Imagine you walk into a room filled with 1 000 people. Only 10 are donors and volunteers – the rest, like you, are representatives of nonprofit organizations. You each have one minute to pitch your mission to get volunteer and funding support. Here’s the catch: you’re blindfolded and you have to shout your pitch out at the same time as all the other nonprofit reps. You can’t see anything and there’s no way of knowing if any of the donors or volunteers can even hear you, let alone connect with what you’re saying.
This is exactly what nonprofits do when they put up a website to get more volunteer and funding support but don’t monitor its performance: you’re adding your voice to the din of the World Wide Web without knowing if your message is getting through to the people that count.
Using Google Analytics to track your website’s performance won’t make it any less noisy out there (sorry). But it will take off that blindfold so you can see if your pitch has caught the attention of someone who counts, then you can walk straight over and show them how to convert their interest into action.
And that’s only the beginning of what Google Analytics can do for nonprofits: it can also tell which stories on your website visitors are connecting with and how many people you reach are moved enough to take action (donate, volunteer, share or sign up for newsletters).
Nonprofits should also use Google Analytics to understand where website traffic is coming from. If you don’t know this, it’s near impossible to build a supportive online community that can help your organization achieve set goals.
For instance, a nonprofit that supports e-learning at schools needs to urgently raise $10 000 to buy computers. They know they had 10 000-plus visitors to their site in the past week, so someone comes up with a ‘Donate $1 for an e-Future’ campaign. The campaign’s ready to go, but where do they launch so that those 10 000 visitors are likely to see it: blog, social media, Google Adwords, a referral website?
By using reports like Where Did My Traffic Come From Last Week? a nonprofit will easily know where to go to rally an online community. For example, if the e-learning nonprofit’s report shows 80% of its website traffic was directed from Facebook, they know to launch their ‘Donate $1 for an e-Future’ campaign on their Facebook page and they won’t waste any valuable time and resources putting the message out on every other channel.
That’s the beauty of using Google Analytics for nonprofits: it allows you to turn data into insights, and those insights into delightfully efficient and cost-effective actions.
Pour yourself a cup of tea, then come back to learn 5 ways Google Analytics saves nonprofits time, money and manpower next week!
image by Adam Selwood via Flickr