While we celebrated the New Year three months ago (let’s hear it for 5779!), another kind of new year is upon us. And, as you’re busy making (or already breaking) your personal New Year resolutions for 2019, now is a great time to extend a little self-care and love to your synagogue’s website.
Our New Year resolutions for synagogue websites are based on the simple idea that your website is the core of your marketing strategy. Ask yourself – does your website present your synagogue in a positive light? Does your synagogue website effectively communicate the vibrancy of your community to a prospective member? Do current members actively use your site? Whatever your answers are today, by this time next year, make it a goal for the above questions to be answered with a resounding yes.
The Internet moves fast. A website designed as little as 5 years ago, may feel completely outdated by today’s standards. If the last time you updated your site was 2013 or 2014, then you are due for a new look. A website redesign doesn’t require you to remortgage your building, and it’s probably more affordable than you think. At Addicott Web, our specialty is working with synagogues and Jewish non-profits and are our prices are designed to meet the needs of our clients. Get in touch ->
By the time Purim rolls around, there should be no trace of the High Holidays on your homepage. Old information does more than make your website feel stale. An out-of-date website diminishes the likelihood of your members using it as their go-to source for information. The best way to keep your website current is to ensure that someone is actively updating the site consistently. Seems simple enough…. but figuring out whose responsibility it is to maintain the site may be a resolution in and of itself for your congregation.
Ever wonder how many people are visiting your website? Or, are you curious to see the pages they are viewing? By tracking your website with Google Analytics, a free service, you can learn the answers to these questions. Work with your website provider, or us, to get started. Then, use this information to better meet the needs of your readers. If the Clergy page generates a lot of traffic, take a good look at that page. Think of how you can build upon it and make it more relevant to your readers. On the other hand, if you have a section not getting much attention, consider why. Perhaps it is not needed on your website, or maybe it’s hard for readers to find. Don’t continue to blindly update your website with no knowledge of how your site is actually being used.
You can’t have a great synagogue website without great images. There is no way around it. The web is a visual medium and what people see needs to look good. Empty sanctuary pictures certainly have no place on your website, but if your pics featuring bright happy people are blurry or low-quality, they’ve got to go. Investing in high-quality photography makes a big difference and we encourage you to up the quality of your photographs this year.
Your website is more than an online bulletin board. It’s easy for events to dominate your homepage. After all, everything from services to programs fits into the category of an event. By building a website focused on community, friendship, and developing a closer relationship to Judaism, your site will evoke the kind of feelings that encourage a person to get to know your congregation. Think of your website as an introduction to your congregation and your synagogue is more than the sum of the next 10 events.
The beauty of a new year is that it offers a chance for a fresh start. It’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what went well with your website and what you’d like to change in the upcoming months. Harness the energy of this time of year and improve your website – we promise – you’ll enter 2020 with no regrets.
Curious to learn more about what’s involved with a website redesign?