By Vince Williams
July 10, 2013
Having a church website is great. You can rally and inform your current members, and invite or introduce people from your community to your church and beliefs. But just having a website doesn’t work. You need to find ways to promote your site effectively so that people will visit.
Unfortunately, it is no longer enough to just tell people you have a website. Today individuals, as well as companies and non-profits, all have websites. (I personally have 6 unique sites.) This means that just having a website is no longer a draw. The novelty of the web is long gone. Today’s Internet requires engagement and purpose.
The goal of this article is not to discuss the quality, look, or navigation of your website. Many articles have been written on those subjects, and I suspect many more have yet to be written. Here I want to focus on how to effectively promote your website. You need to get people to want to engage with your website. So let’s explore some ways to promote your site and make sure people want to visit.
5 Best Practices to Promote Your Website
1. Give them a reason to visit. As stated above, the web is no longer a novelty. In order to effectively draw people to your site you will need to tell them why they should visit. Simple directives such as “Get directions at,” “service times available online at,” or “find out what events are going on in your community” will help to give your URL purpose and drive interaction.
2. Make the URL easy to read. The rules for web domains have changed a lot in the past decade. Most domains are at least two words and need to be easily read. In order to assure that your website will be quickly read, use Camel Case. Camel Case is the practice of capitalizing the first letter of each word. For example, one of these is clearly easier to read: justanyolddomain.org compared to JustAnyOldDomain.org.
3. Skip the technical prefix. The old days of http://www.YourDomain.org are over. In fact, in order to save space, many companies today use only their actual domain and suffix, e.g. YourDomain.org. By keeping the URL shorter you can often make it larger, helping it stand out on your banners, billboards or other printed material. (On a technical note, you’ll need to make sure your web server is configured to deliver your website with and without the “www” subdomain.)
4. Target their interests. Targeted URL’s that use landing pages are one of the most effective ways to get interest and keep it once someone visits your website. For example, you post a banner that says “Join us this week for VBS” with the web address YourDomain.org/FunForKids. This tells the reader that this webpage will be focused on their interests—giving their kids a fun experience. Then, be sure to follow through on that promise and make the landing page all about fun for kids. If you can’t create a landing page, at least take them to your children’s ministry page. Make sure your targeted URL doesn’t lead to your generic home page.
5.Try a Quick Code. Quick Response Codes (or QR Codes) have grown in popularity as mobile technology expands. These tools can be great, but they are not the right tool for everything you use to promote your church. Only use QR codes when the audience is likely to use their mobile devices to view your materials. Having a QR Code at the doors of your service to promote paperless bulletins is great, while putting one on a banner that people are driving by will be fairly useless. Don’t get caught up in the novelty. Use QR codes correctly and people will engage with your site.
In the end, how you promote your website will determine whether someone will bother to view it. Promote it correctly and you’ll get even more people engaging with your church website and, ultimately, with your church.