As we start 2016 and look back on 2015, we realize we owe a huge debt of gratitude to those whose support and encouragement has enabled us to serve those God is raising up for mission service.
Will you take a minute and reflect with us on what God has done? Despite a number of changes and challenges, we saw growth in several key areas.
Mission Trip Search Engine
ShortTermMissions.com saw a 10% increase in traffic in 2015 and received just short of 300,000 visits. Each year about 90% of the partnering organizations decide to continue. In 2015, more than 100 organizations posted information about more than 2,000 trips and received more than 20,000 inquiries. The site also has a very low rate of bounces (those who find the site but leave within the first 10 seconds).
The quarterly ShortTermMissions.com newsletter, launched in 2013, now has more than 13,000 subscribers. Remarkable! Along with a growing social media presence, it continues to connect with those who use the service and invite them back to the site.
In the last year and a half, AskAMissionary.com has seen a significant increase in traffic, with a 56% increase during 2015 alone. Traffic grew steadily throughout the year for a total of more than 130,000 visits. Page views were also up 38%, to reach 248,000.
Unfortunately, the bounce rate for the site was high; many come to the site but do not stay to view additional pages. The length of time people spend on the site and the number of pages they view has decreased slowly over the last three years, despite measures taken to make the site engaging.
Less surprising is a slight decrease in visits to PreparingToGo.com, a web service with a similar purpose. It’s designed to provide video excerpts of missionaries showing their journey to the field. Traffic to the site, which is maintained but not being further developed, was down 7%. Yet it still reached more than 11,000 visits and 24,000 page views in 2015.
We’re grateful for the ways the Lord has used these resources.