Gone are the days of simply measuring weekly church attendance and membership. In order to see how much reach churches really have, you now need to measure your online efforts as well. Who are you reaching besides those in your pews? Exactly how far does your influence go? Do you reach a variety of demographics, or are you only reaching those in a certain age-group?
To answer these questions, you'll need to measure your online efforts. Doing so will not only help you determine how you are reaching people, but how you can better cater to your target audience.
What Are KPIs?
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. When you determine a KPI, you determine a metric that is important to your church. Measuring KPIs can help your church discover whether or not it's headed in the right direction. KPIs are also helpful when determining how well the church is meeting its goals.
When trying to come up with the correct KPIs, it's important that they are quantitative, practical, and actionable. In order to help you improve, it's also a great idea to set SMART goals around your key performance indicators.
What KPIs Should You Measure?
It's important to note that not everyone will have the same KPIs. Your specific key performance indicators largely depends on your goals as a church, which is why you'll need to figure out your church goals before setting clearly defined goals for your website.
Here are some questions your church should be asking when determining your specific KPIs:
- How did visitors learn about our church? Were they invited or were they attracted by a specific program?
- How long does it take for a visitor to become a member or for them to get involved?
- How are we meeting the spiritual needs of both existing and new members?
Asking these questions will give you a better idea of how you’re reaching both visitors and members. Once you know this information, you will know which KPIs to measure when it comes to your church website.
Four Smart KPIs to Measure
1. Most Viewed Pages
This church website statistic will provide clear insight into what your online visitors are most interested in. If most of your visitors are going to the small group finder, it's a good indication they want to connect with others. If they are mostly viewing your videos, they are probably trying to get a good idea of what your services are like. Knowing your most viewed pages will show you where to focus your efforts.
On a similar note, if one page has high views, but also a high bounce rate, this is an indication that this page needs work. People are obviously interested in this page, but the content on the page isn’t what they’re looking for (as seen from the high bounce rate). Update or change the content and see if your bounce rate decreases.
2. Conversion Rates
CTAs (or calls-to-action) are buttons on your website that allow your visitor to convert. For instance, your “sign up now” button is considered a CTA. By getting conversions, you are gaining contacts, and therefore potential members.
If your conversion rates are low, there are a number of reasons that could explain this: it could be the wrong CTA for that page, the CTA could be too hard to find, the wording isn't clear enough, or you are attracting the wrong audience.
Tip: You can A/B test your CTAs to find out what colors, wording, and size of CTA affects your conversion rates. But be sure to only change one factor at a time so that you can determine what influences visitors.
By monitoring your conversion rates, you can evaluate what offers your members are ready for, what wording motivates them, and what pages they convert from—all of these factors can help you learn how to increase your conversion rates and ultimately gain more contacts.
The traffic your church website generates helps you know how many people are coming to your site, where they are coming from, and how long they are staying. Although it’s a broad KPI to measure, you can gain a lot of information from it.
The typical traffic sources are:
- Organic search (when someone enters a keyword into a search engine and your website pops up)
- Referrals from other websites (when someone has a link to your website on their website)
- Social media
- Direct traffic (when someone types your url directly into the search bar)
- Email marketing
- Pay-per-click (or PPC, which refers to any paid traffic campaigns)
If you're gaining a lot of traffic from social media or email marketing, you should focus your efforts there. If you’re not gaining any traffic from PPC, you may decide to stop advertising on Google Adwords or other advertising platforms.
4. Online Giving
Giving is typically a very important metric for churches and the great thing about online giving is that it is an easy KPI to measure through your online giving platform.
This helps you know when your members are giving, how often they are giving, and how much they are giving. Set goals around your online giving. Try new ways to encourage people to give online and set up recurring giving.
Remember, KPIs are going to vary from church to church, and you need to measure what matters for your church. The best place to start is sitting down with your church leadership team to figure out your church goals. From there, you can form SMART goals around your church website and figure out which KPIs to measure on a regular basis. To learn more about how goals should influence your church website, download our eBook Goal Oriented Church Website Design.