July 16, 2018

Are You Ready For People to Google Your Church?

Did you know that Google processes nearly 70,000 searches every single second?

Not only that, but 97% of people search for local organizations online.

What’s more, 46% of all searches on Google – almost half – are local searches.

What does this mean for you?

It means that every day there are people in your community searching for a place to worship and feel connected. And it means that we need to reorient our parish websites around people searching, our visitors.

We still need to include the monthly server schedule and other insider announcements, but what if we started looking at our parish website as an evangelism tool rather than an extension of the parish newsletter?

For instance, every parish needs a “Plan A Visit” webpage on it’s site – a page dedicated to helping potential visitors map out their first in-person visit to your church. At my previous parish, when you go to the homepage the first menu you see is “I’m New.” This tab provides information on worship times, “what to expect” type information, and the basics on our ministries and ways to connect. Our goal was to keep it simple, and to highlight first those things that visitors might want to know first.

Why? Because attending a new church for the first time can be intimidating.

Here are some common questions that can plague new visitors as they consider attending a church:

  • What am I supposed to wear?
  • How long is the service?
  • What about my kids?

What’s more, upon walking through your church’s doors – into a foreign environment – a whole new set of questions arise:

  • Where do I drop off my kids?
  • Where should I sit?
  • I wonder where the closest restroom is…

Here’s the bottom line: Attending a church for the first time is difficult. Having clear information on our websites can help make that first experience a little easier.

What else can we do to make this process easier for potential new visitors?