What's in this session?
- #1: The Plan A Visit Page (0:59)
- #2: The About Page (2:45)
- #3: The Staff Page (3:38)
- #4: The Kids Page (7:09)
- #5: The Sermon Engine (8:29)
Show notes and resources
- Featured Resource: 21-Day Social Media Case Study
- How To Create A Stunning Church Welcome Video
- The Ultimate Church Website Page Template Library
- Pro Church Tools
- Pro Church Tools on Facebook
- Pro Church Tools on YouTube
- Brady Shearer on Instagram
- Brady Shearer on Twitter
- Alex Mills on Instagram
Free Bonus: Click here to download The Perfect Church Homepage Infographic – a complete visual breakdown of the essential elements that every church website homepage needs
Alex Mills: Today, you’re gonna learn the five most important pages on your church’s website after your homepage. For example, did you know that your staff page will likely be one of the most highly trafficked pages on your entire site? It’s true. In this podcast, you’ll learn what each of these five pages are, and I’ll show you how to structure them and what to include on each page.
Alex Mills: Well hey there and welcome to Pro Church Tools, the show where in 10 minutes or less you’re gonna get a dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus while we navigate the biggest communication shift in 500 years. I’m your host Alex Mills, joined as always by the boss man, Brady Shearer.
Brady Shearer: I saw a couple questions come through this week, Alex, through a couple of different channels, the DMs, the emails, some Facebook groups, asking about the most important pages every church website needs. So I thought it would be a good time to do a little bit of a refresher. We’ve covered some of the material before, but do a bit of a refresher. Beyond the homepage, what are the most important and essential pages that your church website needs?
Brady Shearer: Let’s start with page number one, the plan a visit page. This is the page that we suggest you create specifically for potential new visitors. There are a number of different sections that you can include on this page. Three particular ones that I would include. The first is the what can I expect section. Your church website does a great job of this.
Alex Mills: Thank you.
Brady Shearer: I went through just recently actually, talking about if you’ve never been to our church before, here’s what a service order is gonna be like.
Alex Mills: Yeah, a lot of us have this misconception that church websites are for our church people, but most of your traffic is going to be people who are looking for a church locally in your area. So when people land on your website and they’re considering coming to church for the first time, this is a great page to display and say, “Hey you want to come and visit our church? Why don’t you have a look at this page?” And like you said, break down what your service looks like so you can set their expectations, and then even maybe include a form where it’s like, yeah I’m planning on coming this Sunday. You can tell them how many kids you have, and then they get put into a workflow where you can follow-up with them and say, “Hey, we notice you’re planning a visit this Sunday. You have kids. Here’s our kids check-in process.” So you can make that point of contact with somebody before they even walk through your doors.
Brady Shearer: One final extra touch you can make is to include a welcome video on the plan a visit page. We did a recent episode where we highlighted a church’s welcome video. We’ll have that linked in the show notes. So, if you’re curious about what this welcome video could actually look like, make sure to watch through that video. It does an outstanding job of portraying to your potential new visitor what a Sunday experience is like. It’s one thing to watch a service, but this goes even one step beyond that to show the entire experience from parking lot walking in to parking lot walking out. So, that’s the first page.
Brady Shearer: The second page is the about page. Four sections that we like to include on the about page. The first section is who we are. Second section is called where we come from. Then we go to where we’re headed. And we close out what this means for you. The about page follows a specific flow. It starts by talking about you the church and the origins, and then where you’re headed, and then it turns the table onto the potential visitor. How do you fit into this story? Because at the end of the day, even the about page, which is very very centered upon the church itself, should be about the people that are going to be coming to your church. It’s not about you and the staff and even the history of the church so much as it is about where we’re headed and how you can be a part of it. That does a great job of inviting people into the story, and that’s what you want to do even with the about page.
Alex Mills: So good. This next page, many people are shocked to know that this next page we’re gonna talk about is one of the highest trafficked pages on any church website. When I looked at the behavior flow for our church website using Google analytics, I could not believe how many people were interacting with this next kind of webpage.
Brady Shearer: You said it was like the third most popular page?
Alex Mills: It’s our second most poplar page.
Brady Shearer: Second? After the homepage?
Alex Mills: Yeah. So landing page, which I don’t really include. So landing page, about us, and then staff page.
Brady Shearer: The staff page. The staff page, people love this because obviously people want to know, they’re curious about the leadership of the church. What can I expect from this pastoral team? What can I expect from this leadership team? So, what we love to do with the staff page is make it very, very personal. What I see on a lot of church websites with their staff page is everything’s written in the third person. So, the bio, let’s say, pertaining to the pastor, pertaining to the pastor and their family, it’s all third person.
Alex Mills: [inaudible 00:04:35] written by the communications director.
Brady Shearer: Exactly.
Alex Mills: Pastor Rick is married and has three kids and four grandchildren. He loves to kayak on a summer’s evening and he would love for you to contact him. It’s like, why can’t you just get Pastor Rick to write this so when I actually do reach out to him, I feel like I’ve already had an interaction with him and not some robot that typed a third person bio about him.
Brady Shearer: Exactly. The two things that we encourage your staff page to include are number one, some really professional looking smiling photos.
Alex Mills: Yeah, headshots.
Brady Shearer: If nothing else, just smiling warm photos. If you want to include the family along with the pastor or the leader, hey go ahead. I think that’s an interesting and good idea too. Then write the bio, write the quote, whatever it is, in the first person. Have each of the leaders, each of the pastors, each of the individuals on staff write their own bio and share something from the first person. It adds an extra level of personality because each person is gonna write something in their own verbiage and own words and own style that will be different from all others. And of course, because it’s first person, it’s more intimate. It’s more one-to-one. And it doesn’t seem so corporate and PR focused.
Alex Mills: Yeah. I think what people are looking for out of a staff page, and this is something I’m learning, is that communities often reflect their leadership. So, people go to the staff page, and this was surprising for me because I’ve been a church person my whole life, so I’m never really concerned with staff pages, but we’re finding with first time visitors who are looking at our church website, they want to know what the staff looks like. I think it’s because they want to know, they get an insight of the community based off of who the leadership is and what they look like. So whether it’s a certain race or a certain gender, they can see the leadership, the staff of the church, and say, “Oh they look like me.” Or, “They look diverse.” Maybe that’s insight into what this community looks like and how it functions.
Brady Shearer: I think that’s a great point because we do the same thing with restaurants. You can look online and see a picture of a restaurant, and be like, “Oh yeah, that looks like the type of restaurants I go to.” So again, here we have another great example. It’s the staff page. There is really no other page that you could make more about your church because it has to be populated by the literal people that run your church, but its main purpose and function is for a potential new visitor to look at the photos, to read the first person quotes and bios, and then say, “Yes these people are like me,” or, “No they’re not.” Again, it’s always about the other. You think it’s about you, but the more that you can flip the table, flip the script, and make it about the other people, the people you’re trying to serve, the better you can serve them.
Brady Shearer: Number four, the fourth page you need to include. These aren’t in any particular order per se. Is the kids page. This page is particularly centered around those people that are gonna come to your church who have kids. What does your church have to offer those kids? How can your church serve those kids? Five simple sections we recommend you include on this page. Section number one, your first visit. Similar to the what can I expect section on the plan a visit page, but what is it like for kids on that first visit. Number two, how does the check-in process work. Number three, is there a parents viewing room? This is for those kids that don’t necessarily fit into kids’ ministry. They’re probably too young. What do you have for them? Number four, meet our kids director. Similar to the staff page, really imperative you include this on the kids’ page. Introduce the parents that are going to give their kids away to the person that is in charge of watching over them.
Alex Mills: Yeah, establish some trust already.
Brady Shearer: Yeah, and some rapport. Have a visual so that they recognize that person already. Then number five, got questions? This is a great section to conclude the page with. Invite questions because you probably missed something.
Alex Mills: Take that opportunity to preemptively address some objections maybe. Put those to bed and say, “Hey I know you’re probably thinking this. Here’s our answer.” So you can get rid of those objections when people are deciding are we gonna go to this church? Are we gonna give it a try? You can address that stuff on the website.
Brady Shearer: The final page, it’s multiple pages included in one. Major section of your church’s website, which is the sermon engine, the catalog of how you archive your messages, display them and distribute them to the world. The previous four pages on this list were primarily for potential new visitors. This is a page that will, of course, serve potential new visitors well, but is going to be the likely number one reason why people come back to your website on a recurring basis because they want to engage with the content if they’re not already subscribed through a podcast or through the YouTube channel. They can view it on your website.
Brady Shearer: We like to organize our sermons in playlists, so that way you can organize by series. You can organize by speaker. You can organize by topic. You can organize by time of year or year overall. We call those playlists. The fifth and final page. If you’re wondering how we would organize these pages, what they might look like, we actually have put together an entire, a free download. It includes seven different pages on your website that we think that you should include, so even two more we didn’t include in this particular episode. They have pre-written copy that I welcome you to copy-and-paste.
Alex Mills: Yeah, go ahead.
Brady Shearer: You’ve used some of the copy that I’ve written on your website.
Alex Mills: Absolutely.
Brady Shearer: Just replace the placeholder names and service times and the like. You can download that. We’ll have that linked in the show notes. It’s the featured resource for this episode of Pro Church Tools. That’ll do it for this episode. We’ll see you next time.
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