites, here’s a handy article.
        6. And here’s a bonus tip: right now, the C&MA is covering the setup fees associated with creating a custom app for your church. Read more about that here.

          Happy optimizing!

          Inspiration for this article provided by unSeminary