The way we use the internet is constantly changing so the way we build church websites cannot stand still. If we want to serve people well we need to create websites that meet their needs and deliver on their expectations.
Here are 12 statistics about online behaviour to drive the development of your church's website.
More people visit websites from mobile devices (52.64%) than desktop computers
This does vary by industry and region, but since 2015/16 more Google searches have been on mobile devices. In addition, 30% of searches on a mobile device are related to location. This means that your church website must work well on both desktop and mobile devices.
Impressions about a website are formed in the first 50 milliseconds
The visual appeal of a website is established incredibly fast – within 50 milliseconds. However, a case study by Nucleus Church revealed that 96.2% of church websites fail the first impression test and 8 out of 10 church websites failed more than one part of the first impression test.
On average, people only read one quarter of text on a page
Most people scan text on a website – reading 28% of words on an average visit. This means that the use of headings is particularly important to help people who are scanning to easily find what they are looking for.
People spend most of their online time on sites other than yours
Your church website is just one of many sites that people will visit. This means that, as Jakob Nielsen writes:
“Users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know. Design for patterns for which users are accustomed.”
85% of the internet users in the U.S. watch videos online
The 25-34 age group watches the most online videos, and adult males spend 40% more time watching videos on the internet than females. People aged 18-14 watch 83 minutes of video a week and 73% of Americans use YouTube. This means that there are many people who are hungry for video-based content.
40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load
Of all the factors that were mentioned for rejecting or mistrusting a website, 94% were design related and only 6% were content related
In a study about trust, participants mentioned design related issues 15 times more than content related issues. This means that design of your church website is even more important than its content for establishing trust with visitors.
64% of consumers expect companies to interact with them in real time
Immediacy is an increasing expectation – 64% of consumers and 80% of business buyers said they expect companies to respond to and interact with them in real time. This means that there is both a growing expectation (and opportunity) to serve people – especially answering their questions – while they are on your church website.
78 percent of consumers in the United States read reviews before making a purchase decision
As an article on Entrepreneur summarised:
“People take positive reviews and high ratings as social proof a product or service is worth the purchase. They reason, “This has great reviews, so I’m buying it.”
This means that it's a good idea to check what reviews exist for your church website on Google, and encourage people who love your church to post an authentic review.
Three out of four searches begin on Google
This varies by country – in Australia Google has 87.1% market share, and in the U.S. the proportion is 78.7%. This means that optimising your church website so it can easily be found on Google is extremely important.
The average attention span today is less than that of a goldfish
The average human attention span has declined from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds now. This means that your church website needs to understand the needs of the people who are visiting and meet them as quickly and easily as possible.
As one author summarised:
“It’s your job to understand what your customer ultimately wants to accomplish and how they want to accomplish it.”
Lack of contact information annoys 54% of users
When asked what causes them to leave a vendor website, 44% of survey respondents indicated “No Contact Information/Phone Number”. This means that your church website needs to be better than most and not only provide contact information but also respond to the people when they contact you.