If you are like most pastors, you know that your church needs multiple ways to connect and engage with new and returning visitors. An excellent website that promotes online engagement is a must to cast your church’s vision, provide relevant information, stream services, and accept donations just to name a few. And to broaden your reach, you will also have to stay active on social networks like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, etc. And, throughout the church’s calendar year, there are events that your church can be strategic and focused on promoting. But, who has the time and energy for doing all of this?
Take a breath and relax. Your church doesn’t need to be everywhere on social media. Rather, choose one or two social networks that work best for you and focus your energy on growing and connecting with people there. It’s more valuable to master one or two social networks than to spread yourself too thin and wind up being mediocre in too many places.
This is also where having a web page connected to a meaningful domain name can be so valuable.
Here are 5 ways to increase your church’s online engagement:
- Short, meaningful web address: Your digital front door—otherwise known as your web address. This is your church’s digital presence on the Internet that’s accessed by people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A great web address is short, clear, searchable, and matches your church’s name exactly. These characteristics make it easy for your congregation, staff, and visitors to remember and to share with others. A couple of great examples are Canvas.church and Myhope.church.
- Custom domains for promotional campaigns: A technique that uses a short, memorable domain name for a promotion and redirects to your website. For churches, a .church domain may be more notable for people who see billboards or other out-of-home church marketing materials. Blessed Hope Fellowship, for example, uses BHF.Church in their billboard campaigns, which is easy to remember for drivers who can’t look it up while driving.
- Branded, short link for social media: Many social media platforms have links that are long, and might contain random letters and numbers that are hard to remember for your visitors. Instead of using these, use a short, branded, memorable domain name that goes directly to your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media pages. For example, Oswego.church uses this domain to drive traffic to their Facebook page, which they actively update with relevant information for their members.
- Deep link: Use a custom domain name to send users directly to a specific web page that has a long URL. For example, bettertogetherevent.church is much easier to remember and to share, and it goes to the event page at https://victorylifepeople.
church/better-together- christmas/. Churches can use .church domains to link directly to event landing pages, donation or giving pages, or membership drive campaigns so interested people don’t have to navigate your entire website to find what they are looking for.
- Redirect: A technique for making a web page available under more than one URL address. For churches that already have a URL, they might use defensive redirects. Take Get Well Church for example, which uses Getwell.church to redirect to Getwellchurch.org to prevent people from visiting a website other than their own. For churches that are rebranding, or upgrading their domain names, they can also use 301 redirects to keep all of the SEO equity they had on the old website while enjoying the benefits of the new web address. 301 redirects essentially tell search engines that the old site is now the new site. They are easy to set up at your registrar.
Whatever use case you might have, .church can help you strengthen your digital engagement. Get your .church domain today.
This post is sponsored by Identity Digital.