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How nonprofits can use Google Analytics to gain constituent insight

google analytics

As a person working at a nonprofit, you probably track success based on how close you are to meeting your goals for the year based on amount of donations received, the number of people signed up for your newsletter and engagement on your social channels. But do you know and utilize the ways you can track your website’s success and your organization’s online presence? These can also be great tools to assess success of your organization’s brand, message and even general good will across the digital space.

Google Analytics is a great (free!) option that allows you to monitor stats from websites and mobile apps. A few benefits to using Google Analytics include:

It’s free of charge

It doesn’t cost anything to sign up for a Google Analytics account and it offers just as many, if not more functionalities as other similar programs.

Help improving your website

Using the statistics pulled from Google Analytics, you can find out what areas of your website are receiving the most traffic and which pages may need a redesign or updated copy. This can be particular insightful as it relates to your online donation pages.

Information on visitors

This program shows you on which pages your visitors are spending time and how they were originally referred to your site (e.g. from social media, your e-newsletter, SMS). You also can see how many new visitors your website receives and where they are located.

If you aren’t currently tracking your website stats via Google (or if you already have a Google Analytics account and would like to take advantage of additional features), here’s a breakdown of helpful information to track:

1. Most viewed pages

You can use Google Analytics to see how many views each page receives; which are most popular and least popular. This information can provide answers to situations such as why your donations went up on a certain month though you didn’t do any extra fundraising (a higher count of visits to the “donate” page) or a lack of new volunteers (a low count of visits to the “volunteer” page). If these metrics prove a trend of low visits on a certain page, you’ll know it’s time to change up the design, copy or call to action.

2. Referring sites

Another great tool Google Analytics offers is the option to see what sites are referring your visitors and which are referring the most valuable visitors. This feature will include social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well. The statistics you receive will tell you if your social strategy is lining up with your goals of having followers go to your website to donate or sign up for a program or newsletter list. This section will also tell you the number of new visitors, visitors’ bounce rates, how many pages they visit and how long they stay on your website. You want to know which websites are bringing in the most traffic, but the valuable traffic—the ones that stay on your site and look through the pages—are the ones that count.

3. Page bounce rates

A “bounce” is when a user visits a page and immediately leaves without navigating to another page on your site. Usually a high bounce rate means that your audience isn’t staying on any page long enough to take in information or engage with your organization. This could mean it’s time for a webpage redesign to create easier readability.

4. Mobile traffic behavior

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, it should be. Mobile internet usage (smartphones and tablets) surpassed usage from desktop computers in October of 2016 and if your website isn’t up to speed, you may be missing the opportunity to engage with a larger audience. The mobile traffic behavior metrics let you monitor how many users are finding your site via mobile versus on desktop.

Don’t have a Google Analytics account but would like to set one up? This page will walk you through the process and your options for how to report your site’s data.

Bonus tip: Here at 4aGoodCause, we now offer Google Analytics integration for our app. This is a great way to gain insight into your fundraising pages and direct-to-donation marketing tactics. This page walks you through the simple set-up which will then feed data into your Google Analytics account straight from our app. Still have questions? Get in touch--we’d love to chat!

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Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Since founding 4aGoodCause in 1998, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves - building software that makes a difference in the world. For almost 20 years, Ronald and the 4aGoodCause online fundraising platform have helped raise millions of dollars for nonprofits from Maine to Hawaii. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @4aGC.

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