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In the fast-paced digital world, we’ve said goodbye to the traditional method of church hopping – just showing up to a church without any prior knowledge or context. These days, your website is the digital front door that visitors walk through to learn more about you. 

Does your website have what it takes to get people through your church doors? These 10 must-haves for church websites can help you stand out from the rest and bring more people into your church community!

1. A Clear Solution

Your website will likely bring a variety of curious visitors – while some might be lifelong churchgoers looking for a new place to worship, others might be trying out church for the first time. But too many websites make the mistake of making their home page all about them – their history, their denomination or pastor, or all the great programs that their church offers. 

People aren’t coming to your site to learn about you. They want to know how your church can help them find what they’re looking for, whether that thing is community, a purpose, or solid Biblical teaching to help them grow in their faith. 

Use your homepage to directly address the questions your audience is already asking, and share how you can help meet those needs if they come to your church. By sharing how your church can solve their problems, you’ll build trust and empathy with your audience.

Brainstorm potential problems that church visitors are facing, and how your church can be the solution 
Directly state the problems your audience is likely facing on your home page, along with how your church specifically meets those needs
Create a persona to write copy that directly addresses their needs

2. Simplified Navigation

Your navigation is like a roadmap, helping visitors find their way to information about your church services, ministry offerings, and recent messages.

Use dropdown menus to categorize your various ministries.
Use clear terms (Kids, Adults, Family) to describe your various ministries, rather than specialized jargon that’s unclear to a new visitor.

3. One Single, Prominent Call to Action

Your copy is on point, your visuals are beautiful – but it’s all for naught if you don’t have a clear call to action! Decide on ONE single call to action and plaster it all over your homepage, and make it impossible for them to misunderstand what they should do next.

Use active language: should finish the sentence “I want to ______”
Keep it short and simple
Place the call to action button in multiple places across your homepage

4. Add a Homepage Video

Photos are an essential part of good website design – but a video can help add an extra element that highlights the look and feel of your church

Video Idea: Include a testimony of a church member sharing how your church has transformed their life, interspersed with everyday scenes of worship, teaching, and gatherings at your church.

5. Highlight Your Church’s Strengths in a Value Stack

Remember, simplicity is best when it comes to your website. Nowhere is that more evident than in your value stack. A value stack consists of 3 to 4 benefits that a visitor will experience when they come to your church. 

Maybe they’ll find great community, solid Biblical teaching, or a variety of ministry opportunities for the whole family. 

Whatever your church is great at, let it shine on your home page! 

Does your church have core values or beliefs? Start there, and pick three or four ideas that set you apart from other churches.

6. Consistent Branding

It can be tempting to let every ministry in your church do their own thing – after all, doesn’t each group cater to a different audience? While that may be true, it’s important to communicate a unified brand message to reduce confusion for first-time visitors. 

Use one controlling idea throughout your web copy
Take your website through the Storybrand process to help establish a solid messaging strategy

7. Clear Headings

Too much text is the enemy of clarity – and most people will just skim your site for a few seconds. Make it easy on the eyes, and use headings to help guide your viewer to the information they’re looking for.

Use headings to break up long chunks and paragraphs of text 

8. Use Search Engine Optimization (& Keywords) 

You’ve got a beautifully designed website – now help your audience find it with search engine optimization (SEO)! SEO uses keywords and other factors to help rank your page within Google’s search results, helping 

Search your church online – are you the first result that pops up? If not, adjust the copy in your headings to help your site rank higher in search results. 

Need a website audit to see how you’re doing? We can help! 

9. Not Just Mobile Friendly, Mobile FIRST

Mobile isn’t just a passing trend that will die away anytime soon – in fact, as of February 2021, nearly half of all website visits were done on a mobile device or tablet. Mobile-optimized websites are also more likely to increase engagement, and they’ll spend more time navigating your site and clicking through your content. 

Your church’s website must be user-friendly and mobile responsive so people can view your site from any device – otherwise, they’ll leave and go to a website that’s easier to use. 

How does your website look on a phone? Tablet? If you notice text that doesn’t adjust or elements that block different parts of the website, it may be time for an update. 

10. Capture Email

A good church website needs a way to capture email addresses to stay in touch with interested potential visitors – and we’re not just talking about your weekly newsletter. 

With a lead generator, you can offer a valuable piece of content that people can download in exchange for their email address. An email service provider like ConvertKit can help you collect email addresses, and you can follow up with future emails to continue to build trust with them. 

Even if they don’t come to your church right away, you’ll be able to develop a relationship with them, and they’ll be more likely to come visit once they’re ready!

Want to create an irresistible lead generator that wins over future church members? Here are a few ideas: 

10 ways to love your neighbor this week
Spiritual gifts quiz
7 verses to memorize when you’re anxious
5 questions to ask when searching for a new church home

Need help creating a church website that helps pack your church on Sunday morning – and helps people hear what God has for them? We can help! Book a FREE 15 minute Discovery Call, and find out how we can help elevate your church’s current website.

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