You’ve probably got some questions. This page will help you get some of those answered, and give you an idea of what the process of working with the Internet Outreach Experts will be like. If your question isn’t addressed here, please let us know using the contact us page.
WHAT CAN INTERNET OUTREACH EXPERTS DO FOR our church THAT OTHER WEBSITE SERVICES CAN’T?
Most companies that offer web design services for churches are run by people who are primarily websites designers. Makes sense, right? A web designer would build a company that designs websites. Internet Outreach Experts was founded by a Pastor and Internet Marketer, so our focus is on making life easier for church staff and growing the church through online outreach. Website maintenance and promotion are in service to those goals.
First, we want to free your church staff to do ministry by having a reliable expert handle maintenance of the website. Church staff are too busy and valuable to be expected to stay 100% on top of the website in addition to their other duties, but your church’s online presence is also too important to leave in the hands of anyone but the best volunteer. We provide a team of experts that can update, add content, troubleshoot, create designs, and solve your website related problems for you in a timely manner.
Second, we want to help you build an online presence that will help actually grow your church. To that end, we go far above and beyond what others offer by including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), graphic design and social media guidance with our Ministry Partner package. Why do we offer these services? Because they’re necessary for effective outreach of your congregation’s local community using the internet.
To reach people with the message of the Gospel, you have to make sure they hear it. In the digital age, that means an online presence. People check the web before doing anything new. You have to convince people to visit on your website before they give you an opportunity to see them in a church service. Your church’s website is the first impression it will make on countless thousands of potential guests; it is your public face to the community. Our sites are designed to help potential guests feel comfortable and excited about visiting your church.
People today, especially younger people, expect multimedia to look professional, and to be updated on a regular basis. We’ll help you with updates and graphic design needs on an ongoing basis.
Let’s not forget that the greatest source of potential growth for your church is already sitting in the pews. An effective social media strategy will let you passively leverage what your congregation members are already doing, and make it easier for them to invite their friends to church. This is especially true of young people; many Millennials need to hear that your church is a great place from someone they trust before they’ll risk a visit.
HOW DO WE DO OUTREACH ONLINE?
Having the most beautiful, welcoming website in existence won’t help your church if no potential guest ever sees it. Your website needs to be seen by people in the community for people to find out more about your church. This can be done using a variety of methods that we’ll train your church in and help you get set up.
WHAT ONLINE OUTREACH SHOULD OUR CHURCH BE DOING?
There are 3 main types of outreach that we recommend and can help you with.
First, social media is the ideal place to promote your church locally, especially if members of your church are already spending time online. All of our clients receive access to our latest training videos showing how to use Facebook Ads to grow your church, but we can assist Ministry Partners with additional expertise and feedback on specific campaigns. Managing your church’s Facebook ads account is a separate service, however.
Second, Google Ads are the easiest way to reach those in your community who are actively searching for a place to worship. These aren’t right for every church, depending on where you live, but we’ll show you how you can apply for $10,000 a month in free ads from Google to get people in your community to your church’s website. If free ads aren’t right for your church (competition sometimes makes these ineffective in more populous areas), then we offer training in how to use the paid version of Google Ads for churches as well. Managing your church’s Google Ads account is a separate service, however.
Third, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best way to reach those in your community who are actively searching for a church. In short, SEO is the science of getting your website to show up at the top of the search engine’s results for any given search.
This is important because you want people looking for a church on Google to see your website, and they won’t if it doesn’t show up on the first page. When was the last time you went to the second or third page of results for a Google search? The same is true with churches; if your church isn’t on the first page when someone is searching for a church in your area, they will not find your church.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS FROM ONLINE OUTREACH?
It takes time to set up an effective outreach campaign, but some strategies bear fruit more quickly.
The first thing you need is an excellent website, or a really spectacular Facebook page. If you’re creating your website with us, our turnaround time is heavily dependent on getting content from our clients. Assuming that things go well, we can usually get you online with a completed website in one to two months.
Facebook ads can be started at any time, but often work better when you have a website already in place. You usually want to wait until your website is done to start doing SEO or Google Ads. Google Ads you can start very quickly once your website is complete.
For SEO, getting your church to the top of the Google search results can be a time consuming and difficult process, depending on your area. Larger cities may take months, for instance, but smaller areas may see results in just a few weeks. It takes time and effort to work on each term, and maintenance to keep you at the top once you get there.
ARE THESE OUTREACH METHODS SOMETHING OUR CHURCH CAN DO OURSELVES?
Absolutely, anyone can do this, but it can be tricky. The problem with Facebook and Google is that they change their rules all the time. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, and it’s very difficult to keep abreast of all of these changes. Using the wrong strategies might even hurt your website’s results! Using a non-expert for this will often yield non-expert results.
WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN THAT YOU’LL HELP US WITH OUR “ONGOING GRAPHIC DESIGN NEEDS”?
We’ll help your church with graphic design work. That means that if you decide you want a new graphic for the bulletin, or the newsletter, or a new sermon series, we’ll do the graphic design work for you. Ever wish you had someone on staff who could provide catchy bulletin graphics, newsletter graphics, VBS flyers, sermon series graphics, youth group materials, custom Sunday School graphics instead of clip art, or T-shirt designs? Now you will. This frees up your church staff to get out of the office and into the community!
HOW CAN I GET OTHERS IN MY CHURCH INTERESTED IN GETTING OUR CONGREGATION ONLINE?
You’re a forward thinker who realizes the need for your church to invest in its online presence to survive in the 21st Century. How do you convince the leaders of your church of that?
For some folks it may take a work of the Holy Spirit. Pray for God’s guidance. Show them this website. Tell how much you’d like to see your kids and grandkids taken care of by doing something that would make them more likely to come to church. Be a squeaky wheel. Request a packet of brochures over the help desk.
DO YOU HAVE ANYONE WHO CAN MEET WITH MY BOARD/SESSION/ETC?
As he’s available, our lead consultant, Rev. Dave Baker, would be more than happy to talk to the leaders of your church by phone or skype. You can request a meeting or consult using the contact us page.
HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST?
Our costs are extremely competitive, especially at the top level of service, and there are options to fit every budget. See our pricing page for more information.
CAN WE GET YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGN, SEO, SOCIAL MARKETING, ETC SERVICES FOR OUR EXISTING WEBSITE?
While we always recommend getting a consultation on your current web presence, we do offer custom solutions for your existing website. There may be start up costs involved depending on the service, however. Contact us here to request a custom quote.
HOW EASY ARE YOUR SITES TO UPDATE?
All of our websites use the very popular WordPress Content Management System to make them as easy as possible to for anyone to edit the content (but not the layout) of the sites. You can make changes in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, upload pictures directly from your computer, etc. at any time that you wish. However, we hope that you’ll have our staff doing much of the regular updates and maintenance so that your staff will have more time for other things.