Modern problems require modern solutions. If your church is looking to bring in more members and spread awareness of your church, a “plan your visit” church page is one of the most important pages on your site.
It presents a page where potential members can get all the information they need about your church and make plans to sit in as a guest. It also gives them the first impression of your church and the members involved, so nailing this page is important. Continue reading to learn more about what your church’s “plan a visit” page needs to include, as well as some tricks and tips that can help make it perfect.
Steps for Building a Church “Plan a Visit” Page
Figure Out Your Tagline
The first step to creating a “plan your visit” church page is to figure out your tagline. This will be the first thing your page shows and the first thing your potential visitor sees. You want this tagline to be unique and inviting so they look forward to visiting your church.
A tagline is a perfect blend of succinct information about your church. It will give the visitor your church's vision and values. It doesn't have to be cheesy, though. You can easily use your church's mission statement or key Bible verse. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. You could also list some short lines below on how your church works with children, families, and the community.
What Makes Your Church Different?
The next step is to determine what makes your church different. If you are struggling with a tagline, this may also help you narrow down your options.
There are likely plenty of other churches in the area that people can decide to visit, so why yours? You don’t want to put down or insult other churches, but instead, elevate your own and share what kind of experiences a new visitor can expect. What makes your story and style different? Share how a visitor can become part of your community and participate in the work and service you are doing.
Ultimately, visitors want to understand how they can grow individually and as a family in their own life’s journey. In short, they want to understand how you help them in their believing, belonging, and blessing others through participation in your church community.
Don’t just think about your regular members, but everything else as well. Why should visitors or new area residents go to you? Why should people be part of your community? These are all things to keep in mind.
Collect and Create
You should have a goal and vision for your website. You know who you are trying to bring in and what makes your church unique, and you have a tagline. Now you need to get everything onto your page.
Start with your tagline, then briefly describe your church. You can do this with a short paragraph or two, a video, or both. Adding pictures of your church and the community is also a good idea. You can take nice professional pictures during events and services, but you can also get your members to submit pictures to the page to add some personality and connection.
Then, you will want to add the details about your church. Though you will likely cover all of this information on other pages of your church’s website, having it all on one page, however briefly, will help invite those looking to visit.
Some things you can briefly mention are:
- Childcare/Sunday School options
- How to navigate parking and the building
- Core beliefs and what they can expect during the worship service
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you feel that any of this information should be expanded upon, you can also add links that take users to other pages on your site so that they can learn more if they want.
Make sure all of the information flows, is easy to use and looks clean and professional
Ask to Connect
Finally, after you have relayed all of that information, it is up to the visitor to see if they want to check out the church. Add a permanent button in the bottom corner or an option at the bottom of your page to allow people to plan a visit or connect to get more information.
Getting phone numbers, email addresses, and names are a great start so that you can build a personal connection with the person or people, and you can contact them with further questions or information.
A texting service is a great option here. Not everyone checks their emails, and regular mail doesn’t always get to people in time. If you have a change in services or pastors or an unexpected shutdown due to weather, you want to be able to communicate effectively.
Some services help you automate texts, such as Rally Corp. Not only do we assist you with texting your community, but we can also help you set up a welcome series to send reminders and follow-ups before and after their visit to improve their participation and sense of belonging.
Check Your Page
When your “plan a visit” church page is set up, and you are almost ready to go live with it, make sure you check that everything is working as it should. Sometimes, things get formatted improperly and don’t line up as you want them to.
Make sure to check out your mobile site, too, as many people try to access websites on their phones. If the website is too hard to navigate on a phone, people might be put off from visiting your church.
If you are unsure of how to design your website, there are plenty of templates and frameworks online to check out. There are a couple of excellent examples on ChurchPlantMedia.com, but there are plenty of others out there as well.
What Should Be Included In Your Church's “Plan a Visit” Page
The tagline should be at the top of your page. It should be the first thing your reader sees. Some studies state that you only have about 6 seconds to pull a visitor in, so that tagline is important.
Make sure it gets your message and goal across and that it is pleasing to the eye as well as easy to read.
While you don’t have to include a lot of photos, having a couple that showcases your church, the community, and some of the sermons will help potential visitors get a feel for your church. You can include some great highlight pictures that get that message across. Keep in mind that people will be looking at your photos to see if they can “see themselves” in your story, so be sure to include photos across the whole demographic of your community and in various settings. Keep the focus on people; it doesn’t need to be about the building. The church is a group of people, so let your people’s light shine!
The most important video is an explanation. While it shouldn’t match your introduction paragraphs too closely, it should be of a similar idea. You want to introduce your church, some of your events, ideas, goals, and what makes your church unique.
Be careful adding too many videos, as they can take up a lot of time for your visitor. We would suggest adding just one introduction video and maybe a video of one of your sermons at most.
Tricks for a “Plan Your Visit” Church Page
Many people may be nervous about joining a new church. While all churches should be welcoming and friendly, that, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. Also, many people have some anxiety about visiting a new location in a town or area they don’t know well.
Some simple things you can mention or show a picture of to reduce worries are things like where people would park and a map of the building. This lets people know where they should go and helps to assure them that they are in the right place when they get there.
Get Your Members Involved
Having someone assigned to a new visitor, like a church concierge, can get your members involved and make your visitor feel more at home. They can walk them through what to expect, be open and inviting, and make the guest feel more welcomed.
Try to find some volunteers in your community willing to get involved.
Creating a “plan your visit” church page is important to increase your membership. It invites people to give your church a try over every other church in the area. Making sure it gives your readers the information they need, is inviting and friendly, and gets your mission/tagline across will help to bring in members and increase your church community.
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