Church Website Content Checklist
Bill Gates famously once said: “Content is king!” That’s his exclamation point, not mine – but I definitely agree with the sentiment. He is Bill Gates after all. However, I would take it a step further and say: “Clear, concise, compelling and catalytic content is king!” Any individual or organization has the ability to create content, but only a select few generate heart-grabbing content. Church websites, for example, are notorious for overloading visitors with information rather than connecting with people on an emotional level. So how do you develop rich and engaging content? Start by asking: “What content does our audience desire?”
Engage both the head and the heart …
Every organizational website includes two forms of content: 1) Brain Content and 2) Heart Content. Brain content is informative and knowledge driven. Heart content is inspiring and emotional. These two are not at odds with each other; rather, they work together to give visitors a total experience. Each serves a specific purpose. Let’s take a closer look at these two forms of content and how they function on your website:
Brain content is a necessity. Every website has it, and people expect to find it. It requires pieces of prime digital real estate.
Here are some examples of brain content:
- Service Times and Location
- Event Specifics
- Contact Information
- What to Expect
- Ministry Descriptions
Make sure you provide brain content in a way that is easily digestible and accessible to visitors. Keep it clear and concise. But remember – while brain content is an essential component of your website (people always need to know service times and contact info), it is not what captivates people.
Heart Content is how you connect with people. It is what you have to offer them. It is why they want to be a part of your church. It is the benefit they will receive by being a member of your congregation.
Here are some examples of heart content:
Relationships – People want relationships. They are looking for friends and mentors. They long for love and acceptance. Show people how they will find relationships in your church. Tell them how you will enrich their lives. Use photographs and relationship-centered content to communicate the heart and personality of your church. Include information about your pastors’ and leaders’ education, hobbies, family, inspirations, etc.
Growth – Everybody wants to grow. People want to become who they could be and should be. We actively seek out ways to become better people. Do you communicate on your website how your church helps people grow spiritually, emotionally and relationally? Make sure your content tells people what you will give them. Don’t just talk about how they can help your church grow; talk about your church can help them grow.
Contribution - The secret of living is giving. People want to leave their “world” a better place. Whether that world is their family, their community or the entire planet, they want to contribute. Deep in the hearts of all people is the desire to love and give. Do you offer people the opportunity to contribute their talents and gifts? Use your website to show people different ways they can get involved and make a contribution.
The very heart and soul that makes churches unique often gets left out of church websites. Don’t make that mistake. Anyone can offer content for the brain. Distinguish your church by offering content that touches the heart. Provide people content that is clear, concise, compelling and catalytic. Don’t just aspire to gain more parishioners; aspire to inspire them.