When a family is looking for a church, they always visit and interact with many church websites before they decide where to visit on a given Sunday morning, and each website visitor comes with a set of questions that must be answered. In order to help these families feel confident enough to give your church a shot, you need to engage them directly and clearly. Here are four proven strategies that I use on every website that I build.
1. Design a “Plan Your Visit” page
The purpose of the Plan Your Visit page (or the I’m New page) is to help an online visitor learn enough about your church’s Sunday morning worship service to feel confident to walk through your front door.
Here’s what you should include on a successful Plan Your Visit page:
- One minute welcome video from the pastor
- Breakdown (and explanations) of what happens during the service
- A campus map to know where to park and walk into the building
- Questions and answers about the visitors family and children during the service
Need some inspiration on how you can lay out a Plan Your Visit page for your website?
- Lone Oak First Baptist Church
- 12 Oaks Baptist Church
- Taylors First Baptist Church
- First Baptist Church Richardson
2. Include a FAQ Section on Every Ministry Page
Website visitors expect your church to have a children’s ministry, student ministry, adult classes, etc., but every church runs their ministries slightly different. For example:
- Some churches have children’s church for children through 1st grade, while others leave after the first song.
- Some churches have different meeting days and times for junior high and senior high students, while others have one combined youth group night.
- Some churches have co-gender small groups, while others have gender-segregated groups.
- Some churches require a registration fee for certain ministries, while others do not.
On your ministry pages, you need to include the standard weekly rhythms (meeting days and times), staff members in charge of the ministry, and photos, but what can help website visitors trust your church is by providing a simple, yet informative FAQ section on each ministry page.
3. Have A Less Cluttered Event Calendar
You have events—great! Sadly, though, most churches mainly have Sunday School, Sunday Morning worship, and Wednesday night ministries listed on repeat on their calendars, and when the time comes for a community event, it gets lost in the shuffle.
Rather than include your routine meeting times, the church calendar is best utilized by only featuring special events for each ministry of the church. That way, website visitors can see upcoming events that will interest them and their family.
4. Tell the story of a Sunday in pictures
If a photo is worth a thousand words, then you should focus on photos of your church and its people on your website. In fact, photos can convey more about your church to website visitors than text alone (just make sure not to forget the text, either).
Here are 6 types of photos that you should include on your website:
Photos of Your Pastor Preaching
Why: Shows your pastors style of teaching and dress
Tip: Do this before church starts for a great close-up shot
Photos of Your Worship Team
Why: Shows your worship style and preference so that people know what to expect
Tip: Do this before the church service starts for close-up shots if you’re nervous about distracting the team or the congregation
Photos of Your Sanctuary With People Inside
Why: It shows the environment that people will be worshipping in, shows your people, shows the vibe.
Tip: Take these photos from the back while the pastor is preaching
Photos of Your Children’s Ministry and Student Ministry Spaces
Why: People want to know—Are they clean, updated, modern, dangerous, dirty?
Tip: Have someone in the nursery actively playing with a child
Photos of Your Greeters at the Door
Why: Follow a family to the door and take a picture as they approach
Tip: Follow a family up to the door and take the picture as they are walking up
Photos of People Mingling in Your Lobby
Why: This provides an easy way to give people a look into the church building, allowing them to see the layout and get an idea of what to expect when they visit
Tip: If you have a coffee bar or welcome desk, include it in the photo
You only have one shot to make a great first impression, especially with your website visitors. Ensure that you engage them in a way that makes them feel acquainted with your church, fosters a positive impression, and establishes enough trust to encourage them to visit in person next Sunday morning.
Hi! I'm Marc.
I serve businesses, bloggers, and organizations by way of creating great websites that are able to be found online. Web design is a passion, but serving you is my joy.
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