Over a period of six months we monitored the usage of all of iMinistries websites using Google Analytics. Some results were to be expected. Others surprised us. From these statistics we've come to the conclusion that the convergence of technology, social media, and design/UX create a healthy church web presence.
Definition: The platform your website is built upon, and how you manage website content.
A church should be using some sort of content management system (CMS). Website content includes, pages, blog entries, sermons, news, and events. This technology should be SEO friendly and easy to update.
Why?: People come to your website for content (see the astounding numbers below). It is important to present that content in a way that is easy to find and interesting. A CMS is the best tool for completing those tasks because:
Definition: Outlets used to engage and connect with users and draw traffic to your website.
Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, and LinkedIn are a few examples. Newcomers are Google+ and Pinterest--both showed good results in the first six months, but not enough to give much thought to them yet. We plan on revisiting this in another six months and are curious to see if that changes.
Why?: Social media hubs like Facebook give you a level of personal interaction that is usually lacking on your main website. Twitter and video sites can also help your content be shared to audiences who wouldn't normally come into contact with you.
Definition: How your website looks and functions.
Is it easy to navigate and find content. Is your website visually appealing? Is it simple? Your website should look professional. This design should be carried over into the social media outlets to create a uniform online presence.
Why?: What good is content if your visitors can't find it? Or if interacting with your website is not a positive experience? Your UX leaves a lasting impression to users, most of the time within seconds of their arrival.
Put all these things together, and you have a healthy web presence. Here is a visual representation of our data:
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