Fresh church website content is essential! Consider the following illustration.
Summer is the season for farmer’s markets and produce stands. These markets are often great places to meet people in the community and get great fresh produce. Our minds are filled with idyllic images of farmer’s markets. We couldn’t imagine a produce stand selling completely rotten fruits and vegetables. It’s unthinkable! It would be ridiculous to think that stale or rotten produce would continue to sell in a market.
If that’s so hard to imagine, why don’t we apply the same standard to our church websites? Many church websites lack fresh content. Their content is “stale.” Yet they expect visitors (both inside and outside the congregation) to keep coming back to their website. This works about as well as selling stale, rotten produce at a farmer’s market.
Why is fresh content so important?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a term for making your website visible on search engines like Google. One reason to regularly update your church website content is to improve your church website SEO. You’ll likely be more visible to web visitors if you are keeping your content fresh.
Staying on top of content updates doesn’t just improve your SEO metrics. It also encourages your congregation to stay engaged with your website. Your website should serve church members as well as visitors. Your congregation will find reasons to stay engaged with your website if your content is updated regularly.
Here are a few ideas to get you inspired to add new content to your church website on a regular basis!
Hosting a church picnic over the summer? Is your church running a VBS for the local community? Keep your congregation and the community at large updated with what’s going on! Simple reminders posted to your blog or church calendar are easy. Even better, a video recap of a special event is engaging and eye-catching. Events offer an easy opportunity to update your website without coming up with any special, time-intensive content ideas.
A “Letter from the Pastor”
First ARP Church of Burlington has implemented a creative practice to keep their church website content fresh. Each week, they update their ‘Letter from the Pastor’ page with new details regarding the upcoming Sunday service. They also give potential guests an idea of what to expect from the church. This website page is updated every week and contains information relevant to both church members and new visitors alike.
A church blog is a great channel for keeping your congregation in the loop and showcasing your values and vision to potential guests. A blog article could be as simple as an event update. It could also be more in-depth, like an interview with a church member concerning a specific ministry that they work with. A blog is also a great place to share articles written by the pastor and other church leaders to equip the congregation for the work they have been called to. Here is a great example from Columbia Presbyterian Church.
Each week you have the opportunity to add new sermons to your online sermon library. This allows web visitors to listen to a sample sermon. It also allows your church members to catch up on a sermon they might have missed.
Share value with your members and guests
If the purpose of your church website is to welcome newcomers and equip your own members, regular content updates are essential. Without them, your website probably won’t get the visibility it needs to thrive and your members won’t have a reason to continuously engage with your site. They just won’t see a reason to keep coming back.
However, if you regularly create fresh church website content, you’ll contribute to better SEO and you’ll engage your congregation through your website. It’s a win-win!