I keep hearing that a church website is the front door to a church. True; since very few people in your community will ever make it to the door. Sadly, either door.
This is the unfortunate reality with church attendance. And with church websites. Mostly your church congregation will seek to enter.
So what does this mean?
We have to make sure we’re delivering what your congregation is looking for; but ensure it’s friendly enough so that your community (or visitors) will discover the best reasons for attending.
Here are 3 improvements you must do to the front door of your website (your home page):
- Organize Your Menu Better. When people arrive, they look to the upper left of the page for your logo to assure themselves they’re at the right web address. Then they quickly look to the main menu on the page for an easy-to-navigate organization that will lead them to what they’re looking for. As fast as possible! Make sure nothing in your menu needs an explanation because you’ve used insider language or questionable reasoning for the page to be listed. Then think about the main things people would want (directions, times, sermon sample, staff page, church information, and events) and make sure it’s incredibly easy to find all of it. People don’t like to click more than 3 times to find what they’re seeking. And they want to spend 3-4 seconds on the home page to figure out your navigation. If the menu is poorly organized, people usually get frustrated.
- Eliminate Rotational Sliders. 3-4 seconds doesn’t allow much time to scan through a rotational slider. In fact, very little research defends using sliders at all. I realize it makes it easier to add more information on the home page, but try adding a call-to-action button on each slider and see how many clicks they receive (in your analytics). You’ll discover that few even consider reading them. What’s best? Make a large non-rotation image that shows your people enjoying your ministries and what you’re known for. Make it about building your brand and possibly about your current sermon series. Or an all-church, all-community outreach event.
- Reduce Content. The bottom line: People aren’t looking for a lot of content on the home page. They’re simply looking for a way to quickly jump to what they seek. The simple design should look like your church brand (fonts, colors, etc), feel welcoming, and have the emotion of what you want someone to experience when they arrive inside your building. Be authentic. And short.