If you have your church website for quite some time there is a great chance nothing has been changed or tweaked. Our usual activity is to upload content concerning upcoming events and latest sermons and forget about the rest that might require updating as well. The great news is that you don’t need much time to improve your church website with those easy tips. Let’s get started.
1. Start with a creative welcome
Imagine you move to a new town and want to find a church family. You start with Google, go to the website and… there is about 10 seconds that will decide whether you stay or leave.
The main goal of your homepage should be to welcome your visitors, let them know who you are and help them navigate. It’s a great idea to have “New here?” as the first element of your navigation. If they are interested in the upcoming events or recent sermon series they will find them anyway so there is no real need to put your advertising on the homepage so that everyone sees what’s on when they visit. You want them to feel welcome and engage them in discovery.
2. Make sure there is a clear call to action
What do you really want them to do? Send an email? Find your social media account? Visit your church next Sunday? Whatever the goal is don’t make people think what you want them to do. If you care about your first time visitors not only do you need a “New here” link in the menu but also make sure to have a clear and visible button that will help them prepare for visit. If you want to see them in church you can do more than type the address in the footer. A link with Google Maps directions will be a good idea so that they can easily navigate. Make the entire web experience as clear as possible leading toward the goal.
3. Make your website easy to read
A good copy for your church website is crucial. Remember your visitor won’t treat your website like a newspaper going through every single page and spending extensive time with articles that interest them. The text has to be short and really easy to read. There is a list of rules that will ensure a great web experience:
- Use helpful headers and sub-headers between paragraphs that introduce the content. This will help the users find the information they need easily without spending much time figuring out where to find it. Headers and sub-headers serve as an overview to help your readers.
- Use bullet point whenever you can. Again they improve readability of your content and help locate necessary information.
- Keep it short. Even though most of us spend more and more time reading off the screen most of us find it more difficult and often it takes longer. When you write text for the website try to make sure the paragraphs don’t take up the entire screen. Be succinct and get to the point.
- Make the text skimmable. Fill your text with relevant words, phrases and headers to make sure people can quickly go through the text and figure out if that’s what they are looking for without reading everything.
4. Use visuals thoughtfully
Pictures are worth a thousand words and it’s great when you don’t treat them in a decorative manner. Meaningless visuals and stock photos won’t do the job. It will be great if you get a photographer to get photos of real people from your church. And the photos are taken inside will be even better. Make sure it’s real. People relate to people so get as many faces as possible but keep in mind that the photos support the textual content so don’t overuse them. A landing video is also a great idea!
5. Keep your navigation list short
Not only do you want to limit the options in the main menu but also make sure they are actionable. If you feel there is too much going on and the visitors need to know about everything visit Elevation Church’s website. If you can stick to 4-6 navigation elements you will improve your user experience.
The tips listed above are so simple that you get quickly apply them and help people enjoy your church website even more. What these little tweak can do is to get people spend more time on your website and ultimately meeting your church in person.