Last week, we talked about the importance of setting goals for your website and what kind of goals should be set. Today, we are going to discuss measuring the goals for your website.
- One of the most common goals that an organization will set for their website is for some specific action to take place by a visitor. When a visitor completes a desired task or step on your website, it is called a conversion. So ask yourself, “Once visitors are on my website, what do I want them to do?” Do you want them to submit form, watch a video, place a phone call, make a purchase, or visit your organization in person? List specific things you want visitors to do.
- Tracking of goals and conversions: Many website builders will have built in traffic monitoring software that will give you the ability to track things like total visitors, unique visitors, and visitors to specific pages. However, to track conversions or more detailed goals, you will probably need 3rd party software like Google Analytics. Without this software, you may know when a purchase is made on your website or when someone fills out a form; however, do you really know how many times it is being done? I know that my kids say the word “Mom” or “Dad” many times each day, but do I really know exactly how many times unless I track it? The good news is that if any of the conversion goals which are completed on the website, can be tracked with the proper software. However, if the goal is something that is not done on the website (make a phone call or visit your organization in person), then you will need to set up manual tracking.
- Manually tracking conversions is where most churches and schools drop the ball. For churches, many people will show up at the church for the first time and are never asked how they found the church. A church should have cards available in the chairs/pews that ask where the visitor learned of their church. Another option is to have “New Visitor” kiosks where 1st time visitors can quickly fill out an electronic form. In addition to having these means of collecting data, there should be an intentional effort made to ask 1st time visitors to complete the information form (ie: Announcement from the pastor). In the announcement, I recommend stressing to visitors that you aren’t going to stalk them or visit them at their homes but you just want to know how they found the church and if there are any needs you can help them with.
- Another manual goal may be for the visitor to make a phone call. If the goal is for someone to make a phone call, then the person who answers the phone should have a spreadsheet to track each phone call. If a person calling is someone from outside the organization, the person answering the phone should ask, “How did you hear of us? Was it from driving by our building, our website, etc.” Then they should complete the spreadsheet appropriately.
What are you doing to track goals from your website? Do you have any advice on tracking manual goals that take place off your website? Please post your comments below and check back next week when we will discuss what to do if you are not reaching your goals and how to increase the conversion rate of your website.