Are people knocking on your virtual door ripe for the harvest? Do you have a potential for offering deeper discipleship to people who are eagerly awaiting something more than what you offer now? This may be the case with those who come to your website or watch your sermons online.[featured-image single-newwindow=”false”]courtesy © istockphoto.com/NAN104[/featured-image]
Monitoring your website analytics is key to knowing whether your site is making a difference in the world, whether you are accomplishing the goals you have for your website, and identifying future growth opportunities. If your current website solution or company does not provide you with good analytics, it is time to look for another website solution.
Watch the statistics of your website to make sure you are accomplishing the goals you set out to accomplish. Do not simply analyze statistics and numbers. A huge part of determining whether you are making a difference is listening to the stories of changed lives. Document these stories. Where appropriate and if you have permission, tell these stories to others. Some of the benefits of these stories are:
One of the biggest surprises for churches who place valuable content on their websites often discover is the global impact they are having and don’t even know it.
With the proper analytical tools on your website, you can tell an amazing amount of information about traffic patterns to and on your site.
Analyzing these trends may reveal you have a high concentration of people watching your worship service in a particular geographic location. This could lead to developing an in person Bible study in that area or even starting a new physical campus there. Imagine already having a large number of people hungry for more. Depending upon your church’s vision and strategy this may be the best place to concentrate resources for expansion.
Analytic tools provide great details such as how many people visited your site in a given period of time, what pages they visited, what city and country they are from, what source brought them to your site, what browser they were using, what operating system their device has, whether they were using mobile or desktop, what social networks brought them to your site, what search key words they used, and much more. You can set goals such as driving people to a certain page and know how many people reached that goal. As mentioned above in the prospecting section, you can tell how many people are viewing your site at a given time from a geographical location. This is provided through both a map view and list view of cities.
Adding analytics to your site is surprisingly easy. Here are there of the more widely used analytic tools.
This is arguably the most widely used web analytic tools available. One reason is because it is free, but it also provides some very powerful analytics. One often overlooked feature is basic heat maps that tell where on each page people click. Learn more by going to their website at www.google.com/analytics.
There is a free version for up to 3,000 daily page views. The free version is also limited in features. Some of the paid features include:
For detailed list of features, be sure to visit www.clicky.com.
The tools above are very powerful. With all the data they provide, some find them to be cumbersome and confusing. They have become easier to use over time.
Church Analytics is another tool that is popular because it manages to provide a good balance between ease of use and great analytics. It offers some features that others do not. This tool is not free, but evaluating as to see if it provides the data you need. Learn more at www.churchanalytics.com.
If you decide to go with a paid tool, it is recommended to use Google Analytics as well. This not only provides you with additional analytics, many believe it helps in Google.com search results.
Steve's passion is to help ministers and churches do ministry in our new digital, social, mobile world at the speed of life through building a strong ministry infrastructure (minfrasTructure). With a background in church administration, Christian education, missions, and technology, he offers advice, tips, and tools through writing, blogging, speaking, online courses, consulting, and personal coaching.