Google updated its search engine recently. Reports say that it is the biggest update in recent times. Many commentators are calling this update #mobilegeddon. Why did they update it and why should it matter to you as a leader in a church?
Google has been tracking the rise of its users on the internet using their smart phones and tablets (You may even be reading this on yours right now). They have decided that more users are now using the internet on their phones than ever before and therefore they are changing how they are ranking websites search results (yes, even yours) according to how mobile-friendly they are.
What does that mean for your church website?
It means if your church website isn’t mobile friendly then your search ranking will fall. That means people who are searching out churches in your area will find other churches first if they are more mobile friendly than your church website.
Is that incentive enough for you?
My team and I measure all our church website traffic and know that at least on average 50% of our traffic are new people visiting it for the first time. Many are coming through search engines like Google.
Your site is probably like ours. Many people are checking you out. Potential first time visitors.
Ask yourself this question, what happens when they don’t see our church website next time in the search engine results?
Can you imagine the urgent response you would make if visitors couldn’t find their way into your physical location. You would move heaven and earth to make it as easy as possible. It’s the same for online. Make it as easy as possible for potential visitors to discover your church in the search ranking.
Remember your church website is the virtual front door to your church.
So where should you start?
Firstly, check to see if your church website is actually mobile-friendly. Mobile friendly websites are called responsively designed websites (Read more about them here, it includes some beautiful examples) If your site doesn’t change it’s shape when in a mobile phone then you are not mobile-friendly.
If that is your church website. Talk to a church website developer and ask them to update your website into a responsively designed website.
Before you have a knee-jerk reaction and rush out to the nearest developer check out the seven lessons I learnt when developing our own responsively designed website a few years ago.
Why should Pastors care?
Chances are that money for this is unfunded in your budget. Don’t worry, it won’t break your bank to update your website. But chances are your web person hasn’t budgeted for this update.
Changing this is a senior leadership issue. Not a middle management issue.
This is why it is a leadership call. Call your church secretary, or whoever helps run your church finances and tell them about the urgency of the issue.
Don’t let your church website be a victim of #mobilegeddon. Get on the front foot and do something about it. Update your church website to become mobile-friendly.