Your nonprofit website is critical in helping you achieve your goals – but without proper analysis and data, there is no way you can know how to properly market, target and modify your website to meet those goals.
A typical non-profit website will want to achieve the following:
Educate — let people know at a glance what your nonprofit does – then allow them to click a link to learn more about the mission. When you properly educate your visitor – we hope that some of the below will happen!
Join Newsletter List — so that people can learn more about recent news surrounding your nonprofit.
Follow Socially – to become more engaged with your group and be able to participate in conversation and learn more about the mission and related works.
Gain Support — without the support of people – whether local, national or even international your nonprofit cannot be successful. Supporters are meant to be your advocates who talk about your mission, volunteer, donate and embrace your community.
Acquire Volunteers — to help you at events, fundraisers and to be an active member who makes a difference for your nonprofit.
Raise Donations — to help you further your mission and meet your goals.
So, that is a lot to do! If you have a website with actions to achieve all of the above – like sign up buttons, links to follow or a page to accept donations, how do you know people are taking these actions?
Google Analytics of course. If you do not have Google Analytics installed, we wrote a beginners guide to help you install Google Analytics and also offered other analytical alternatives.
For this post we are going to concentrate on 3 metrics that will get you started in understanding your visitors, how they are using your website and how you can improve your website to increase the above actions. Of course there are many more metrics you can and should use, but because we wanted to really give you visuals and tips we kept it short! We will write additional posts sharing other analytical metric tips for nonprofits.
The data we are sharing actually comes from our own website – we are based in NJ and target clients in the US.
One of the biggest issues within the non-profit segment we have found recently is the lack of a responsiveness on websites. This can have severely detrimental affects on your website usability and results.
WHERE TO GO IN ANALYTICS: To see what visitors are using to view your website you will go to AUDIENCE > MOBILE> OVERVIEW.
You should see a screen like the below. In this example you can see that most of the traffic comes from desktop users….and there was even a conversion from the Desktop view – very few visitors cam through the phone or tablet on these dates we checked.
Although our website is mobile friendly you can see by the below it is not critical to our business for it to be mobile friendly. (This does not mean you should not have mobile friendliness – this just guides you on where you should prioritize!). With mobile use growing – having a mobile friendly website is CRITICAL!!!!!
Knowing where your visitors come from is critical in defining whether your website is doing its job by targeting the right people. If you are a local nonprofit – most of your traffic should come from local areas. If you are seeing results from all over the world and minimal results from your local area – that is not going to benefit you.
WHERE TO GO IN ANALYTICS: To determine the locations of your visitors you will go to AUDIENCE > GEO > LOCATION
You should then see a screen that looks like the one below. You can see almost 75% of our traffic is from the US which is great. Although we can do international work – our main focus is US based organizations.
For local nonprofits – you will want to make sure you are getting visitors from your specific area and surrounding local areas. By clicking on the United States link in the report you can begin to further dissect location information. For our example you can see in the image below that 35% of the traffic this week comes from New Jersey based visitors – we are based in NJ so that is expected!
You can look at the maps to get an overview of where your visitors are coming from. As you can see we get visitors from all over the country, which is expected and welcome with what we do.
Now we can dig even a level further! So, lets say we want to see what locations in NJ are visiting our website – this is what local nonprofits should be doing – we could click on NJ in the map (or the New Jersey link below the map) and you will then see another map and list below the map of cities that have visited the website.
Here we see visits from towns like Marlboro, Lakewood and Toms River which are all relatively close to our business location. From here we can evaluate time on site, page views and other data to make sure we are engaging these visitors since they are the most important for your nonprofit.
Learning more about the pages your visitors are viewing the most can help you create content that is more engaging and help you modify your existing pages to improve your conversions.
WHERE TO GO IN ANALYTICS: To find out which of your pages are visited the most go to BEHAVIOR > SITE CONTENT > ALL PAGES
You will see a page that looks like the one below and from here you can see the most popular page is of course the home page, then the Free SEO Tools for Small Businesses blog post then our contact form.
Important things you will want to note here include the Average Time on Page, Entrances, Bounce Rate and % Exit.
In the sample below you can see the Bounce Rate for the SEO Tools page is 100% and the average time on page is 0. In this post we won’t go into the advanced reason that Google returns the data the way it does but give it to you in a simplistic form
BOUNCE RATE: As noted by Google, is the percentage of single page sessions – so you can see in the below example 10 visitors landed directly on the Free SEO Tools blog post – probably read the post – and then left without visiting any other pages. This would be why we have a 100% bounce rate for this post. Bounce rate needs a post of its own so we will dig further into this in a future post.
TIME ON PAGE: Now, why is there a 0.00 for the time on the page? Because Google cannot determine the time on a single page visit or a last page visit.
So if someone visits page 1 – then page 2 — they will be able to calculate how long the person was on page 1 – but not page 2.
So although analytics is a great tool – there are some issues you need to be aware of — we will try to do more posts about these types of issues so you can really gather the most accurate information to make changes!
In the example below you can see the Contact page shows average time on page of 2:02 with a 0% bounce rate. So this is telling me that no one visited ONLY the contact page – that whenever someone was on the contact page – they actually left the contact page to go on to another page.
So as you can see – even from a baseline perspective there is a ton of information you can use in your website to improve the aesthetics and also to improve your marketing.
Although this was a very low level analysis – I found one strong opportunity to improve my website – in doing a 5 minute review I found the following:
I may want to really figure out how to improve that SEO Tools post so I can get visitors to view other pages! When you have a really popular post – but that post is the only thing visitors are looking at – you should be creatively thinking of ways to encourage them to take more website actions.
So we have learned that people love our SEO Tools post…..so we know they have an interest in improving their own SEO – what can we do to potentially turn them into SEO clients? Here are some options for us:
1. Create a specific sidebar for that post that has a strong call to action for a free SEO analysis report
2. Link to additional related posts and services in that sidebar
3. Add a “link bait” box within the post itself to ensure they visit other similar posts
4. Add a sign up form at the end of the post to allow them to get more “news they can use”
This is just a quick list – but I am sure there are many more ways to improve this page!