When my family and I went out of town recently, I wanted to look for a church to visit. I immediately went to Google.
Although you could blame it on the fact that I’m a millennial, I am definitely not alone in relying on the internet (not a phone book) to find a place to worship these days. I browsed a few websites and ended up deciding to visit a church whose services met my needs—but my decision was also based in part on their simple and informative website.
The home page showed the church’s address and service times, it included a high-quality picture of the church's building, and the church mission statement was prominent, too.
Statistics show that more than 50 percent of your website visitors will never go beyond your home page. Like me, they’re just after basic information. They don’t want to go on a wild goose chase to find it.
Consider these ideas for creating a home page that will captivate your audience and encourage them to engage further with your website.
Feature a welcome video
Introduce your church in a short video (60 seconds or shorter), and invite viewers to join you for worship at the end. This kind of video is a great way to grab a visitor’s attention, introduce the pastor, and inform them about your church.
Add an “I’m New” page
Have a specific page dedicated to visitors. Make it easy to find, clearly visible on the home page or in the navigation. If a user has to search for that information, they most likely won’t even try. Make it clear where they should go, and put all the important information front and center.
Use a second-person voice when writing, using the word you (e.g., “We would love to have you visit us” rather than “We love visitors.”). This makes it much more personal for the visitor reading the information. A slight shift in your writing style can make a big difference.
Display a picture of your church
Whether your photos are of the outside or inside of the building, give visitors an immediate impression of your church. If you choose to show the inside, try to capture a moment that represents your church on a normal Sunday (e.g., no seasonal decorations like Christmas trees or Easter lilies).
Keep information up-to-date
A current, updated church website says that your church is alive and active. Whether you choose to post the latest sermon or link to the most recent newsletter, keep your content fresh and relevant.
This blog post is an excerpt from our ebook "9 Strategies for Engaging Visitors with Your Church Website." To download this free ebook and get more tips on how to optimize your church website, click the button below!