It’s time to tidy up.
There was a time that your storefront was on main street and the folks passing by would be intrigued by what was in your front window display, and then step inside. You’d have time to chat and get to know them and find out what they are looking for on any given day. These days, your storefront is your website and your homepage is your front window. It’s important to make it look nice and welcoming so those online “passerby’s” stop and stay a while, to see what you have to offer.
Along with the arrival of the internet and advances in technology, including hyperfast cable speeds, the average human attention span is down to just 8-seconds. Previously at 12-seconds in the year 2000, that’s a pretty big decrease in just a 20-year timeframe.
That’s why your website home page – the very page that is greeting your would-be congregation attendees – needs to be organized and set up appropriately. According to this article, you have about 15-seconds before someone leaves your website and checks out another church. Those 15-seconds are crucial! They are going to try look for the most important information quickly. If that information is not presented clearly and in an easy-to-navigate manner, they are going to move on to the next site, until they can easily find what they are looking for.
It’s Time to Tidy Up
This year, we’re going to organize different parts of your church’s digital marketing plan using the Konmari Method of Tidying Up. Made popular in 2018 and 2019 by Marie Kondo, this method argues that by reducing the clutter and simplifying your life (aka your digital footprint or online presence), your life not only becomes better, it becomes easier.
Cleaning up your space, removing the clutter, and getting rid of things you don’t actually care about will free up your time, your space, and your ministry for the things that really do matter to you and your community. This can be translated into every aspect of your online presence, including your website – as we mentioned before – the very window into your ministry.
Let’s dive in.
The Essentials of a Website Homepage
Service Times: At the end of the day, new visitors are checking out your church’s homepage to find out when you hold church services. They need to clearly and cleanly see upcoming service times, dates, and any cancelations that could occur from bad weather. Is this information stated in an obvious way on your website page right now?
Location: Regardless of if you have one church or ten churches, your church location needs to be clearly labeled and accessible. After service times, people are going to map your location to find out exactly where you are located and how to get themselves there. This is the difference between people coming to church, and those that you never actually meet.
Contact Information: People want to feel like they can easily contact you. If your website doesn’t quite answer all of their specific questions, they will want to call or email you. If there is no one to answer or respond to their inquiries, they are going to opt for a church that is more responsive to their correspondence.
Clear Pictures: Gone are the days when incorrectly sized, blurry photos make the cut. Clear, defined, and bright pictures need to be placed around your website homepage. People remember 80% of what they see, and only 20% of what they read. Use descriptive images to set the tone for your new visitors.
Brief, Pertinent Information: Don’t fill your homepage with long paragraphs that are going to lose your readers. Remember, people are busy and have short attention spans. You only need a few sentences to let people know what you are about and what they can expect at your church. Let the images do the talking.
Everything else on your homepage, like meeting reports, blurry photos, and old mission trip updates, are deterring potential new visitors from viewing what really matters. Shift these items onto other pages so your homepage is simple, easy to follow, and based in a minimalist mindset.
Go ahead and take a look at your homepage as though you were brand new and didn’t know your community. Can you easily find service times, location, and a brief snippet about who you are? Are the pictures clean, clear, and inviting? Do you find acronyms or words that are specific to your congregation or denomination?
If you’re not sure where to start with your homepage, ask us! Here at Worship Times, we do free website reviews and would love to help you get started “Tidying Up” your website this year.