Church visitors are most likely to first encounter your church through your website after doing an online search. So what does your website say about your church?
Did you know that 94% of people cited poor web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website,” says church communications and PR specialist Steve Fogg. “Imagine that for your church?”
The ‘About Us’ page on your website is often the ‘go to’ place visitors readily seek out to quickly learn about your organization. Does this page help visitors instantly know who you are as a church and what you believe? Can visitors find this information on your website in under 20 seconds? These are important questions to consider as you review your website’s viability and effectiveness.
Here are 6 key ways to improve your church website’s ‘About Us’ page:
1 – Keep it Simple and Visible
Shortening the page name to ‘About’ and placing it in plain site points visitors in the right direction quickly. Put the ‘About’ section listing on the top navigation menu above the fold to make it clearly visible. To increase the impact, make sure the page title is also linked in menus or footer notes that are at the bottom of each page too. Putting the simplified ‘About’ link in multiple, eye-catching locations is actually a simple courtesy to your visitors.
2 – Tell Your Story
‘About’ pages are the place and space to tell your organization’s story and share your history in clear and concise ways through your website. This history could be the hook that entices and interests visitors enough to learn more or to join you for a service or event. Clearly lay it out using compelling text, photos, infographics, videos, etc. People want to know who your church really is, so show them.
3 – Show Your Staff
Website visitors also want to see the faces and smiles of your church leaders, and they may even want to reach out to them before visiting. Show the world who your leaders are and who they can, should, and could contact if they want more information about your church, and make it very clear who to contact for what information. Staff pages can also be places to share stories and information about your staff that may hook visitors as well. Your ‘About’ page can include the staff information and a simple message from your pastor on the page itself or link to larger staff and directory pages.
4 – Stuck on a Feeling
Who is your church and what are they all about? Does your ‘About’ page resonate a theme or message? This is your big chance to invoke a feeling that lets people know who you are and allows that feeling to stick with them. Be very intentional about the messages, images, and resources that are used. Express your church’s message so it sticks in the mind of the visitor. This page is the place visitors can start learning about you, and where you can start earning their respect and trust.
5 – Be Open and Upfront
What denomination is your church? What do you believe in? Do you have a statement of beliefs or creeds? There seems to be a trend in not mentioning a church’s denomination on their website. When looking at a church site, it is important for visitors to understand what your organization stands for within that first 20 seconds. If your church is ‘Non-denominational’ then spell that out for visitors up front.
People want to know what your church is about before visiting,” shares Steven Gliebe, founder of Churchthemes.com. “The purpose of your church website is to provide information. If essential content does not exist or is hard to find, your church website is failing.”
6 – Remember to Invite
The church ‘About’ page is also the best tool you have available to show what your church is like through video, images, and graphics. Overall, you want to give the ‘vibe’ of the church so that new people can get a sense of what the environment is like.
Blogger Blessing Mpofu points out that “One of the questions some website visitors ask themselves is, ‘Can I belong here?’ An invitation lets visitors know that you are thinking about them.”
If your website is your digital front door then your ‘About’ page is your front parlor or sitting room. It’s the place where visitors are invited to come in, take a seat, and visit with you. What kind of information visitors receive is crucial to whether they will want to stick around long enough to learn more or come back again. Building credibility via your website is both crucial and easily done by crafting a compelling, honest, and moving ‘About’ page.