Clear copy creates conversions. Crappy copy causes confusion.
Is that clear enough?
The problem with so many church websites is that so many of them take this as their opportunity to cram every little bit of information down their audience’s throat, just to see if something sticks. Sure, the image is nasty as heck, but it’s true nonetheless: Churches have a hard time communicating with clarity online and often say more than they need to.
Clear copy is a core tenet of everything we do and an emphasis when we train churches after we develop a product for them. Clear copy will always seek to answer the following questions, in as little words as possible:
- Why __________ exists (purpose)
- What happens with __________ (engagement)
- How you can take you can take your next right step with __________ (plan)
Churches who can easily answer their own why, what, and how are able to clearly communicate their “__________” to their audience, and in turn, have a higher rate of engagement (or response).
Want to read more on communicating clearly?
Say no to the fluff so you can say yes to your focus.
- Saying no allows you to say yes to the things you really want to do.
- Only become a “yes man” to the right things.
If you can clearly communicate your core message, then your audience can follow your laid out next right steps without getting bogged down in the run-on sentences. Churches have a tendency to follow the framework (to the best of their ability), and then feel unconfident in what they are doing and add as much supporting documentation as possible in an effort to elevate their focus.
All that does is leave you with a blurry image.
Say what you want and leave the rest on the cutting room floor. Answer the questions that need to be answered and allow space for your audience to ask questions.
Where does this matter most?
- Your home hero section: The initial loaded section of your church website. Your audience needs to know who you are, what you are doing, when you are doing it, and how they can join you. Redemption OKC does a great job of communicating this.
- Your next steps page (find a location, plan your visit, etc …): This page allows people to find a little bit more about your church, typically their second page when they visit your page. Newbreak Church does a great job on their “Plan Your Visit“, as does New Life Community Church with their “Locations” page. Both sites and pages seek to answer the most important questions users have when visiting a church’s website.
The next click will almost always be an affinity click. Affinity clicks are determined based upon a users personal stage in life. For me, an affinity click would be elementary or junior high, as that is where my kids are at. It could be small groups, as my wife and I know we need to connect in a smaller format in order to grow the way we should. Your user defines these affinity clicks, but your home hero and next steps will always need to lead the way for your site.
This is when it becomes clear that having Google Analytics integrated on your site is mission critical. If you cannot measure everything you do online, then you will not know how to respond to the needs of your audience. You know that your users are going to your home hero first and the plan a visit page second, but do you know what they are doing next, and then after that? Know your sitemap, how people funnel through it, what leads to what, so you can elevate your known affinities and create the ones searched for but not expressed.
Good copy is good SEO.
When you answer the framework questions, leave the extra off the table, and implement your audience’s desired sitemap, you will begin to see an uptick in conversion and a minimization of confusion. That’s what good copy does; it converts. And if the website’s job is to inform so you can transform (move a person from online visitor to in-person guest), then your number one job online is to speak with crystal clarity.
- Say yes to what is important.
- Say no to the fluff.
If I can help you along the way, write a comment below or hit me up on CONTACT.