For Church Webmasters, Super Bowl Comes Ash Wednesday

Q: What’s the single biggest day of the year when everyone is tuned in to see your carefully crafted message?
A: If you’re hawking beer or cars, it could very well be Super Bowl Sunday. If your church website is anything like mine, Ash Wednesday is by far the busiest day of the year. And Shrove Tuesday (the day before) is a close second.

In 2006, we saw traffic more than four times our usual traffic (2,041 visits versus a typical 473). Shrove Tuesday saw an increase of almost two hundred percent. Each of the previous years going back to 1999 saw similar spikes. The least busy day? It happened to be July 4 in 2006.

Based on search terms and pages visited, it looks like we attracted many newcomers who were looking for ashes. Even though Ash Wednesday isn’t a holy day of obligation for Catholics, the occasion draws overflow crowds to my church and to the website. As a church webmaster, make the most of this annual opportunity while you have the attention of hundreds who don’t typically set foot in your church or click on your site.

Will your site be ready? In a follow-up post I’ll outline the best practices to kick off Lent on your church website.

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