Applying Customer Interview Results

New customer insights do not help your digital ministries unless you do something. Your church staff gave up valuable time to make these interviews a success. They will want to see the results. Explore how to apply customer interview results and help your church communications.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 66: You Are Unique, Just Like Everyone Else

cws-podcast-logoJust posting a list of your beliefs and a few pictures of volunteering at a soup kitchen on your website is not enough to get new members into your church. Just like an eCommerce site, you need to establish yourself as a leader in a particular area. What makes you special? If you give your visitors an honest reason why they need to try your church out, you will distinguish yourself online and attract new members.
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Strategic Partners for Online Ministries

Is your church trying to reach a particular demographic? I would surprised if you did not just think “yes, in fact we are trying to reach several”. There are several ways you can test how well your website is reaching those people groups. User interviews, surveys, and usability testing are just a few tools you can use. Yet, the major obstacle is not failing to use those tools. It is finding volunteers. Instead of always looking for volunteers, create partners for your digital ministries.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 55: Your Opinion Does Not Matter

cws-podcast-logoI hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are a pastor in your late 40′s, your opinion of a website aimed at an early 20′s audience really does not matter. Well now that the awkward part of this article is over, I will move on to what really counts; and that is if your church website is meeting the established business goals. In this article I will explore different ways the decision makers can provide good feedback and shape a great experience for your target audience.
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Conducting Stakeholder Interviews

To properly support your church, your website needs to support its high-level strategic goals. If you want to know where your church is going, you will need to ask your leadership. The best way to accomplish this is through stakeholder interviews. This will not only include your primary or lead pastor, but also your various ministry leaders. By gathering input from all areas, you can not only ensure your church is aligned on its long-range goals, but also that your website is crafted to most successfully support it.
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Hunting for Social Media Engagement

Believe it or not, the tactics and strategies used in hunting can be applied to seeking out new website visitors on social media outlets. You will see that these best practices used in the woods can help you get an edge in finding, knowing, and establishing worthwhile relationships with your social media audiences.

My father is an avid hunter, and growing up with him meant spending lots of time in the woods and learning to hunt. I enjoyed many hours walking in the great outdoors, learning about various animals, and developing a great appreciation for nature. I never envisioned that I could apply those lessons to websites, but inspiration comes from all aspects of our lives. In this article, I will relate to my time spent studying the whitetail deer.

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Experience a Disability and Change Your Website

The best way to understand how someone with a disability experiences your website is to step into their bodies for a few minutes. I wrote a few articles about tactical ways to create websites for more disability-friendly interfaces and features. Yet while major companies acknowledge that accessibility is a good thing, they often refuse to build in accessibility features due to budget and timeline constraints. The best way to convince someone of their error is to allow them to experience a disability for themselves first hand.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 17: Do Not Force Identities on Users

cws_podcastIn this episode I will explore the dangers of creating navigation and sections of your site built around the visitor’s identity. While it may seem like a good idea, important parts of your site may seem invisible if the visitor does not identify with it. The best example is how the Dell computer website used to be organized; Home, Work, and Students. Where would a part time student that lives at home while running their own small business click? Similar situations may exist at your church, and I will examine how to identify and avoid those pitfalls.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 10: Determining ROI (Part 1): Comparing Cost

cws_podcastThis episode deals with an important factor when considering what to spend on your church website; return on investment. I wrote about this in a previous article about this subject, but I want to incorporate some ideas and techniques more recently covered; most noteworthy, the use of personas. This is hopefully a way to not only determine what your ROI is for your investment, but how you can target specific groups to help your church grow more easily.
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Find the Right Website Features

The key to having a great church website is not to have a multitude of features, but the ability to highlight the right set of website features to your visitors. Creating something complex is easy. Something simple with the right experience is extraordinarily difficult. In this article I will outline some steps to take to simplify your website while crafting the right experience your visitors want.
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Church Website Critique Guidelines

When it comes time to review pending website updates, things can get out of hand quickly. Feelings can get hurt, broad sweeping statements can be made, and everyone turns into a veteran website designer. With these easy website critique guidelines, turn awkward meetings into productive feedback sessions you will actually look forward to.
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Creating Personas for Your Church

Simply put, personas are fake people based on real data. You most likely have several key markets you are targeting at your church. By pulling real data from various sources, you can create a profile to fit those markets. These profiles are powerful because you can create web experiences crafted just for them. In time, these personas become the focus of discussion rather than personal opinions of your internal teams.
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