Optimizing Church Landing Pages

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One of the most important tools a church has on its website are landing pages. Social media shares and paid advertisements often drive traffic to a landing page. Those landing pages inform and persuade users to take action. Here is an updated article on this most important of page types.

I first wrote about landing pages almost 6 years ago. The good news is their primary function has not changed much since then. Yet how to make it perform better and rank higher in search engines has.

A Prioritized Call to Action

I mentioned calls to action in my original article. But in recent times, search engines have begun to rank their effectiveness. It is in Google’s best interest for you to have an effective landing page. This means you will likely buy future advertisements. One measure of effectiveness is your user clicking on a call to action. This success metric is based on the perceived purpose of a landing page. Its goal is to persuade the user to do something. This could be registering for an event, signing up for a newsletter, or watching a video. Move this action near the top of your page. Then be sure to make the button as enticing as possible.

Engaging With Content

Users should still interact with your site. They do not always need to register for your event or donate money. This means spending time on the page and eventually clicking on something else. Most analytics packages track time on site and the number of pages per visit. These metrics factor into your page’s effectiveness score. A clear sign that a user enjoyed your content is their willingness to view more. Give users options that make sense based on the page they are viewing. Consider content with similar themes, geographic locations, and timeframes.

SEO Still Matters

You may think paying for advertisements means you can slack on search engine optimization. Why research keywords and work them into your headers? You are paying for them to arrive anyway, right? Wrong! How well your page ranks for the topic you are advertising also helps its effectiveness. Begin building a library of keyword terms for each type of church event. Do not rely on your own internal terms. Remember synonyms and the language your visitors use.

Give Options Without Overwhelming

It may be tempting to overload users with options. Please rely on how you targeted your audience. Here the old marketing saying easily applies. If you try to appeal to everybody, you appeal to nobody. And if you give them everything to click on, they will leave without doing anything. Know your strategy and rank the calls to action. Keep it to no more than three actions. Here is what I suggest for a sign-up page:

  1. Sign-up form
  2. Share event on social media
  3. Other upcoming events to view

I know there will be other ways for a users interact on a page. Your primary navigation is an obvious option. Focus on the actions that are unique to that page. Or at least those that are not featured on the majority of the site.

Action Item

Do not need to worry about making existing pages better. They have or are serving their purpose. Work hard and make your next page better. Follow the steps above to optimize your upcoming page. Bring that primary call to action up high on your page. Give them an opportunity to interact with meaningful content. Write the copy on your landing page with keywords in mind. Review to make sure you have no more than three unique actions. Then re-check your analytics package. Verify that you track actions and add campaign information. Finally, remember to pray. Ask God for guidance as you take one last look at your page. View it through your users’ eyes and keep their questions in your heart. See how you can bring one more person closer to the Kingdom.

Inspiration for this article thanks to many conversations with my colleague Tiago Gonçalves

Photo courtesy of FancyCrave

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Stephen Morrissey
I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.

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