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You Think You Know, But Without This Your Website is Worthless

Written by Mark Steinbrueck

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We kicked of Goals Month by looking at 4 types of goals and asking, “Should Churches Set Goals?

In this post we want to narrow our focus and ask…

Is it really necessary to set goals for your website?

We’ll that depends.  Do you want to know if the investment that you or your organization is making in a website is worth it?  Do you want to know if the marketing you are doing to drive traffic to your website is worth it?  If the answer is “yes” to these questions, then it is necessary to set goals for your website.

I receive many phone calls from people who say, “Mark, I don’t know if my website is worth the time and money I am spending.”  My typical response is, “So what goals have you set for your website?  Are you meeting those goals?”  Most of the time, I hear that no goals were set or that there were goals set but they don’t really know if they are meeting their goals.

You’re not alone!  Setting goals can be one of the most intimidating things to do for a website.  It is also something that is often overlooked. In fact…

Many organizations are so excited to have a “working” website they forget to set goals to measure whether the website is really “working” for them.

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So what are some of the goals that a website should have for an organization?

1) How many visitors are you getting to your website.

The total number of visitors is good to know but the number of unique visitors is more important.  The reason for this is that there could be a small number of visitors that are coming to the website many times which can give the impression that the site is very active and being used by many.  However, if this is the case, knowing the number of unique visitors gives a much more realistic picture of the activity that is happening on the website.

It’s also helpful to know how the number of unique visitors is changing month to month and year over year. If you start a new church outreach initiative – SEO, blogging, social media, online ads, or whatever – it’s important to measure how many people this is bringing to your website, and good to have a goal for this.

2) Where are visitors coming from.

How are people finding the website?  Are visitors coming from search engines, are they coming from other sites that have a link to your website on them, are they coming from online ads, are the coming from social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.).  It is important to know these things so you can either cater to those coming from specific sources or increase your efforts to drive traffic from sources that may be lacking.

Again, it’s important to know how the number of unique visitors from each source is changing month to month and year over year to measure the specific impact of your outreach efforts.

3) What pages are being visited most often.

When looking at the overall traffic to your website, it is important to monitor which pages are being visited the most.  If you are a church and the page with the location/directions is being visited most, you may consider putting that information on the homepage or having a quick link on the homepage to that information.  If you are business and a certain product or service page is getting the most visits, you may want to spotlight that product or service on your homepage so it is easier for those who want to make a purchase.

In our strategic plan, we have project goals and process process goals we have set for this year to grow the overall number of unique visitors to our website and specific parts of our website. And we’ve also set metrics (numerical goals) for what we expect those projects and processes to produce.

If you decide to get a new website for your organization to help you reach more people online, its important to track the impact the new website has and have goals for that impact.

Do you think setting website goals are important?  Have you set any goals for your website?  If so, what are your goals? 

Please post your comments below.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post in which we talk about the most overlooked website goal.

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About the author

Mark Steinbrueck

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

2 Comments

  • Fantastic article, has made me write a list of things to do. Can you give me some advice on how to monitor my site. You've talked above about checking to see how many visitors are actually coming to the site and where they are finding the site, but how do I monitor this?

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