You want your church website to be the best that it can be because it reflects back on your church. One area that is often overlooked is the staff page, which is not great considering it’s generally one of the most visited pages on your site. In fact, here are the top viewed pages in order of visits.
That’s right, the staff page is, on average, the fourth most visited page on a church website. Which makes it one of the pages you can’t leave to chance. This begs the question, what makes a good church staff page?
In our research of other recommendations we found two competing viewpoints.
- The staff page is visited by new people looking to learn more about your church.
- The staff page is a resource where people from your church go to find contact information.
We could have easily choose one of these viewpoints and argued it was right and then given advice on how you could improve your site. Instead, we decided to look deeper and find what makes a church staff page good using google analytics.
Here’s what we found!
Who Is Viewing Staff Pages?
We found staff pages are mostly visited by new people. 62% of visits are from new visitors.
How Long Are People Viewing Staff Pages?
Next we looked at how long people spend on staff pages. The overall average time on a staff page was 1min 35s. When we looked at new visitors compared with returning visitors, we saw an interesting result. New visitors spend less time on the page, 1min 15s compared with returning visitors who spent 1min 56s. tweet this
This contradicts the idea that new visitors are trying to learn more about the church. If this were true we would expect to see them spend more time on the staff page then returning visitors.
What Do Low Performing Staff Pages Have In Common?
The staff pages people spent the least time on all had a similar characteristic. They either had no photos or very small photos (under 100 pixels). Under these conditions the average time on page was 46s. tweet this
While this might suggest that larger images perform better, we’ve found that overly large images have a negative correlation when compared to performance metrics like bounce and exit rate.
In fact the two staff pages with the highest bounce rates also had the largest images. Their bounce rates were 80% and 73%. It’s important to note these pages also suffered from poor functionality. They did not have filters or search capabilities, forcing people to scroll through long pages with large images. In the next section we’ll share best practices for staff pages.
Staff pages without search and filter functionality across the board performed worse than pages with these features. tweet this
- New visitor bounce rate was 8.9% higher
- Returning visitor bounce rate was 18.34% higher
- New visitor exit rate was 9.12% higher
- Returning visitor exit rate was 11.81% higher
- % Returning visitors is 8.97% less
- Returning visitors spent on avg. 38s longer on the page
From this information we can start to see what makes a good staff page.
What Do Good Staff Pages Have In Common?
The staff pages that performed well all had these traits in common.
- They have photos and they are larger than 100 pixels
- They don’t force people to scroll too much
- They have filters and search functionality
One thing we’d like to note is we did not take into account the overall quality of the images. This is more of a subject analysis. That being said, quality images with good lighting make your site look better.
How Can You Use This Information?
Take a look at your staff page. Is it following the best practices? If not you need to make some changes and add these features to your church website.
For other recommendations check out this eBook, A Practical Guide To Church Website Features. It includes recommendations for a small group finder, multi-site campus display, mega navigation and 5 more features. It’s a valuable resource for selecting the right features for your church website.