web design

Don’t get a bad review because you didn’t do this…

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

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October is Online Reviews Month at OurChurch.Com.  We have been discussing everything about online reviews; How to get them, where to put them on your website, and how they impact search rankings & people’s decisions.

Most churches think that online reviews will be submitted based on the experience that someone has at their church.  However, what about the possibility of a review being submitted because the church website design was poor?

Reviews that people submit based on their experience at your church will either be positive or negative (we hope they are mostly positive).  However, if someone were to submit a review about your website, it will most likely be a negative review.  Why?

People expect a website to function well, load quickly, and be easy to navigate.  If your website does all of these things, you have met their expectations and nobody will notice.  However, if your website has failed in any of these areas, you open up the possibility that someone may get frustrated and post a negative review.

It is kind of like driving… If you drive to the store and the roads are smooth, have no potholes, and are well marked, you don’t think to yourself, “Wow!  I am going to tell everyone I know that the roads by my house are awesome!”  However, if you have the opposite experience, you may tell your friends or even write your local government officials about how bad the roads are.

So how do you prevent a bad experience on your church website?

Check and Correct

  1. Task someone to review the website at least once per month. This can be a volunteer  or a staff member of the church.
  2. Ask them to visit each page of the church website and click on every link. Make sure they check to see that each page loads properly and each link works (this includes checking links to sermons, online forms. photo galleries, and calendar events).
  3. Have them email the list of issues to the web team or webmaster (if the person checking the website doesn’t have the ability to make any corrections needed).
  4. Split up the site into sections if the website is large.  This way they can review one section of the site each week (and the entire site is still reviewed once per month).

Don’t let your website be the cause for a negative online review.  -Mark Steinbrueck

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What other things can you do to prevent your website from causing a bad online review.  Post your comments and questions below.

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About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

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