Do You Have Great Information on Your Website?

I ran across this today over at Jay Baer’s Convice and Convert. Guest blogger, Carmen Hill wrote:

Could giving away too much great content actually sabotage sales? As unlikely as it sounds, this is exactly the concern that recently came up in a discussion about B2B (business-2-business) content marketing.

There’s always a risk that prospective customers will take the information you give them and then use it to buy from your competitor instead. But the bigger risk is that they never find you or consider you in the first place, especially when 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they ever contact sales (SiriusDecisions).

Here’s one more thing to consider: 95% to 99% of people will bail rather than fill out your registration form. And of those who do register, the majority will not provide a correct phone number.

Working on the Charleston Animal Society's website.

70% of the Journey is Complete!

That is an amazing statistic but what does that mean for the not-for-profit or church? We’re not selling goods or services – or are we? My friends at the Charleston Animal Society are moving dogs and cats out of their facility every day but what they’re selling is a ‘furever’ friend and the opportunity to provide a loving home to an unwanted animal. Those of us in the not-for-profit and church world are competing in the marketplace of ideas for the public’s time and attention. My guess is that CAS would find a similar statistic if they asked the right questions of those that visit their shelter. People who walk in are very certain that are going to adopt an animal when they show up – they need to be sold the other 30%.The research has shown that the majority of the people who visit a church for the first time have visited the church’s website first. They want to know something about the church before they ever get there.

What’s the Finisher Need to Do?

Search online for your church or group with the mindset of somebody who has heard of your church or group but has never visited. You might enlist the help of friends who are not familiar with your organization.

Figure out what it will take to provide great information that a website visitor can use to make an informed decision as to whether or not to visit you in person. Don’t tell them everything about your organization, it can be overwhelming. For a church it can be what to expect when visiting, ways to be involved, and expectations of members.

When asking people to register online or in person, only ask for the information you need in order to take them to the next step. At St. Andrew’s, we run the Alpha course. For our latest course, we only asked for the participant’s name, phone number, email address, and gender. We asked a few other questions but answering them was clearly optional. We might even scrap asking for the person’s phone number.

Of course, once you figure this all out, a Finisher then needs to sell some this to those that can implement the changes on the website. Being a finisher means being an advocate for connecting people to your organization.

What kinds of information do you believe website visitors need from your website?

One Response to “Do You Have Great Information on Your Website?”

  1. Joy Hunter June 16, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    You need the name of your church, the times of your services, the kinds of services you offer – what it’s like to be there, map and directions, an easy-to-find contact us page, past sermons (possibly), upcoming events/calendar, and photographs. Photographs (really attractive, photographer-taken photographs) of what it’s like to be there, people worshipping, praying, talking, having fun together – no “everyone look here and say cheese” photos.

    There are some church websites I’ve visited and thought, “Gosh, I’d like to go there!” And other websites that are so confusing and overwhelming I click away just to clear my head.

    I’d personally take flash movies off the home page because once you’ve seen them they become a waste of time. If you have a pastor who’s a great communicator have him or her give a clickable video message explaining what your church is up to. Flash movies have their place. Some are great – that’s why we go to Youtube and watch the silly little movies on Facebook, but don’t force people, who always consider themselves “busy” to watch a video that may not be stellar.

    Also a pitch for simple – Krug’s book “Don’t Make Me Think” says it all. Our sites should be clear – things easy to find. Don’t confuse those who visit your site and make them click four times to find what they’re looking for.

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