Most of the focus of our Church Marketing Online University articles to this point has been on things you can do to bring people who are looking for a church to your church website. But once a person comes to your church website for the first time, what happens next?
A couple of weeks ago I wrote 10 Things Church Website Visitors Need to See, which describe the design elements important to making a visitors experience on your church website a good one. In this article, we look at the information first-time visitors to your church website are looking for.
1) Phone number. So a person can call if they have any questions. This should be at the bottom of every page of the website.
2) Email address or contact form. So a person can email if they have any questions. Again, this should be at the bottom of every page of the website.
3) Address, map, and driving directions. The address of the church should be the bottom of every page. For convenience, it’s also a good idea to have a web page with a map and driving direction on it. This is a piece of cake now as Google Maps makes it easy to embed a map into any web page.
4) Statement of faith. Visitors want to know your core beliefs.
5) Mission Statement. While many churches do similar activities – worship service, Bible study, youth group, outreach, community service, missions – every church has a unique focus. What is your church’s unique mission? What are your priorities?
6) Denomination/Affiliations. People want to know if your church is independent or a part of a denomination.
7) Service times and descriptions. People want to know when services take place and what to expect. How long is the service? Is it a traditional service? Contemporary? Charismatic? Pictures and video from a service can go a long way to helping visitors feel like they know what to expect if they attend your church.
8 ) Dress code. OK, so most churches don’t have a formal dress code, but visitors don’t want to feel awkward because they’re over- or under-dressed. Even dress is casual at your church, don’t simply say “wear what’s comfortable to you.” Tell visitors what is most commonly worn.
9) Childcare situation. Explain what all ages of children do during the service. Do children attend the service with their parents? Is there Sunday school during the service? If so for what ages? Is there infant/nursery care? Is there a room where mothers can nurse?
10) Senior Pastor’s Bio. Most people want to know about the senior pastor before they visit – how long he’s been at the church, where he went to seminary, etc. It’s also helpful for visitors to see a picture, so they know who he is when they see him.
You don’t want to put all of the above items on the homepage otherwise it will be very long and look cluttered. So, the best thing to do is to create a section of your website called “Visitors” or “About Us.” Make it the first item in your navigation menu and perhaps also put a big icon on your homepage linking to this section.
By making sure these 10 important pieces of information are available and easy to find on your church website, you’ll greatly increase the chances that someone who visits your website for the first time will have all the info they need to feel comfortable attending a service for the first time.
Agree? Disagree? Think there are other things visitors need to know? Post a comment.