Is Your Website a High-Performance Vehicle? Get on the Road Toward Measuring Success

By Tony Connor, Director of Product Marketing, PIR

This article is part 6 of an 8-part series called “Bootcamp for Mission-Driven Organizations”.

Your new organizational website is a beauty, shiny and new. But how does it drive? To maximize your marketing horsepower, it’s important to measure how efficiently your website meets the goals of driving donors, volunteers, sponsors, and other good traffic to your organization. To truly understand this, it’s critical to rely on data and not simply anecdotal reports. Data informs your decision-making. It can help you transform traffic into donations, event registrations, or volunteer applications, as well as understand where best to prioritize time and resources. So, how do you get on the road toward measuring success? Here’s your drivers’ manual:

Get Behind the Wheel 

Analytics tools can help assess what your website is doing well and could be doing better. For non-profit organizations, free analytics tools, like the very popular Google Analytics, are a great choice. Here is a quick article from www.connectingup.org on how to get started. Google Analytics also offers free courses at different skill levels called Digital Analytics Fundamentals.  Be aware that different countries and jurisdictions have their own rules about how you use and process personal data that could impact how you use your analytics tools. 

Know Where You’re Headed 

Google Analytics can take you to the data, but without goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you’ll be driving in the dark. Your KPIs can be fundraising goals, newsletter sign-ups, or event registrations. You can learn more about the most important KPIs for non-profits to focus on in this article. Once your team knows its destination, it’s time to determine which metrics will help you get there.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road

With your goals and KPIs in mind, you can now track metrics that are important to your organization. There are many kinds of data you can gather, and this article offers a deep dive into some top non-profit metrics. Remember, some  local requirements and rules for analytics and personal data may impact which types of data you can gather, but non-profits can still glean helpful information from aggregate and anonymized analytics data. When starting out, consider the following basic metrics:

  • Website traffic: Where is your traffic coming from? Google Analytics allows you to separate results by source. Are your efforts on social media driving visitors to your site? Great, keep up the good work! Not getting a lot of traffic from search engines? Maybe put the pedal to the metal on search engine optimization (SEO).

     


  • Conversion Rates:  Depending on your organization’s KPIs, conversions may be measured not only by donations, but also event registration or volunteer sign-ups. According to the 2020 M+R Benchmarks Study, the average conversion rate for a non-profit’s main donation page was 22 percent, and on average, 0.17 percent of organic visitors to a non-profit website made a donation.

     


  • Bounce Rate: Bounce rate measures the number of visitors who visit your site but leave right away. A high bounce rate means visitors coming to your landing page and then exiting or “bouncing” away from your website.  The bounce rate is like a car’s “check engine” light,  indicating that something is wrong. Causes may be lackluster content, outdated designs, or slow loading times. Luckily, because data pointed you to a problem, you can invest in making your site better.

You’ve Arrived at Your Destination

Web analytics has shown you what you need to know about your website’s ability to further your organizational mission and objectives. Now you can leverage those insights into action. Keep tracking and updating to keep your site fresh. By accessing and using data analytics, you, too, can better reach your audience and fulfill your organization’s mission! 

Resources

Sixty-five percent of non-profit marketers say data capture is incredibly important for decision making, according to this article on www.classy.org. Want to know how best to gauge the success of the website for your non-profit or good-for-the-world business? Luckily, there’s a wealth of free information and resources, including this piece on the top three metrics to watch; this link to 20 KPIs your non-profit should watch from donorbox.org;  and this article from www.hbr.org on whether marketing strategy is informed by the right data! Don’t forget to research any local requirements and rules for analytics and personal data.

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