Part 2: It’s all in those buttons!
(Catch up on Part 1 of the series here.)
Many churches have no idea why they have a website, besides an information piece for people to check out their church. Because of this, their websites have no clear path to a next step. And because there is no intended outcome with their website, it is full of passive next steps, leaving the browser wandering all over the place with no intended outcome.
The buttons on your website are places of action for your audience. The clearer the action you promote on your website, the more likely it is your browser does what you hope for them to do. But if you have buttons and links everywhere calling people to click, their website journey may or may not turn out the way you hope it to!
A clear call-to-action button helps web browsers know the point of your website, helping guide them to a successful outcome. Most people are checking out your church website because they are interested in showing up to your church, which means (hopefully) the intended outcome is they actually do show up to a service. If this is what success looks like, then the clearest call-to-action button on your homepage should somehow move the user closer to showing up to a service!
Have a call-to-action button in a bright accent color clearly saying “Plan Your Visit,” “What to Expect,” or “Visit a Location” placed in the top right corner of your navigation bar, right below your main header. Many church websites say things like “Get Started” or “Learn more” as their main calls-to-action. These buttons aren’t necessarily bad on a website, but they shouldn’t be your main call-to-action. These buttons can move a person deeper into your website, but won’t necessarily get them to show up to a service or join a group.
So think about these questions:
- Why is someone on your website?
- What would you like them to do next?
This should frame a clear and strong call-to-action.
As you work on what exactly you want people to accomplish when they come to your website, be careful not to fill your whole page up with a bunch of action steps. You should only have a primary call-to-action focused on first-time guests, and then a secondary call-to-action focused on someone who is returning. This often is the “Watch a Message” button, or “Join a Group” or “Give” buttons. However, you can’t pick all of these! Only pick one secondary call-to-action. Put the rest of your CTA’s down in the footer of your website or on specific pages within your website that have specific goals.
True Life Church in Denver does great with a primary and secondary calls-to-action. Currently, their primary CTA is “Visit Us,” and the secondary is “Make Friends.”
Now take a look at your church website. Is it clear to a first-time browser what you hope for them to do, or do you have too many buttons and links all over your website? See if you can simplify your main website journey down to one, clear call-to-action and a secondary call-to-action.
If you fix this mistake, your church website will begin to perform better, new visitors will connect with
the value you are hoping to bring them, they will show up, they will get connected more easily, and your church will grow!