Your Christian nonprofit organization or business works hard at creating phenomenal content. But if you struggle with understanding whether anyone reads your content, you’re probably frustrated and feel like you lack clear direction about whether to keep creating similar content or switch things up.
Here is how to know who reads your Christian organization’s digital content:
1. Install & set up Google Analytics. You need some form of measurement platform installed on your website. I use Google Analytics. In a previous post, I included some information about how to set it up.
2. Adjust the dates for which you want to measure. Once you have GA installed and set up, adjust the dates you want to measure. GA automatically takes you to the last 30 days. If you’ve had GA installed for a while, I recommend broadening that date range so you can get a feel for how your content has performed over time.
3. Know what to look for. Google Analytics offers no shortage of data so it’s important to know which metrics matter most to your Christian business or ministry. Web analytics that should matter most are things where visitors take a specific action on your website—unless your goal is simply for visitors to get information. In most cases, page views is a good starting point. Too many organizations look no further than page views, bounce rates or even time on page and assume how well their website performed from there. You always should look for data that corresponds to your organizational and marketing goals.
(In this post, I do only show page views that correspond to various types of demographics and data. In your organization, if you have goals set in Google Analytics, take it a step further and look at conversion rates too.)
4. Go to “Behavior.” To get an idea of who is reading your content, navigate to Behavior → Content Drilldown.
Now you can see which of your pages are most visited and drill down further. To see which posts are most read, click on “Blog” (do the same if you’re looking to see which, say, “Sermons” or “Episodes” or other form of media are most visited, if you don’t have a blog).
Keep in the mind the date range you selected. If you only selected the last month or so, you’ll probably see that your most visited content was from the last month (that’s most likely the content you’ve been promoting through your marketing channels). Widen the date range to get an idea of how content has performed over time.
Now you can apply additional data to this view to get a deeper sense for your content’s performance. For example:
– Determine general age of readers. Once you’ve clicked through to the next page path level (i.e. /blog or /media or /sermons), then you can select Secondary Dimension → Users → Age to determine the approximate age of readers among which your content most resonated.
– Determine which operating system most people use to view your content. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to optimize your content for mobile viewing. Most of your visitors may read, watch or listen to your content while they’re on the go. Knowing which operating system or even device most of them have used to view some of your most popular blog posts will help you optimize that type of content in the future.
– Uncover additional demographic information to better understand the types of posts that perform best among visitors. You can apply gender, region, affinity categories and more to the “Secondary Dimension” data view. Not only will this give you more information about who is reading your content (so you can create better content accordingly), but it also will help you use this information to better target your advertising.
– Determine whether your visitors are new or returning. You can see whether the majority of your visitors who read each post is a new visitor to your website or if they’ve been on your site before. Knowing this can help you tailor your content accordingly. Select “User Type” for the “Secondary Dimension” attribute.
Of course there are other ways to view the data in Google Analytics. But if you’re trying to nail down the types of people most reading, watching or listening to your Christian organization’s digital content, these are some of the most effective ways. The point is to measure what matters most to your organization and then use this information to make your digital content as appropriate, effective and compelling as you can for your target audience. Knowing this information can help you get found and give hope.