Often referred to as the “front porch” of your parish, your website is one of the first ways that people will come to know about your faith community. And if you can only make one first impression, never has it been truer than when it comes to what you use to greet people who happen upon your website.
First, a little insight. As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide — 59.5% of the global population. That means that there is a LOT of content out there that people are encountering. And with our attention spans getting smaller and smaller as digital communication grows, churches especially need to shorten their messages and get to the point of what their mission is, right from the start.
Get to the Point of Your Message
When people hop onto your website, there are three things they are usually seeking — for your contact information, to find out your Mass/Confession times, and to give online. Knowing this, be sure that these are easy to find. Some places we’ve seen contact information and Mass times placed is in the footer and right on the homepage. For online giving, this call to action should be placed as a static button on each page, usually in the right-hand side of the header.
Other information, such as ministry descriptions, sacramental information, annual reports, pastor reflections, and online formation programs, can be placed within the navigation and not necessarily the top-tier menu. The less clutter website visitors come across, the better your bounce rate will be.
Keep in mind that if someone is searching for a broader topic about the Catholic Church, they probably won’t find it through a search engine. And you know what? That’s OK! The less clutter you have on your website, the easier it will be for people to find the information that pertains to your church. They won’t need to sift through citations and blog posts and news from the Vatican in order to find out how far in advance they need to register for marriage or sign up for infant baptismal preparation.
Website Callouts to Try
If you’re looking for an engaging and effective way to welcome website visitors, consider these quick messages for your homepage.
Our Door is Open, Our Table is Set — There is a Place for You Here!
A Community of Generosity, a Family Rooted in Faith
We’ve Saved a Seat for You Here at (CHURCH NAME)
You Belong Here
There is a Place and a Purpose for You
Worship with Us
Encounter Jesus Like Never Before
Searching for Something More?
Fall in Love with Christ at (CHURCH NAME)
God is Good … All the Time!
Join Our Family in Christ!
A Loving Community Rooted in Christ
Hello There. Welcome to (CHURCH NAME)!
A Vibrant Faith Community Waits for You
Experience the Love of God Like Never Before
Life with Christ is a Wonderful Adventure
Become One in Christ at (CHURCH NAME)
Answering the Longing of our Hearts
Together, Let’s Grow as Disciples
Looking for more ways to create an engaging website? Check out “Does your Website Accurately Portray your Parish? ” for more tips.