Websites are an essential part of your digital strategy as an organization.
While we spend a huge amount of our time maintaining and building an impactful social media presence. We develop trendy Reels and TikToks, post updates on our Facebook accounts, and share captivating graphics and images.
Although posting consistent and engaging content on social media is very important, we can overlook the need to keep our websites fresh and dynamic in the same way.
Think for a moment about shopping in a boutique store.
Part of the appeal of a boutique store is the front window display. It is the area that draws you in and if the display is captivating enough, it may even move you to come inside.
There is intentionality and technique behind how boutiques utilize their front window space to impact their potential consumers. Many boutiques consistently change and shift their display to keep them fresh, relevant, and dynamic. For most, they shift the display based on the various holidays and seasons. Some even change their display every single week.
Why does this technique of shifting a simple display tend to impact consumers?
First off, humans are highly visual beings. We are drawn to things by our eyes and some of us even learn best visually. We can notice even the slightest change in detail based solely on what we see. That is why we do a double-take if we notice a friend has dramatically changed their hair-do!
We have this same type of response when we pass by a boutique display window. If we walk by the same old thing every day we won’t typically tend to stop in every time. However, if we notice a new item or product in the window, we may do a double-take and stop in.
This same principle applies to our digital “front door” i.e. our websites. Your website gives the first impression to your audience. It is where they will look to get the general gist of what your church, non-profit, or business is about.
Let’s say that you’ve made a great first impression through your website. Your site was discovered, the viewer loved it, and they even ended up engaging with your organization. So what will it be that keeps them coming back? Will they come back to your website later and find the same thing they saw last time?
We’re not saying people will abandon your brand if they don’t see fresh new content every single day on your website. The point here is that there is a great benefit to changing things up for the sake of your audience members.
Specifically, changing up the look of your homepage can be just what you need to change things up. This subtle change may just grab your audience’s attention and keeps them coming back for more, just like a boutique display window!
What changes can you make to your website homepage to keep it fresh and more dynamic? Here are four simple tweaks you can make.
Simply put, your website homepage needs to have a background banner image of some sort. There are countless different images you can use as your banner background. Here are a few ideas:
The banner image can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. For example, Maverick City Music utilizes a simple photo of their latest album as their homepage banner. If you want to get a bit fancier with your static image, you can mash together different images from your organization into an appealing photo collage.
The main thing to remember here is: what do you want your first impression to be? Utilizing real photos of real people in your organization, church, or non-profit is going to be your best bet. Giving your potential visitors/customers an accurate depiction of your community is important to solidify authenticity and trustworthiness. Opt for pictures of authentic community and pictures that best represent your mission.
There is a new gadget that shoe stores are beginning to use in their store displays: Floating Shoe Displays. These displays utilize a super strong magnet to make a single shoe float and spin 360° to give it a cool, futuristic look.
Part of what makes the look of this display so appealing is its usage of movement. While you could just throw some shoes on a shoe rack, the moving display draws your eyes instantaneously to a single shoe.
Our eyes are drawn to images and they are especially drawn to movement. You can have the best of both worlds through a photo slideshow on your website banner. Mosiac Church of Florida offers a great example of both a unique homepage with a dynamic and appealing photo slideshow.
The awesome thing about a photo slideshow is you can change out the images on it as often as you want! This will guarantee there is always fresh content on your homepage that doesn’t get dull over time.
As mentioned, it is a good idea to keep your homepage banner image-heavy rather than text or information-heavy. However, there may be bits of important information that you want to convey to your audience right off the bat. This is where announcement bars come in handy.
We mentioned in one of our past blog posts that pop-ups are one of the many reasons visitors will run away from your website. Announcement bars however are not nearly as intrusive and aggravating as a pop-up box. Banners are subtle and small, yet can stand out enough that they are one of the first things people see when they visit your website.
You can use announcement bars to announce upcoming events, church cancellations, service time changes, and much more. Announcement bars are like the temporary tattoos on your homepage: they won’t last forever, but they can make a statement when you need them to.
Last but certainly not least, one of the best ways to make your webpage fresh and dynamic is using a video background. While there is much more work required to film, edit, and integrate a video on your website, the results are well worth it.
Video brings together the elements of visual images and movement to grab the attention of your website viewer. Just as with a static image, there are a ton of different ways you can use video on your website header. You can use videos of:
Passion City Church knocks it out of the park with their website video header. Their header takes up the entirety of their homepage and is filled with powerful video clips of worship and Sunday services.
This video gives you a glimpse into their Sunday services, highlights special events, and gives you a feel for the general vibe of the church.
Churchome on the other hand also uses a video for their header but with a completely different vibe. Their video is fitted with various clips of community life, small groups, baptisms, and service. Their slogan “A Community Where You Belong” sits right on top of the simple black and white video.
We’ll mention it once more in case you forget: whether your website video is vibrant and action-packed or calm and cool, make sure it represents your organization well!
We hope this short list is helpful for your organization as you consider different ways to shake things up on your website!
If you need some assistance with developing or sprucing up your website, our team at PMF Creative can help you out! We can help you build a website from scratch, help you migrate your existing site to a new one, and help you add the dynamic features mentioned above. Contact our team today for more information.
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