In our last article in this series we started looking at website analytics and how you can use analytics to track the traffic on your website. In addition to tracking things like how many visitors you are getting and from where those visitors are coming, most analytics solutions have a feature for tracking your website conversions, an invaluable piece of information.
Every website has a purpose (or at least it should). In many cases the webmaster wants the visitors to the site to do something. This may be wanting people to buy a product, download a document, make a donation, submit a contact form, etc. These are all goals, goals that can usually be tracked by analytics.
By tracking who is completing these goals we can learn a lot. One thing you may learn is that certain traffic sources or even certain keywords tend to bring visitors that complete the website goals more often than others. This can tell where to focus your marketing efforts for the most success. You can also learn where your biggest opportunities are for increasing the number of conversions.
For example, let’s say you want to have people complete a contact form, but you are only getting 1 form submitted a week. In analytics you may find that you only get a handfull of visitors each week and that’s your problem, but you may also find that you are getting lots of visitors. In that case you may find that visitors aren’t making it to contact form or you may find that they are getting to the form, but most don’t submit the form. By tracking the goals you can learn where the issue is that is preventing people from completing those goals and address the issue directly.
Churches (and many other organizations) always have offline goals as well. The most obvious being new visitors to the church. Of course analytics cannot track this. So, you have to rely on offline tracking methods for these. Here are some possible offline tracking methods you may want to use:
- Include a “Where did you hear about our church?” question on your visitor card/book.
- Have your greeters ask.
- When people call the church, have the secretary (or whomever) ask the caller.
- When visitors start a new members class or request to join the church, ask them how they found the church.
These are all really variations of the same thing. You have to ask. And, of course, after you ask you have to write it down somewhere for later analysis.
For churches, “conversions” should now have two meanings, coming to faith in Christ and completing one of the goals of the church website. I don’t know if you are tracking faith conversions, but you definitely need to be tracking your website conversions.
In the next article of this series we will offer some final thoughts about tracking and reporting for the marketing of your church.
Photo by Lawrence OP
What do you think?
Do you track where how visitors have found your church?
If so, what method do you use?