We are getting to the end of the three-day ad I ran on Facebook to promote the church's Palm Sunday service. At this point more than 25,000 people have seen the ad, usually in the context of their newsfeed. Out of that I've got 128 "clicks" on the ad, which would have taken them to the church's Facebook page. Out of that I've gotten about 30 "likes" of the page that weren't following before. If they continued the follow the funnel flow they would have landed on a page I designed on the church's website to specifically promote Holy Week. That's gotten approximately 25 views specifically from the Facebook Link (and it doesn't count people who might have found their way to that page some other way). Overall the traffic to the website has almost doubled since I started running the FB ad. And it only cost us $50. What I really can't wait to see is if all this translates into even ONE visitor tomorrow. If we do get one, will have been totally worth it. I can't wait to meet that person, by the way, and introduce them to our community.
The second observation I would make is that 41% of our traffic comes from referrals and the vast majority of them are from Facebook (though we do get a few from this blog and from the Diocese of Toronto's website). 29% comes from search traffic (mostly people Googling "Messiah Church Toronto") and 31% is people directly typing it "www.churchofthemessiah.ca" into their browser or clicking on a bookmark. This is fascinating, since if you had asked me before I started measuring I would have told you that most people come to our website through Google... not true. Facebook is having a huge impact.
Here's another interesting thing 26% of the people viewing the site are doing so on a mobile device (either a phone or a tablet). I think I would have guessed a bit low on that one, too. But it makes me thankful that I used a template that displays beautifully on mobile devices. You can even swipe the image slider on your mobile device and it works correctly.
So all of this has reconfirmed, for me, the importance of "feeding the beast" of content. Because drawing traffic to your site does no good if you don't have compelling content. And, what's even more important--that content needs to be developed more-or-less organically. It is misguided to do bait-and-switch. The content of the website needs to reflect accurately the life and character of the community. The low hanging fruit on the content tree is sermons. So I'm trying to get better about posting my sermons, regardless of how I felt about them when I preached them. I'm also trying not to get too crazy about doing nice production on them. Timeliness is very, very important. There is a quality threshold that stuff needs to meet, naturally, but then you just have to post, post, post.
As I write this I'm rendering a video of the sermon from Eleanor's funeral. I'll post it on the church's website and also cross-post it here when it's done.