In our previous post, “Google Analytics for Nonprofits—Getting Started”, we talked about configuring your website for Google Analytics reporting along with some initial concepts of analyzing your new data.
As you begin to navigate Google Analytics (GA) and see what it can do, you’ll find that there are upwards of 100 reports available—without adding any customization. And with the ability to adjust segmentation, dimensions and metrics, there are thousands of views available for your website traffic data.
Unless you have several hours a day to dedicate toward analytics, you will want to narrow the focus to relevant reports—those that determine website, and even to some degree, overall organizational health. How do you narrow your focus?
Ultimately, the reporting you need is directly related to supporting the organizational mission and growth. The first step in focusing your analytics efforts is determining what results are important as an organization. When talking about website goals, you may have very specific metrics in mind or you may say “Getting the website launched WAS the goal”. Either way, I commend you for having a goal because without them it’s tougher to see where you are going or where you have been.
When talking about website goals, the response I’ve heard most is “We need more traffic!” I’m sure a number of you have heard that same answer—sometimes, that is the only goal. More traffic is generally part of the equation, but not necessarily the most efficient or cost effective way of reaching your goals. e.g. traffic campaigns that are focused on getting visitors to your website (clicks) doesn’t mean that they are interested in your organization—only that they had some incentive to click a link. These types of traffic inflate your bounce rate and resource usage without the possibility of any relevant organizational gain.
With the organizational goals or objectives outlined, you can evaluate where the website can help achieve those goals and begin to track and monitor the progress.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Correlating website performance and traffic with website goals is the next step in focusing your analytics efforts. Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are data points that are used to measure a specific aspect of your site. Your KPIs will help you determine which specific reports should be reviewed to monitor the health of your website, marketing efforts and progress toward objectives.
Here are some areas where nonprofits can track and monitor KPIs:
- Online Donations
- E-commerce Conversions
- Digital Advertising
- Newsletter Subscriptions
- Volunteer Form Completions
- Social Media Engagement
- Email Click Through
- Referring Websites
- Organic Search Traffic
- Paid Search Traffic
- Internal Site Search
- Website Traffic
Let’s look at an example
With the convenience of being on-demand for the donor, online donations are becoming more and more prevalent. Here is an oversimplified example of a completely made up organization.
Your organizational goal is to increase donations this year by $20,000. Historically your average donation is $150 and last year 42.5% of your donations came in as online donations. In this particular example, adding 57 additional transactions through the website this year will theoretically meet your goal.
Now we know what our goal this year will be for online donations and the metrics we need to track!
Our next post will cover details on setting up goals in GA, including creating events and custom reports. Then we will talk about using the other analytics reports to identify opportunities to optimize your website and marketing efforts to impact goals.
So, over the next week, make sure you have a clear picture of organizational objectives and goals that can be implemented into analytics reporting.
Let me know if you have any questions about Website goals and KPIs!