7 Secrets to an Effective "I'm New Here" Section
The best church website builders know that providing a path for visitors to plan their visit is essential for connecting more people to their physical church. Guests want answers to basic questions about your church answered before ever attending in person.
Church website trends reveal that many churches have a page specifically for visitors where questions are addressed about the experience your potential guests can expect to have. It's possible to create an informative and easy to navigate visitors' page. Here are 7 Secrets to a useful "I'm New Here" Section on your website:
1) Give directions to your church
When people are looking for a church online, they typically check out those that are near where they live. Give a map that shows your exact location. Consider using Google maps with the red pin on your site. Also provide written directions for those coming by car and public transportation, if you have that available in your area. You can also point out a landmark to help them easily find you.
2) Tell visitors what to expect
Addressing some basic expectations will help your visitors make an informed decision and come to your church mentally prepared. Consider writing about your dress code, where to drop off kids, what kinds of programs you offer, parking, availability of prayer and general information about your services. You should include photos of your worship, events, and services.
3) Show service times
Visitors will want to know what times your services are and how many you have available. Knowing this will help families and individuals to choose the right service for them. They will also want to know what goes on in your services in terms of worship experience and sermons. Be sure to include adult, youth, children, mid-week, and special services.
4) How visitors can be part of your community
One thing visitors may be interested in is how to connect with your church and be a part of your community. Provide information on where they start that journey when they visit your church. Direct them to your welcome desk or guest services 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.
5) Information on your pastors and ministry leaders
Those looking to attend your church will likely want to know the lead pastor and his vision for the church. Providing a biography is a great way to assure visitors that your pastor is well qualified to deliver the word of God with accuracy. A welcome note by your lead pastor is a great way to communicate warmth. Showing photos of your staff and leadership will help guests feel more at home when they recognize the faces they saw online.
6) Links to useful information
You definitely can't include all the information your visitors need in one page. It's a great option to include links to your vision & mission, statement of faith, church history, latest sermons, a list of your ministries and leaders, upcoming events, or activities you host. Links to more information come in handy for those who have more time to read further without clogging up your page. For those who want to connect with you on social media, provide the appropriate icons (links to your social media accounts) on your profile.
7) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
FAQS are an excellent addition to your "I'm New Here" section. They tackle the items on top of visitors’ minds. It can also help remove fears or concerns about your church. Keep in mind that going to a new place is intimidating. Answer questions based on the acceptance of their spiritual state, any commitments they need to make immediately, the expectation of giving, requirements to join your small groups or serve in your ministries.
Even if you have an existing visitors page, the above secrets will help you create an effective "I'm New Here" section. By giving your visitors a good impression on your church website before they enter your doors, they are more likely to return. Too much information will overwhelm them, so make your visitors' section organized and easy to navigate, which will encourage them to read the content. Use subheadings to make it easy to scan the page and go to the sections that interest them.
We would love to help you communicate well with your potential guests through your website. For website management or IT solutions, please contact Tim Baker at (682) 233-5745 and visit our website at https://www.MinistryCraft.com.