How to Deliver a Meaningful Church Website Experience
Just like anything else you do, your church website needs to focus on how it relates to your people. Every church wants to have a website, but just like when someone arrives at your front door, it's important to think through the experience visitors will have when they get there. Your church likely has plenty of opportunities for members to get involved with your church. But how do you make it clear how visitors can become members and how members can further get involved? How do you customize your website to guide website visitors to different opportunities?
With the right church website design, including content and design elements, you can encourage people to take action towards growth. Follow these best practices to create meaningful "next steps" on your church website.
How to Create Meaningful 'Next Steps' on Your Church Website
1. Identify Who
Establish ‘who’ will be taking each step.
Do: Have someone in mind when writing out your content. Empathize with their needs, think about their questions, and speak into their growth. If you don't know the answers, don't be afraid to ask people in your congregation, even if it's very informal.
Do Not: Assume the person viewing the page has a background in the church. The first step for someone may be to find out they are welcome to visit on Sunday morning.
Example: Here at CloverSites, we think about 4 different personas in the church.
- New - I’ve just found your site and looking to visit.
- Regular - I’ve come a few times and am starting to feel comfortable. I really want to know more about small groups.
- Engaged - I’ve been actively involved on Sunday mornings, my kids love youth group and I’m looking for information on membership.
- Mature - I really want to start mentoring young families. Can I lead a small group?
Tip: Speak to the "New Visitor" first. Someone who has been coming regularly will have some prior knowledge. you want to focus on people that have very little information.
2. Identify Each Step
Once you’ve figured out the ‘who,’ then organize the ‘what.’
Do: Jot down every event, class, and opportunity. Group them together based on the personas from step 1.
Do Not: Write a novel. Use detail pages to get into the nitty gritty of each step.
3. Create a Low Barrier to Get Involved
Now that you have each step laid out, define your ‘calls-to-action.’
Do: Include an actionable next step at each point. For example, provide contact information, an event link, or "signup" button.
Do Not: Give the work to the visitor. If the next step requires a person to fill out a giant form, you are assuming they want to scale a wall.
Tip: Use buttons with contrasting colors to link to an actionable next step. Keep the call-to-action short (1-3 words) and make sure the words are action-oriented.
4. Keep it Human
Your next step is to curate the content.
Do: When writing the descriptions, speak in an encouraging tone. Be passionate because each step is a way to grow closer to Christ.
Do Not: Make visitors feel like they are a number. If the point of a step is to take another step, the process can start to feel like standing in line.
Tip: Don't use words that only a theology major will understand. A simple title, basic info, and a call-to-action will go a long way.
5. Tell a Story Visually
The last step is to inject your process with design.
Do: Include images or icons to tell a story and lead visitors through the content.
Do Not: Make the design so complicated that it is difficult to digest.
Tip: Graphic elements can help explain each step before reading the description. Design is a tool that can be used create interest and clarity, and should always be shaped by the content.
Ready to give the best church website experience for your visitors?
CloverSites Church Websites make it easy for anyone to create beautifully designed websites. CloverSites provides an easy church website builder, along with exclusive ministry-focused features and extras, such as digital graphics and premium coaching packages for detailed strategy and growth. Take a free demo of CloverSites Church Websites today!