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A Church SEO Analogy: What if the NFL Didn’t Keep Stats?

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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The start of the NFL season is fast approaching.  Preseason is underway. Agents and general managers are finalizing contracts. If you’re a football fan, things couldn’t be more exciting!

The big news this week is the Atlanta Falcons just agreed to a contract extension with Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman, which will pay him $41.25 million over the next 5 years, making him the highest paid running back in the NFL.

Is he worth it?

(Let’s save the valid but tangential discussion about pro athletes getting paid many times what other people in other professions are paid for another time.)

According to the NFL:

Two seasons ago, the 5-foot-8, 206-pound Freeman made the Pro Bowl after gaining 1,056 yards on 265 carries and catching 73 passes for 578 yards. Last season, he ran for 1,079 yards on 227 carries and had 54 receptions for 462 yards, again earning a Pro Bowl selection.

Every discussion about whether a player is overpaid or underpaid relative to his competitors revolves around statistics.

What if the NFL didn’t keep statistics?

Can you imagine the discussions that would be had among general managers and coaches about the players they want to sign if there were no statistics?

I don’t know how many times he scored, but he seemed to be in the end zone a lot last season.  Remember that big play he made in New York?

Yeah, but that was just one play.

I know but he made lots of good plays like that.

I just don’t think he’s worth that much.

Based on what?

I don’t know.  It just seems like we’re getting more production from Joe and Darryl.

Joe and Darryl? Are you sure you’re thinking about last season and not 2 seasons ago?

Wouldn’t it be great if we actually tracked how many times each player actually caught the ball and how many times they scored?

Yeah, but that would take a lot of work.  We’re too busy running the team to do that.

Unfortunately, conversations like this happen all the time within churches as it relates to their outreach and specifically the impact of their website and church SEO.

Most churches don’t track how visitors heard about their church or what led them to visit.

As a result, most conversations about what kind of church marketing /  outreach is working and what’s not comes down to speculation and anecdotal evidence.  Most conversations about where to invest time and money come down to gut feeling.

Wouldn’t it be great if your church actually tracked how many visitors came to your church as a result of personal invitations, online searches, social media, driving by the church and seeing the sign, etc so you could make decisions based on real data?

Yes, it takes time and effort to ask visitors how they heard about your church.  Yes, it takes time and effort to track and compile that information.  But the bottom line is…

If you want to know the value of anything, you have to be willing to measure its results.

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If you’d like help putting together a system to help your church gather and track this data, that’s something we include in our church SEO service.  We’d love to talk more about that with you.  But we can’t talk to your visitors and track their responses for you.  You have to be willing to do the work if you want to make informed decisions.


  • Are you tacking where your church visitors are finding out about your church?  Why or why not?
  • What if any action will you be taking on this?

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.