The top seven things people want to know about our church based on website analytics…
Today we looked at a month’s worth of website analytics provided by google for The Oasis Church’s website.
We discovered that we had about 250 visits to the website over the past month. Based on page views, the analytics suggest that there are seven things that people want to know about our church in descending order of importance.
#1 – What are your ministries as a congregation? view it
The ministries page is the most viewed page on the website. By going to this page, people may be asking, “What will I find at your church if I come?” or “What are you doing for the people who are part of your church?”
#2 – Who are the people doing the ministry? view it
The staff and leaders page is the second most visited page on the site. By going to this page, people may be asking “Who actually does the ministry at your church?” or “What kind of people are going to minister to me if I come?”
The pastor’s bio page is the third most visited page on the site. By going to this page, people may be asking, “Who is the person leading this church?” or “What type of person does the pastor seem to be, and is there anything about him that I can connect with?”
#4 – What is your missions focus? view it
The missions page is the fourth most visited page on the site. By going to this page, people may be asking, “What does your church do to reach out?” or “Do you have a heart to reach people beyond your programs and activities?”
The doctrine/beliefs page is the fifth most visited page on the site. By going to this page, people seem to be asking, “What do you believe?” or “What will I be taught, or expected to embrace if I come to your church?”
Interestingly, the “bounce” rate on this page was very high (which means that the highest number of people who visit the site after reading this page navigate away from our site and move on to something else).
Could they be saying, “I don’t like what I read,” or the opposite, “Well, that’s good. Now that I know what they believe, I’ll check it out”?
We don’t know how exactly to interpret this at this point. All we know is that most visitors leave our site once they read our doctrinal statement (copied exactly from the Foursquare doctrinal statement). Bottom line – they either like how we expressed what we believe, or they don’t, and in either case, they often leave the site once they know.
#6 – How does one get involved here? view it
The volunteers page is the sixth most visited page on the website. By going to this page, it is possible that people are wondering how they might be able to serve or be involved in the body-life of the Oasis Church. Another way of saying it could be, “How could I be involved if I decided to come to your church?” or “What is there for me to do there?”
#7 – What is worship like at The Oasis? view it
The seventh most visited page on the website was the worship page (from there, there is a dramatic drop off of visitor hits to other pages). People who visit this page may be asking questions like, “What is the music like?” or “What does the team look like?” (which can point to style, etc). They may be asking, “Will I like what I hear or see (sound and images)” and “Will I be able to enjoy this part of the service if I decide to attend?”
Initial Summary and Reflections:
These findings are somewhat different from what I imagined when thinking about why people come to our site.
It seems that – at least from the website traffic point-of-view, people want to know seven things about The Oasis before the come for a visit (these are the things we have to communicate VERY WELL on the site). They are:
- “If I come to your church, what will I find you doing there, and how will it benefit my family?”
- “Who are the people that are actually leading the church, and who is the key-leader (pastor)? Is it possible that these people will be the kind of people I can receive from, connect with, and follow?”
- “In what ways does this church reach beyond its four walls to world outside? Does it have a heart for the lost?”
- “What do you believe, and what kind of teaching will I be exposed to if I decide to come to your church?”
- “If I come, how could I get involved in the life of the church?”
- And finally, “Worship is very important to me, so I need some idea of what your approach is. Will I like the music, the style, the content, and the approach to worship that your church takes?”
Regardless of our emotional response (whether positive or negative) toward some of these analytics, the fact is – this is what people are asking about our church.
Without attempting to simply “give people what they want,” or trying to become a “something for everyone” church – I would like to see us give very clear and helpful answers to these questions on our website. Ultimately, people will decide whether or not the answer we give is what they are looking for.
My heart is to be as clear and helpful as possible in answering questions. This is very different from “telling people what they want to hear so they’ll come.”
It’s obvious to me, when I look at each of these seven pages on the site that we need better content, probably some short video vignettes giving more personalized information, and more clarity. I’m excited to get to work on it.
Thought you might be interested. I would love your feedback.