Utilizing Events and Holidays With Your Church Website
It's time to start seizing lost opportunities!
If you're reading this, then you are probably already aware of how your website is the first place most people will go before visiting your church. But how do you get them to your website to begin with? Of course, you can advertise your church and you will get many people who are already interested in church, but what about the rest of the people in your community?
The Opportunity: What People Are Searching For
Depending on your area, there could be local events, and celebrations that you could join every week, month, and certainly at least every other month. In the U.S. there's a significant cultural celebration every other month that your church can utilize. A major piece to reaching your area is meeting people where they already are - and you can do this on your website.
The Solution: Get Them On YOUR Website
There are 3 steps in getting people on your website when these events come around.
1. Get Involved
Find some way that your church can get involved in cultural events. This will take some creativity on your part. Some ideas could be having a booth or sponsorship for an event, offering to help in the setup, teardown, or running an event. If there's nothing you can join, then consider hosting something yourself. Something as simple as free family photos on Mother's Day, or hosting a family movie night during spring break. PRO TIP: Whenever you do an event yourself make sure you take advantage of corporate sponsorship from within your community, you never know who might be willing to help your event financially.
2. Make A Landing Page
Now that you have your hand in something your community cares about, you can draw interested people to your website by having that information available to them. Depending on the situation, it might be a perfect place to mention your Sunday service, or other activities - but even if it isn't, they have a far better chance of looking around your website then they did before.
3. Advertise Your Page
Many people are numb to advertisements for local churches. However, you can utilize the fact that your landing page is focused on a local community event/celebration that is not specifically church related, which will lead to far more results because people are more interested in the content you're "selling". As a note, you don't have to pay money to advertise either. For events you could go on local radio stations and submit your event if they have that option, or other groups such as eventful, etc. PRO TIP: If you want to get FREE advertising for your church, Google has a program for 501c(3) organizations called Google Grants, which gives you $10,000 in FREE Adwords money PER MONTH! (click here to see about having all of it taken care of for you and your church)
The Results: A Case Study
At Redemption Church Delray Beach, we've taken part in our city's events since day 1, but we've only recently taken this next step of involvement and we've seen huge results. As we've been using Google Grants to advertise our page, we've seen our pages skyrocket for upcoming events.
Our most recent example was the Kidsfest this last Saturday where we:
1. Joined a city event (paid $35 for a booth)
2. Created a landing page with info the city provided on the event (we also added information about our Sunday service the following day)
3. Advertised on Google
The results were astonishing! This event was not publicized at all in our local community (as far as we could tell), but because of our ads alone, we had almost half of our web traffic come because of that one landing page. It's important to note that we were still advertising all our other pages as well which means they didn't take away from other normal hits we get from advertising, but we more than doubled our overall website visits and page views because of a simple $35 event.
On a side note, the event was great! We got to invite a ton of people to church, we got to play pumpkin bowling with a lot of kids and share the Gospel with many people that day.
What Will You Do?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year... And The List Goes On
There's always more opportunities to capitalize on. So what are you going to do about it? People are already searching online year around, why not meet them where they are and have that be your "digital introduction?"