Ready for the Bad Weather?

Snow, sleet, icy roads– these are a given for many of our customers this time of year, along with the delays and cancellations that go along with them. We wanted to remind you that we have a feature designed just for sharing such urgent messages!

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 3.35.28 PMThe alert feature is designed to share cancellations, delays and other important, time-sensitive announcements. When turned on, a window will appear on the first page anyone visits on your website, whether is the homepage or interior page. They can click “ok” to close this window, where it will be minimized at the bottom right of the screen, in case they need to view it again.

The alert is a full content editor, meaning that the text is fully customizable and you can add a link or an image (like the example at the left) if you chose.

This tool is available on our Plus or higher service plans. To find instructions and start using this tool, please see this article in our Help Center. Not sure which service plan you’re on or want to upgrade to the Plus plan? Send us an email!

We also have another gift for you— this one for all of our customers! We have weather related images to our free image gallery. These would work perfectly with the alert feature, or in a homepage slideshow, or on your social media feeds.


These images, and the rest of our free images, are available in our free image gallery.

As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions about this feature and the images.


SEO Tips: Build links using social media and location apps

In an earlier post, we addressed a few basics about on-page optimization. WhichStay Connected using Social Media and Websites are basics for all website building, even if Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t a priority for you. In this post, we’ll get into a few tips that you can do to help drive traffic to your website and build high-quality links (or healthy links) to your website. Which helps improve your SEO, because Google likes to see that other sources are referring or linking to your site. And that people are actually clicking to visit your website. Here are three of the easier ways to build links and traffic:

  1. Build, claim or update your Google+ Brand Page (formerly known as Google+ Pages). Even if you aren’t using Google+, you need to build a page and be sure it has your website, contact information, good quality short content about your organization, and ideally some relevant pictures of your church, school, etc. More and more often, Google+ results show at the top of search results. For this reason alone, we recommend to our customers to set up their Google+ page.
  2. Use social media to build links. Build content on your website, then build posts or tweets for Facebook and Twitter to share those links. Sharing your content snippets on your social media creates links that are naturally clicked by followers – and that shows that users are interested in your site. Do this for all the content you can – events, announcements, new pictures you added to your website, cancellation updates, blog posts, release of volunteer schedules, sign-ups required – you get the idea!
  3. Get your organization on location based apps. Many people use location based apps such as Yelp or Foursquare, to find anything – which can certainly include a church or school. Is your church or school listed? Claim or build your listing and be sure that your website is listed in the post. Next, explore other online listing or directories that are applicable for your organization. These can be great link building updates to your SEO, and can make you more visible to the people you’re hoping to reach.

In addition to the above, be sure that your social media pages all have a link back to your website and your website has icons or links to your social media pages. Be sure your posts and tweets include links to your website as often as is practical. If you are a DIS | Faithwebsites customer, be sure to tap into the power and efficiency of Social Stream, our integrated social media tool.

Customer’s Great Ideas: Blogs

We recently shared how you can get started with a blog for your organization. If you haven’t already, read our simple tips on how to begin blogging and stick to it successfully!

blog_crop_computerWe have many customers who are already blogging and we would like to share a few great examples of blogs on our customers’ websites.

One of the tips from our “How to Start a Blog” post suggested using a variety of authors. Bethany Academy does just this! They have many authors, which keeps the posts fresh and also makes the blog easier to maintain. One customer of ours even has students and parents blog about their favorite things about the school, which can create a great impression for your prospective parents! Take a look at the Bethany Academy blog to see how they are using several different authors on one blog.

Catholic East Elementary has many of their teachers using a classroom blog on their faculty pages. The teacher shares what is going on in her classroom with parents and the students also write blog posts! This not only helps build content and engage the parents, but it also doubles as a writing exercise for the students. Blog posts by 1st graders are not just interesting, but also adorable. Check out Mrs. Albert’s classroom blog for inspiration.

Pastor Shawn from Trinity Lutheran Church ends each of his blog posts with an invitation for comments or for others to share their thoughts. This is the perfect way to encourage engagement and start a conversation. Head over to Pastor Shawn’s blog and share your thoughts!

One Body One Hope shares images in many of their posts. You might be getting tired of hearing us talk about images all of the time, but they are a great way to draw your users in and connect them to what you are saying. Images are particularly important for One Body One Hope because they are a bi-national organization, partnering American churches with Liberian churches. Using images in their updates helps the American readers connect with what is happening in Liberia. Visit the One Body One Hope blog and let their beautiful images draw you into their content. 

This sampling shows just a small array of ideas – blogs can be used for all types of purposes and audiences. Their common goal is to provide a steady stream of new content. New content which not only helps communicate to your users, but helps your search engine optimization too! Give thought to starting a blog (or two!) on your site today.

Infographic: 10 Reasons to Have a Mobile Site

With smartphones growing and taking the majority share of mobile phone usage in America this year, you cannot afford to ignore the need for a mobile site. At FaithWebsites, we are excited to have released an add-on product that enables you to take your current site and create a mobile version of it with very little time or effort!

In case you are still on the fence regarding whether to make the move to a mobile site or not, here is a great infographic that lists 10 reasons why you need a mobile site. While the perspective of this infographic is for business and retail – the statistics and principles apply to all online users. More and more people are browsing on their smart phone for everything – and that includes church, school and faith topics. The statistics of users who have made a purchase reflects the percentage of users making decisions on their smartphones – and those decisions will include donations, which church to visit, which service to attend, and more.

Full infographic below, which is available for download here.

Content Submitted By: Lisa G.

Blending Your Website and Social Media

Feel like you’re juggling so many posts, pages, tweets, and more? You’re not alone! Many of our customers share that keeping up with all the social media and online publishing is overwhelming.

There are a few strategies that your organization can adopt that will not only make things easier to manage and maintain, but also will make things easier for your end-users. It’s a win-win that’s worth the effort to create and implement.

Make your website your center hub

When you post to social media they should always revert back to the big picture, your website. Social media in a sense, should be advertising for your website, the primary user hub. Managing social media becomes easier when you are able to take small excerpts from written script on your website and share them with your audience.

Schedule In Advance

There are many programs and applications that will allow you to post right onto your website and share that post via social media directly from that program. Work smarter not harder by connecting your social profiles to your CMS and post directly to your social profiles instantly. There are many opportunities from applications like Buffer, Hootsuite and more, that allow you to schedule your posts in advance so you are not constantly having to monitor what your posting everyday. If you set a day aside to focus primarily on social media, you can schedule posts for as far as two weeks and more on other applications.

Game Plan

There are many companies and brands that have a set game plans in order to keep their audience intrigued with the content they are posting.  Some brands set days for specific posts (i.e. Motivational Mondays, Transition Tuesday, Worship Wednesday etc.).  When you delegate a plan of action it creates an environment that becomes easier to create content for.  Content should be from the heart in order for it to become mainstream.  Make sure you’re relaying messages and not just advertisements.



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