By Rev. Marty Levesque
Your website is one of the most important, if not the most important, tools to keep your church visible in today’s world.
You want to establish a sense of trust with your audience, and there’s no faster way to lose someone than to have outdated or irrelevant information on your website. Here are a few tips for a spring clean-up of the content of your page.
Back it Up
You’re here to do some spring cleaning, not start over. Depending on what platform you use to host your website, some plugins can back your site up with the click of a button.
Of course, this is a step I recommend churches do quarterly because threats such as hackers, server failures, or unintentionally deleted files can happen more often than anyone would like to admit.
Do a content audit
Pretend you’re visiting your website for the first time. Does the homepage tell you everything you need to know, does it have a call to action, and does it offer easy-to-use navigation? Is the information still current? It sounds simple, but first impressions are important to not only satisfy visitors, but also the search engine algorithms.
Take a good look at your pages and subpages. Are they still relevant to your day-to-day activities? Are all the pages necessary or could some be merged with another page? Do a few of your pages barely get any views at all?
If so, perhaps it’s time to merge or consider deleting them.
Details, Details, Details
Your site may be full of outdated blog posts, dead links, or past events. I cannot stress enough how bad it looks when the last blog post is about Easter services in 2019.
If you cannot fill out the site, then less is more.
Does your website have an events page? These pages can easily get lost in the shuffle of cleaning up your website.
If your church rarely has events or ii is inconsistently updated, consider taking this off your website.
Revise, Revise, Revise!
Of course, pages are only as good as the content they contain. While you’re cleaning up, be sure to check that your contact information, about us page, and even leadership bios are up to date with the most current information so that users can easily get in touch with you.
A few simple steps can go a long way in welcoming the newcomer in this holy season in discovering the gem that is your church.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo.