When I first visit a church website, one of things I look for is how easy it is for a visitor to navigate. What I usually find, is that the most important information for a visitor is usually buried under announcements, events and large amounts of text. This is interesting, considering the fact that most churches want to attract visitors with their website.
You might think that that your website is immune from these practices. However, take a hard look at your website. Does your church website really invite visitors to come and see you? You might think that it does, but unless you are taking the following steps below, you could be missing out on potential visitors.
Clearly Outline the Where and When
The two most important pieces of information that visitors want to know is where you are at and when do you meet. Look at your website and see how many clicks it takes to get to that information. It shouldn’t take any clicks to find that information. It should be visible from the moment when you load the homepage of your website.
Produce a Call to Action for Your Visitors
When visitors come to your website, make sure they know what you want them to do. This means, providing clear call to actions letting them what the next steps are when visiting your church. (Click here to see an example.)
Provide Compelling Visuals Vs Text
Recently a study came out stating that people only read 50% of an article online. I would argue that if studied your Google analytics, you would find that people spend a lot less time on your website than you think. So if people are jumping in and out of your website, why spend time crafting paragraphs of text when you could be using a compelling photo instead?
Remove Heavy Church Language
Recently, I heard someone say: “Internal language becomes external language” and the same holds true for your church. A lot of times we use language internally and eventually it becomes our external language for our visitors. For example, which is better for your visitors: “Theological Statement of Beliefs” or “What We Believe”? I think the choice is pretty clear.
Feature Staff On Your Front Page
The quicker you are able to establish a face with your church, the more human your church will appear to visitors. Try adding the pastor’s photo the front page or at least on the page that is most highly trafficked by visitors.
Of course there is a lot more that can go into getting visitors to your site, however the list above should give you a head start into making your site more visitor friendly.
Question: What do you do to help first visitors on your site? Click here to comment below.