I’ve listened to sports talk radio since before I was a teenager. Over the years, I’ve heard hundreds of callers identify themselves with a simple introduction: first-time caller, long-time listener (or the popular short-hand: “first-time, long-time”). Some listeners wait a decade before they decide to call. But when they finally reach for their phone, they already know what to do. They can recite the station’s phone number by heart because it’s been burned into their memory after hearing it countless times before. Long-time listeners become first-time callers because they feel called to take action. And taking action is really easy to do.
Have you ever considered what people need to become first-time visitors in your church?
Without a doubt, they need a reason to participate (is it any wonder that the vast majority of visitors choose to attend because someone invited them?). But even a person who is highly motivated to visit still needs basic information in order to meet your congregation.
Like the location of where your church meets.
The Google era has diminished the importance of phone number jingles, but the importance of basic information has not changed. Various reports suggest that 90% of potential visitors will browse your church’s website before they decide to attend your worship service. Thom Rainer calls a church’s website their most overlooked outreach tool! If a person can’t find the time and location of your service within a few seconds of browsing your website, you can almost guarantee that you’ve lost a first-time visitor.
Church websites have been an easy target for criticism for as long as the Internet has been alive (and for good reason). The good news is that it doesn’t take much work on your website to help visitors find what they’re looking for. Here are a few suggestions on what to make prominent: