Getting to the church on time – being visible on web searches

Questions we consider:

  • Is social media more visible than a website?
  • How do businesses and organisations make themselves visible to potential customers?
  • Is there a definitive answer?
  • What should be expected from church websites – and any other websites?
Peter Magnus Design – finding churches and church websites

Getting to the church on time (getting the church times)

Finding a church on the internet should be easy – you would think. I recently visited a village in the south west of Northern Ireland. I wanted to go to church in the evening and discovered that it was harder to find out what was on offer than I expected.

I assumed it would be pretty straight-forward, type a search term, something like ‘(village name) churches’ or ‘churches in (village name)’, visit the various church websites, and do a similar search on Facebook.

Peter Magnus Design - Finding a church on the internet should be easy - you would think

What I wanted from my web search:

  • a little bit about each church
  • what is the address / location?
  • do they have an evening church service?
  • what are the church service times

My website search brought up approx seven churches:

  • some had websites
  • some of the websites weren’t up to date
  • some of the church websites didn’t exist any more
  • some were listed on Google Maps, but some of the listings hadn’t been claimed, so didn’t have much info
  • some were only listed on directories (which didn’t seem to be up to date)
  • some were listed on their denomination’s main website, which worked quite well

My Facebook search showed some churches:

  • some had Facebook pages
  • some didn’t have Facebook pages
  • most or all of the Facebook pages didn’t list the church service times

There was one church website that was very clear and straightforward about:

  • what the church was like
  • their location
  • times of their church services

Their church website appeared to be the only one in the area that had an evening service, so I ended up going there.

What can be learned from this about visibility on the internet?

This story is about an online search / website search for a church and church websites, but there’s plenty of things we can learn about promoting our businesses, charities, organisations or things like events. I was a visitor to the area, so I may have known more about the local churches if I lived in the area. A local person may also be looking for this information.

Information on your website or social media page
Facebook can be good, but information needs to be on the page – and as easy to find as possible. Having clear info on your website is really important, as are giving a bit of thought to levels of importance, and making the information as accessible as possible.

Doing some (SEO) search engine optimisation for your location will improve the chances of your business having good visibility and will help you compete well with your local competition.

Think about different groups of potential customers that might want to find your service.

Do I need a website?

Whether or not you need a website probably depends on what business or service you offer. Because:

  • your website belongs to you and its visibility is controlled by you – in comparison to a Facebook page, or other social media, which is controlled by the social media platform
  • having a website, Facebook page and other social media is probably the best way to make your business really visible
  • a website – even if it doesn’t have loads of info – is still a good fixed point for you to list your services and give potential customers your location and contact details

Best way to promote your business or charity on the internet?

Having a website is good because everyone who has a smartphone or desktop computer has the potential to find you. Having a Facebook page is good, as it’s very much the biggest social media platform. Which social media do you like, and use (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, WhatsApp), using the social media that you like is good, as you hopefully will enjoy using it and posting on it.

Want to talk or meet up?

You’re very welcome to get in contact, about a church website, business websites, charity websites or social media.

We’re always happy to talk on social media, WhatsApp, by phone or message (John 0777 999 1551), email or to meet up – either at your home or workplace or at our office in Abbots Langley (behind the Harry Potter Studio), north Watford, Herts.

Graphic design prices

British graphic design prices

How can British graphic design prices be justified?

Someone recently contacted us, asking for some advice about how much money they should pay to have their older style website updated to be responsive / smartphone friendly. As part of our conversation they let me know the graphic design prices quoted by a British website designer.

It was a WordPress website that needed to be updated with a new smartphone-friendly / responsive theme. I think the cost from the web designer was typical of a British cost for that work – a reasonable cost, but lots more than an amazingly low cost from their current developer who wasn’t British.

Their current website was a bit older in style, had plenty of text content, but very few photos or graphics. There are almost no links and the social media links don’t seem to go to the social media pages. The fact that it had lots of text content was good, but I believe the average visitor wouldn’t be visually attracted.

Peter Magnus Design for Watford brand identities – also Hemel Hempstead & St Albans, Herts
Brand development for Peace Hospice Care, Watford, Herts

Are there benefits in using a British graphic designer?

It made us think, are there good reasons why a good British graphic designer / website designer would charge more money, and could justify what would often be a more costly charges for their website work.

Why would anyone pay a bigger amount of money for their website, when they could get one built for much less money?

A much more attractive and dynamic looking website is what someone may get from a British graphic designer. It may well be that they’d add photos and / or graphics. Most people would agree that in general, Britain is pretty visually aware, and a British designer would normally be expected to have a better understanding of the what are often high visual expectations of the British consumer.

A good British graphic designer should realise that they’re in a competitive marketplace, the graphic design that they’d do for their clients has a good chance of giving a clear message.

Peter Magnus Design websites

Find out more about Peter Magnus Design websites

A good graphic designer should:

  • make suggestions and offer advice
  • have been trained to think
  • ask questions so that they can understand your product or service
  • present your business or organisation really well
  • be resourceful
  • will know how to acquire photos*
  • will be confident in designing graphics, if photos aren’t available
  • have a good awareness of what attracts a British audience

* Our sister business Watford Photographers can help with photography in workplaces, and with product shots.

Price is important, graphic design prices should be considered and getting a good deal is important. Take time to choose a good graphic designer for your website. If you want it to do a good job for you and represent your business or charity well, make sure that your website designer is going to take the time to understand and present your product or service well.

Got a question about websites or want to meet up? Contact John, 0777 999 1551, 01923 350596 or john@petermagnsudesign.co.uk.

I’ll be looking at our approach to SEO (search engine optimisation) in the future blog post.