Church Websites are important, but what content should you include?

Here are three (actually 4!) things every church website must have in 2021.

Transcript

You probably know you need a church website, but what should your website include, what information should you include on your church website?

In this video, we’re gonna talk about the top three things that every church website must have in 2021. Three things your church website needs. Okay, here we go.

Hey everybody, thanks for tuning in, I’m Joshua, I’m the creator of WorshipResources.church. We help you discover and learn how to use quality resources to make your church better.

I hope you’ll take a minute or actually just a second and click that subscribe button if you haven’t yet. And I hope you’ll go to WorshipResources.church to take a look at all the resources that we direct you to. Many of them are free, some of them are paid, but all of these resources are meant to help you get better as a church.

Okay, websites are important. If you didn’t watch that last video about, Do You Need A Church Website If You Have A Facebook Account, I would encourage you to go back and watch that video.

Today we’re gonna talk about the three things that every church website must include.

The first thing you need on your church website is your service times and location.

Service times and location – above the fold. What does that mean? Above the fold, it means when somebody first opens up the website, they should be able to find that information without having to scroll.

If you have multiple service times, put that on there, 9:00am and 10:30am, or 9:00am, 10:30am and 12:00pm. Whatever your service times are, you need to put them on the website above the fold.

And also your location. Where are you located? You don’t wanna make this information hard for people to find. In fact, a lot of people are visiting your website to find out your service times and location.

That’s the thing about websites, you want it to be easy for people to find the information they’re looking for. So your service times and your location. And when you have your location – you have your address, make that clickable. What I mean by that is, go find your Google Maps URL, go to your address and link that, hyperlink that address so that when somebody clicks on the address, it sends them directly to Google Maps where they can get directions to your church.

Do not make them copy and paste the address into Google Maps themselves. Make it as easy as possible. If you don’t know how to link your address to Google Maps, ask your web admin, and if they don’t know how to do it, then have them Google it. : -]

Find a way to make your address clickable so people can get directions to your church without any hassle.

Before we leave this first thing I want to mention, if somebody searches for your church, most likely, hopefully your church is gonna show up in Google first, especially if they search for your specific church name. For us, it’s Bethany Church.

So if someone searches Bethany Church, Broken Arrow, we’re gonna be the first church that shows up. But the way Google works now is instead of re-directing people to the site, they are actually providing a lot of information right within Google. So you never even have to leave Google. Some of that information is your church’s address and service times.

So if you haven’t yet, you need to go to Google, claim your church as a business, and then set up your opening times, because you don’t want somebody to search for your church, and it says “Sunday closed.” You’re not closed on Sunday, you’re open on Sunday! So make sure Google has the right information.

So when somebody searches your church, they can see the address and the service times right inside of Google, and you also need that information on your website.

Okay, the second thing every church website must include is your online service information.

It’s 2021, I’m sure if you’re watching this, you have some sort of online service. You need to tell your guests who are visiting your website how they can watch – how they can participate in your online service. It’s the same as finding your service times and location. Don’t make this information hard to find. Join us online at 9:00am or 11:00am every Sunday on Facebook or YouTube Live, and.

Then take the word “Facebook” and the word “YouTube” and link those words to your Facebook and YouTube page accordingly.

Make it easy for people to find the information they’re looking for, and some of the most important information they’re looking for is your service times and location. And how can I watch this church – How can I participate in this church online?

If possible, I would encourage you to put this information as a banner at the very top of the website so that it’s very clear, especially on Sunday, join us online – you can watch right now online. And then give them a button where they can click and watch the service. It’s fine if it redirects them to Facebook or redirects to YouTube, but make sure you have a clear button where they can join your online service.

Very closely related to having your online service information easily accessible, you also need to have a link of your past services easily acceptable. Okay, we’ll call this 2 B.

2[b] is to have your online services easily acceptable throughout the week.

So if you post the service to your website, that’s great! Or maybe you just want to link to your Facebook Live page or to your YouTube page so people can watch a past service. Make that easy for them to find.

Okay, the third thing every church website must include, and this one might be the most important of all three, and that is real pictures of your people experiencing the life of your church.

Real pictures of your church family experiencing the life of your church.

You need these pictures all throughout your website. So let’s talk about photography for a minute. First of all, don’t use stock photography. Stock photography is pictures of random people that you don’t know, that don’t go to your church. That is not an accurate depiction of who you are as a church.

Okay, think of it like this.

 Let’s say you have a local burger shop, let’s call it Joe’s Burger Shop in your local town, and they have a website. And so you go to visit JoesBurgerShop.com, and you see pictures of their hamburgers – and these hamburgers look awesome to you. You’re like, “I wanna try one of these hamburgers.”

So the next time you can, you go to Joe’s Burger Shop – you order one of their burgers – you get it on the plate and you look at it and it looks absolutely nothing like the picture you saw on the website.

So you go back to the website and you look and you realize, “Wait a minute, that’s a Wendy’s hamburger on this photo.” Needless to say, you’re gonna be disappointed because what you were expecting by the photo is not what you received. Joe’s Burger Shop was being disingenuous. They were being fake. They were presenting a fake product.

When you have pictures of stock photography on your website, you are presenting a fake product. That’s not who your church is, and one of the questions… In fact, I think THE question that every guest who visits your church website – the question they are asking, whether they know it or not, in their minds… They’re asking this question,

Do I fit in there?

Do I fit in there? That’s what they’re asking. And so you wanna use real pictures of real people experiencing the life of your church, so they can decide for themselves, yes or no, I will fit in there. I can be a part of this church. I can see myself going to this church.

So using real pictures of real people is vital all throughout your church website.

Now, you’ll notice I did not say you need a picture of your church building. It’s okay to have that maybe on your about page or your locations page, but not on the home page. They don’t really care what the outside of the building looks like. They wanna know what is it like to be a part of this church?

So pictures of smiling, happy people in your church, that’s what you want to portray.

Okay, let’s talk practically about how you can get these pictures of real people in your church experiencing the life of your church. Here’s how you do it. Get a photographer to take pictures. 🙂

You might have to hire a photographer and that’s okay. Pay them a couple of hundred dollars and say, “I want you to take a thousand pictures during this weekend of everything that’s happening in the life of our church.” Or you might have to do it over several weeks. But here’s the thing, you probably have somebody in your church who has a decent camera and they have a hobby of taking photos. Get connected with them, tell them what you’re looking for, and ask them to take a thousand pictures for you.

Now to help you out, I’ve created a list, a photo list of all the pictures that you need. You can get that list for free in the description below. Download that list of all the pictures you need for your church website, you can print this document out, give it to your church photographer and say, “These are the pictures that we want to capture.”

So once you get those pictures, then you’re going to start using those – integrating those pictures into your website.

I recommend for you to refresh the pictures on your church website twice a year, or maybe three times a year, if you can. Once every six months, hire a photographer or work out a deal with somebody in your church to take pictures and then use those pictures on your church website – to depict what it’s like to be a part of your church.

Remember, when a guest visits your website, the main thing they’re asking is, “Do I fit in there?” And you wanna be able to help them answer that question.

Now, I can hear what you’re saying, “What if our church is just not that glamorous? What if you don’t have a lot of people in your church and you feel like having pictures of your church people is going to be a deterrent for somebody to visit your church?

Let me say this, God is bigger than that.

God is bigger than that.

We’re not trying to impress people right? We’re not trying to impress people when they come to church. We’re trying to share the Gospel with them. And so do your best – what you can do with the tools and the resources God has given you – and then trust God to work out the rest.

 So whoever visits your website, trust that the Lord is gonna work on their heart, and maybe they visit you online or maybe they visit you in person. And then let the Holy Spirit do his work. He is God, we are not.

 So if your church is not that glamorous or doesn’t have a lot of people, or you don’t have cool lighting, it’s okay. Just take pictures of who you are as a church and let people see what it’s like to be a part of your church. And then trust God for the rest. Trust God for the rest.

If you don’t hear anything else in this video, hear this: God will build His church. You can rest on that.

Okay, so the three things that every church website must include: First of all, your service times and your location. Make sure you have that above the fold. Make it easy for people to find and link your address to Google Maps. Secondly, your online service information. What time are your online services and how can I watch? Answer that question, make it very easy for them to find and make a big button where they can click and join your online service. And the third thing every church website must include – real pictures of real people experiencing the life of your church.

 Hey, I hope you’ll download that free resource in the description below. And if I can serve you in any way, send me an email, [email protected]. I’d love to connect with you and help answer any tech or media or communications questions that you might have.

And if you haven’t yet, subscribe to this channel. We’re almost to 100! Subscribe and help us get to 100 really soon.

 Okay, everybody have a great week. We’ll see you next time.