FELT-NEEDS LANDING PAGES
Creating optimized content on pages separate from your main website opens a broad opportunity to communicate online with non-churchgoers who are seeking answers or experiencing felt-needs for which they may not otherwise connect God or the church as a place to start. This is a great chance to plant new seeds in the community and attract a new audience to your church.
What Are Felt-Needs?
Let’s start with a classical definition of felt-needs: a need that is experienced consciously that may relate to a sense of deprivation or a discrepancy with the affective ideal.
That sounds about right, but what does that even mean? When we think of felt-needs in today’s society we often think of things like parenting teenagers, marital issues, financial stewardship, or even how to be a better friend. Felt-needs are easily recognizable and usually call for some immediate attention or action. Hunger is a felt-need.
Felt-needs usually demand attention away from unfelt-needs — that is, deeper spiritual needs that have gone unrealized. Felt-needs are often a mask for unfelt-needs, either deterring us from a root cause and allowing us to ignore the greater unfelt-need. By addressing felt-needs, it’s possible to reset the table to address weightier concerns.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36
Jesus seemingly speaks to felt-needs when it comes to the Kingdom of God (Matthew 25:31-46). Also, in Matthew 9:35-38 Jesus recognizes that the people are in need and have afflictions. However, He doesn’t say I know you have problems (felt-needs), but they’re just a distraction — you need Me. He says, I know you have problems — because you don’t know Me.
With much debate as to whether the church should preach felt-needs, we simply recognize that using digital landing page content to address felt-needs in the community is a proven way to build a bridge so that deeper unfelt-needs can be addressed.
What Is A Landing Page?
A landing page, in web design terms, is much like it sounds. It is a web page designed specifically to attract an audience with useful content that is optimized around a specific topic — i.e., a place for a user to “land” after they have clicked on a link either in search results or some other source.
A landing page is typically separated from your main website. It may even have a slightly different style and be located on a subdomain of your main site like help.yourchurchdomain.com. This isn’t required but may be applicable depending on other factors.
Landing pages also typically have a distinct call to action like, “click here to learn more” or “plan a visit” or “explore more on this topic.” Consider a reader of your landing page at or near the top of a funnel with the goal being to move them further toward the bottom.
The primary takeaway is landing pages are topical. Unlike a blog post or news update, they usually represent cornerstone content, stand alone, and communicate a broad subject, message, or solution.
How Felt-Needs Landing Pages Work
Millions of people search Google daily for solutions to their family or individual needs. We know that churches are usually well-positioned to support these people who have specific questions, very few church websites have content that is optimized in a way that Goole will present it in search results. In fact, most don’t have much content at all.
We can help your church produce landing pages that are optimized for Google search and support the ministries you already have in place. It is likely you already have content in some form that supports your community outreach ministries and it could be a matter of repurposing that content to reach this audience online. We can also help you create relevant content given your direction.
Felt-Needs Landing Page Journey
When someone searches Google for a term or phrase related to a felt-need, they are simply looking for answers. If your church offers relevant ministry support, it should be showing up in search results. You can think of it as a funnel as depicted above, and the journey goes something like this:
- A searcher enters the term into Google.
- Your church felt-needs landing page is displayed in the search results.
- The searcher clicks on the link and is taken to your landing page — the one that addresses the topic with compassion and invitation, as well as a call to action to get more information.
- The searcher is transitioned to your church website with an option to plan a visit to your church with lots of information about your church and what it’s like to attend a service, alleviating any fear or reticence.
- You hopefully capture an email address so you can be sure to remind them Saturday that you look forward to seeing them on Sunday and reminding them of exactly what to expect.
- Welcome to church!
Examples Of Felt-Needs Landing Page Topics
Benefits of Adding Felt-Needs Landing Pages
Increase Traffic To Your Church Website
Because the content on your landing page(s) is optimized for Google search (SEO), it will increase the traffic to your website and as a result increase the number of visitors to your church services.
Position Your Church As A Community Expert
It’s very likely your church already puts significant effort and resources into specific community-based ministries. By reaching people who would never look to the church for answers, felt-needs landing pages can position the church as a community expert.
Grow Existing Ministries
By bringing awareness of your existing community-based ministries to a broader audience, they will surely grow through the additional engagement and support.
Helping Those Already In the Church
While the primary intent may be to reach those unchurched seekers in the world, creating this content will undoubtedly help your church community and membership.