- Visitors want to know that your church is “alive”
- Members will use the website as a reference for dates/times, etc
- Keep your content fresh to make Google happy
- Blog – don’t delete!
KEEP IT CURRENT FOR VISITORS
As we mentioned in Commandment #2, it is important to keep the website up to date with “current events” because people want to know that your church is “alive” with activity and to see the types of activities going on in in your church. They want be able to picture themselves and their family taking part in those events.
There is an even more important consideration than keeping “current events” on your website for visitors, but we will discuss that further in Commandment #8 – Thou shall be relevant.
KEEP IT CURRENT FOR MEMBERS
As we mentioned in Commandment #2, members do not use the website as a day-to-day tool for keeping up with what is going on in the life of your church – it would just be too hard for your members to try and keep up with all updates throughout the website for this.
But, we do need to keep current events on the website to be used as a tool in a variety of ways to help the member:
- There should be a church calendar on the website such that people can easily use this as a reference to know the start time for events, their location, etc. Also, if shared as a Google calendar as we recommend, users can easily get that Calendar shared onto their own digital calendars (including their PHONES) to have instant access to this.
- You will want to have an “event blog” on the church website such that the full details of an event can be explained and optimized for search engines, but then a teaser can be posted on the church Facebook page about those events with a link back to the website. This helps encourage members to use the website more when they realize you are doing a great job of keeping the website up to date.
- You can do the same with your email newsletters. If the Pastor wants to write an inspirational article to the congregation (that would also be appropriate for Visitors), then post it on the website, put a headline and the first few sentences in your email with a link to the full letter.
KEEP IT CURRENT FOR GOOGLE
Google likes it when you have fresh content on your website. Google has adapted their search engine to take into account the “freshness” of news and content and likes to see updated content.
Also, every time you add content to your website, that is another opportunity for someone to find that content from a Google search. This relates back to Commandment #1 – Thou shall be found (in Google) and will relate in Commandment #8- Thou shall be relevant – as well.
STEP AWAY FROM THE DELETE KEY…
You will want to make sure to utilize a blog system for lots of your frequently updated content to be sure that you never have to delete any content from the site. People may be finding your website due to a Google search for something and if you remove that content, you miss that opportunity. Also, Google likes to see lots of pages on your website.
Ok, let’s move on to Commandment #4