Mobile website

The Mobile Friendly Church Website

Will you do me a favor as you begin reading? Go to your church’s website on your mobile device and see how it performs. Is it easy to read? Is it easy to navigate? Is it mobile responsive (do you have to pinch and expand a lot… if so it’s not mobile responsive)? Are you quickly and easily able to find what you are looking for through the mobile site.

Will you do me another favor? Will you go to your Google Analytics account (I hope you have one) and check how much of your traffic is mobile?  My guess is that it is around 50%. If it is less than that it’s probably because you don’t have a very good website for mobile and mobile visitors aren’t returning.  

The bottom line to this is that your church’s website needs to be “mobile responsive.”  That means that it responds to the platform that it’s on whether a desktop, tablet, or desktop to deliver the optimal experience for that device. You likely don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to do that! Website developers do. If your website is not mobile responsive today you need to make this a top priority and either hire a developer to make it responsive or build you a responsive site or move to a platform like Squarespace or Wix that automatically makes all sites mobile responsive.  

Having a mobile responsive website will also optimize your Google ranking and provide so much value to your visitors.  Just having a mobile responsive site is not enough though. Your content must be optimized for a mobile user. You don’t want to be too wordy or have too many images that force too much scrolling. You also don’t want to have long forms that people will likely abandon if it requires too much information. Your site should be simple in nature communicating clearly and directly with simple calls to action.  

Likely, your visitors are coming to your site for 3 reasons: 
To visit your church/attend a service
Watch a sermon
Make a Donation

Test out these 3 things on your mobile device and see how easy it is to get this information/navigate an online donation. If it’s frustrating for you it will be frustrating for others.  Take time to visit some other church websites on your mobile and see how they communicate these things and how you might be able to learn from their website layout.  

The mobile trend won’t be slowing down anytime soon and you will likely need to begin thinking through how your website functions on a watch or tv as these various technologies and integrations continue to expand the world of mobile.

Google Analytics: Understanding Your Need for Mobile

A couple of years ago the word mobile started becoming the buzz around technology circles.  Web developers discussed the need for mobile apps or a mobile friendly website.  People often blow it off because they don't use mobile to surf the web or they embrace it blindly trusting the "experts".  With Google Analytics you can track your website and see how many people view the site on a mobile device, here's how: When you enter Google Analytics first go to the "Audience" Tab, then click "Mobile", then "Overview".  Scroll down below the graph and you will see this information:

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 8.47.43 PM
Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 8.47.43 PM

The "No" tells you how many people are viewing your site on a laptop or desktop computer.  The "Yes" tells you how many people are viewing your site on a mobile device.  My guess is that your statistics will look much like ours if you track over the past two years and the mobile number continues to grow steadily.  Because of our tracking this information we have chosen to move forward with both a mobile optimized website and a native mobile app.  I will be eager to see how these numbers change as we not just understand that mobile is important to our audience, but we optimize the web experience for those mobile users.

By the way, I noticed that around 30% of you on this blog prefer to view the site on a mobile device.  Yet another reason why I love having the Standard Theme with their natural mobile friendly functionality!

Have you gone mobile or considering the need to be more mobile friendly?  Do you see similar trends in your web analytics?