What Visitors Look for Before They Visit

posted on July 11 by Brian Jones


People actually visit your church before they physically visit your campus or service. Ideas and conclusions about your church are formulated before visitors even attend your church. It's a sign of how church shopping has changed in that people are intrigued (or not) by your online presentation.

Your Sunday experience preparations are still critical to their overall experience sequence and assessment. But, it's critical to understand that seekers', in their minds, have complete visitor experiences online. And with this online visit, potentially dismiss churches solely on the quality and relevance of their online presence (via social media and website). 




Getting Real With Social Media

It's time to evaluate the quality of your social media, not the quantity of your social media. What's the overall recipe of your social media posts? Is it heavy on programming? Is it invitational? Is it approachable? Is it honest? Is it typical church? Is it an anything goes approach? You're all in the social space, so it's now time to evaluate your relevance in the social space. It's easy for people to check your social competence because it's another way people experience and evaluate. Make sure your social media presence has awareness that it's part of today's new first time visit. 


The "Tell Me" Website VS. the "Show Me" Website

There's a big difference between websites that embody one or the other. A Tell Me website is a web brochure with layers and layers of content and copy for today's web experience. It's likely overcomplicated. It's lite on hero images and videos. The experience and the story of the church is undervalued in most cases. These websites scream outdated to typical web users. Consequently, these websites... and your church... are quickly passed over. The Tell Me websites fail to captivate, motivate, and invite users.

The Show Me website is the converse experience. Bold messaging and images. Lighter text and drastically fewer pages are viewed as refreshing and simple. The Show Me website has approached web communications with a more visual and experiential posture and the end result is a more relevant experience. Your website should be alive and vibrant, and the Show Me website understands that principle. 


First Time Visits Are Happening and Opinions Are Being Formulated

People are quick to conclude with an online experience. The engagement factor is activated or deactivated very quickly by the quality of your website experience. In today's culture, you can't risk having a subpar website and expect it to provide a meaningful first time visit to your church. It's simply a formula for missed opportunity. The problem is only solved when you move towards a visitor-centric website.

So, how effective is your church planning and providing for "the first visit before the campus visit?" Who knows, you may have a first time visitor right now... are your frontline social and website assets ready?