Chicago Church of Christ
Online Presence Proposal

Current Situation

What we do know is that our current website is getting on average around 700 views/week. Of those views, 66% are new visitors. So, on average, the church website is getting about 450-460 new visitors each week.

That is a substantial amount of opportunity. 85% of 450 is 382. Are there 382 new people walking through our physical or virtual doors each week? Do we even know what the numbers are?

Another good question – do we know how those website visitors are finding the website? What’s working? According to our Google analytics 47% of all website visitors are direct, and about 40% are being referred by Google. All other referrers contribute less than 5% of the website traffic for each source. In total, social media is the source of only about 5% of our website traffic.

What are we to make of all of this?

The church website is getting used.
Google is the biggest contributor of referred visitors.
Beyond this, there’s a lot of opportunity for development.

Potential Audience

Clearly our objective is to connect with people. We want people to find us and know about us. We want to turn seekers into visitors. We want to create awareness with those who are not seeking and encourage them to seek us out.

Potential visitors to the church will generally fit into one of two categories: active seekers and passive seekers.

Active seekers are the people that organizations typically want to target first. Online, they are searching Google and/or YouTube for a wide range of answers to their questions, in this case about their faith, current spiritual trends and where to find a local church, just to name a few. With the proper tools and resources in place the church would be better able to capitalize on this opportunity.

Passive seekers have needs they are unaware of but can be persuaded to take action when they are made aware that help is available. This is where social media and other advertising sources comes in. Obviously, this is a huge area of opportunity for the church as well.

Certainly people can connect with us via social media. However, it's leaving a lot to chance if we just leave it at that, and it's a bit more difficult to predict and measure. What we want them to do is take action in ways that we can measure and which lead them into a situation where we can then control the outreach. For example, having an email database of website visitors is much more preferable than having multiple followers on Instagram. 

Here is a summary of observations of our current online presence…

There is a huge opportunity to reach people, not only locally but globally, that the church is not currently poised to take full advantage of.
Google grants to get free advertising are available, but not currently being sought.
Though Google analytics are in place they are not being monitored.
There doesn’t appear to be a solid SEO or SEM strategy in place to target active seekers.
There doesn’t appear to be a current brand or story that the church is telling effectively.
The website is outdated and hindering the flow of communication and connection.
There is an Instagram account, but it’s not being used as effectively as it could be. There’s an opportunity to quickly grow the current number of followers from 675 and to gain more followers and engagement by posting regularly and with strategic hashtags.
Facebook poses interesting challenges, because each ministry center has its own page, leaving the main church page somewhat unattended and updated seemingly only when there are congregational events.
The YouTube channel situation needs a lot of help. All but one or two videos are worship music videos. The “Community” tab has not been utilized at all.
There doesn’t appear to be a Twitter account or any other social media presence for the church. Nor are there other media methods, such as a podcast, that the church is utilizing.
The Chicagoland area has a huge Spanish speaking community. The church has a Spanish speaking ministry. However, there is no Spanish translation for the web page. The good news is there is a Ministerio Hispano Facebook page that is current in posting.
Another significant challenge that we face is that there are several geographical meeting locations, each with their own online presence. This makes the ministry centers seem like autonomous churches. The Midpoint Ministry Center, for example, has its own logo. It’s branded completely different than the rest of the church.
With all of the ministry centers sort of “doing their own thing” online, we not only miss out on tilting the algorithms in our favor, but we can actually come across as confusing at best and, at worse, not unified.
Another medium the Church does not have in place is a mobile app.

Additional Website Stats...

There is a significant gap between the number of visits to the home page and the next most visited page, indicating that most people are abandoning the site at the home page.
The number of visits to the welcome page is extremely low, indicating that a very low percentage (4%) of new visitors to the home page are clicking through to the welcome page.
66% of all current website visitors are new to the site. (These numbers do vary)
66% of all visitors to the website are using a mobile phone. (These numbers do vary)
Potentially 100% of new visitors to the site are using a mobile phone. Though this may not be likely, it’s very likely that the percentage is very high.
There is no content or resources on the website, such as sermon, blog, videos, etc.

There is hope!

Rockstar Website Design

Steve Pederson 
(773) 590-4577
steve@rockstarwebsitedesign.com

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