It’s the year 2022 and people are using the Internet more than ever. It’s not just because technology keeps improving, but also because the pandemic has shown us just how essential the Internet is to keeping us connected.
Now more than ever, people are looking for spiritual connections online, just like every other aspect of their life. Understanding how people are searching for new church communities is essential to attracting new members and growing your ministry.
97% of consumers search for local organizations online. In other words, when community members are looking for a church, they aren’t going to your church to attend your worship service—they’re checking out your website.
With this evolution in how people practice their faith, strengthening your website, social media, and online presence has never been more important. In today’s digital world, churches not only have to minister to in-person attendees, but also have an opportunity to reach millions of people online. In fact, 17 million Americans who don’t even attend in-person worship services on a regular basis visit church websites.
In a post-pandemic world, your online presence is the first impression that people have of your spiritual community.
Creating an Online Worship Experience Is Essential to Remaining Relevant and Growing Your Church.
Your church only has one opportunity to make a first impression, and that impression is no longer limited to the sights and sounds of your church’s worship experience. In fact, the majority of people visiting your church are coming through your digital front door, meaning your website, social media, and other resources they find online.
This became especially true during the pandemic. Determined to continue worship at a time when people felt isolated, church leaders pivoted to ensure their members could still engage with their community from the safety of their homes with 96% of pastors live-streaming their services during the pandemic.
And members showed up in large numbers:
- 45% of Americans watched at least one Christian church online service during the pandemic
- 53% of practicing Christians streamed their church’s services online
As online worship continues to gain traction, research shows it isn’t just a pandemic-inspired phase, but rather a model that upcoming generations demand. In fact:
- Only 41% of Gen Z say that they want to return to primarily in-person worship
- Only 42% of Millennials say they prefer in-person worship—less than the majority
In today’s time, having an engaging online experience is just as important as the in-person experience. Actually, the online experience is even more important for churches, because if people don’t have a good experience and good first impression of your church online, most people will never make it to your church physically.
But, first things first. Before someone can experience your church’s worship online, they will first visit your church website. And, before they visit your church website, they have to find it. And that’s the very first thing you’ll want to make sure is frictionless.
The Very First Impression Your Church Makes
Before people visit your church website or your church, they have to decide whether or not to click on your web address. What do they see when they’re browsing the search engine results, or prompted with a website URL? That is the very first impression your church makes—your domain name. And the most important thing to make a great first impression is to ensure that your domain name is instantly recognizable.
Here’s an example: If these three domain names show up in search results, which one do you think would be instantly recognizable as a church’s website?
Which one do you think visitors will click on? If you guessed cc.church, you are correct. According to research from Microsoft, 25% of people are more likely to click on exact match domains.
With .church as your ministry’s digital front door, your church instantly and clearly invites people to click through to your church website where they can find what they’re looking for. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, a .church domain warmly welcomes new visitors and helps people to remember your church.
Make the most of this opportunity to make the best first impression of your church. Get your .church domain name today at name.church or your favorite registrar. Make sure to include “church” in your search.