The 7 Secrets to an Effective “I’m New Here” Section

The 7 Secrets to an Effective “I’m New Here” Section
A critical piece to the best church websites and church website design is a entire section that welcomes people who are shopping church websites before they show up on your doorstep. The best church website builders already know providing a path for visitors to plan their visit is essential for connecting more people to their physical church. They want basic questions about your church answered before ever attending your church in person. In fact, the latest church website trends reveal that some churches have a landing page completely dedicated to just visitors. When exploring church website design, you will notice the churches that try to answer as many questions as they can about the experience they offer. You can create an informative and easy to navigate visitors’ page. There are secrets that will help you make your visitors' section outstanding. This will save you the hassle of a flock of visitors on your welcome desk wanting to know more about your church. We wanted to provide the 7 Secrets to an effective “I’m New Here” Section ideas for your church website.
 
1. Give directions to your church
When people are looking for a church online, they check out those that are near where they live. As soon as they land on your page and love what you are doing, they will want to know how to locate you. Give a map that shows your exact location. Use Google maps with the red pin on your location. Give directions for those coming by car and public transport. You can point out a landmark to help them easily find you. As much as you use a map, provide written directions as some things on the ground do not reflect on maps, for example, a road under repair or a detour.
 
2. Tell visitors what to expect
The list of expectations is long but capturing the main ones helps visitors make an informed decision and come to your church mentally prepared. Some things they expect to know are: your dress code, where to drop their kids, arrangements for nursing moms, parking, availability of prayer, will you require them to give, your services or worship experience. You can include photos of your worship sessions, events or services. In the photos, they will pick out what people wear to your church, the activities you engage in and what the crowd in your church looks like. They will ask questions based on what they see online when they show up at your welcome desk.
 
3. Show service times
Visitors want to know what times you hold your services and how many they are. With this information, they can plan their Sundays and for those with children they will know the right service for them. They will also want to know what goes on in your services in terms of worship experience and sermons. Include your adult, youth, children, mid-week and special services. Besides this, tell them how long a service takes.
 
4. How visitors can be part of your community
One thing visitors look out for is how to connect with your church and be part of your community. Provide information on where they start the journey when they visit your church. Direct them to your welcome desk or visitors' lounge to meet with one of your staff who will give them more information.Tell them how they can join your small groups or serve in your ministries.Visitors also gauge whether it is easy to be part of your community or if you have a laundry list of requirements before you can consider them members of your church.
 
5. Information on your pastors and ministry leaders
Those looking to join your church want to know the lead pastor and his vision for the church, a list of your ministry leaders and a biography of each. In fact, a welcome note by your lead pastor will communicate warmth to them. When they see photos of your leaders, they will feel at home when they show up and recognize the faces they saw online. Visitors want the assurance that your pastors are well qualified to deliver the word of God with accuracy.
 
6. Links to useful information
You definitely can’t include all the information your visitors need in one page. Here, include links to your vision & mission, your statement of faith, church history, latest sermons, a list of your ministries and leaders, upcoming events or annual activities you host. Links to more information come in handy for those who have more time to read further about the experience you offer as a church. For those who want to connect with you on Social Media, provide the icons on your profile.
 
7. Frequently asked questions (FAQS)
FAQS are a good addition to your “I’m New Here” section. They tackle the questions on top of visitors’ minds. It helps remove any fears or concerns they have about your church. Keep in mind that going to a new place is intimidating. Answer questions based on: whether you accept their spiritual state, any commitments they need to make immediately, the expectation to give, requirements to join your small groups or serve in your ministries, etc.
 
Conclusion
You have a lot to say but give the highlights visitors need to pay you a visit and consider joining your church. Too much information will overwhelm them. Make your visitors' section organized and easy to navigate. It encourages them to read all the content. Use subheadings to make it easy for them to scan the page and go to the section that interests them. Give a good introduction that includes your faith statement and vision in a paragraph or two. It will give visitors a clear picture of your church. If there is special information specific to your church, then include it. There are no set rules to how you create your visitors' section on your website, the important thing is to provide relevant information that answers your visitors' questions. You can check how other churches have done theirs and get a few ideas. Even if you have an existing visitors page, the above secrets will help you create an effective “I’m New Here” section. Give your visitors a good impression on your church website before the enter your doors and they are more likely to stay.

Written by : Preston Maxwell