Church Marketing: How Your Church Can Use Google Analytics
Churches Have Access To Powerful Analytics Data with Google
One of the questions that pastors and their teams often ask, is “How are people finding us?” This basic question can involve a lot of sleuthing, guesswork and conjecture. But, platforms like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help the local church to better understand how people access their website, and the role that their website plays in getting people to get involved.
How Church Marketers Can Use The Power of Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a phenomenally powerful tool, that is used to evaluate the onsite performance of your website.
One of the most powerful features is the ability to track website visitors by referral source. You might be surprised to see how much difference there is between website visitors who find you via an organic search on Google and those who found you on Facebook. Every church is different, and how website visitors perform on your site is going to be unique to you.
At a minimum, we recommend that your church understand the following important reports and metrics from their Google Analytics:
- Traffic acquisition by channel group (report)
- Traffic acquisition by source/medium (report)
- Users (metric)
- Average engagement time per session (metric)
- Conversions (metric)
These reports and metrics may need to be configured, published (from Google Analytics reporting library), or filtered, in order to be best evaluated.
Church Marketing Tip: For Best Results Integrate Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Google Search Console provides you with data about the search terms (queries) that people are using to find your website.
Data can be evaluated by query, page or device. We recommend you evaluate how individual pages and queries are helping you to show up more frequently on the search engine results page (SERP). The best way to understand this is to look at the number of impressions.
When Google Search Console (GSC) is integrated into your analytics you can see the impressions, clicks, click-through rate, and average position, and then match this to the Google Analytics data that you have already configured; users, engaged sessions, engagement rate, conversions and etc.
Church Marketing Tip: Marking Events as Conversions
Google makes it really easy to track specific actions that visitors take on your website. These actions are known as events. Events can be a button click, file download, form start, form submission or a number of other important actions.
To access this information you’ll need to go to the Admin panel (via the gearshift icon on the left bar menu). Here you will find a list of options, and one of those options is Events.
Review the list and use the toggle feature to mark the event as a conversion. You are now tracking these as conversions!
Be sure to filter your conversions by type when reviewing your reports.
Church Marketing Tip: Use Compare to Better Evaluate True Performance
When viewing reports we recommend looking at the last 28 or 90 days of data. This often gives a truer picture of data and trends. But this can still be misleading. Be sure to also consider using the “compare” feature (found on your date range at the top of the page).
When using this feature for year over year comparisons be sure to account for Easter, church events or other large seasonal spikes. Easter, in particular, will need to be set to a custom period as a year over year analysis may not capture the correct period.