What are analytics?
Analytics allow you to understand your donors and the process they go through before supporting your cause – you can leverage this information to increase donations.
Analytics services track data on your website and your social media profiles to understand how users use your site. It can track how they arrive at your site, which pages they visit, how long they stay, how far they scroll and when they click ‘donate’. Good data analytics allows you to find meaningful patterns in data collected from your site.
Using tags and URL tracking you can discover whether your website and marketing campaigns have been successful to figure out what can be improved. This then allows you to increase efficiency and effectiveness by doing more of the things that work well and less of the things that don’t.
Say your goal is to increase donations. We can look at what pages visitors view or the stories they read before deciding to donate to your cause. We can also monitor what adverts are most likely to get clicked and result in conversions.
You could then promote the pages that are most effective on your social media channels, or add them to your site’s menu to encourage more people to visit that page. If one ad is working really well, we can increase the ad spend, so it appears to a larger audience, or try using it on other marketing channels.
When you know what content your audience enjoys and relates to, you can greatly increase the efficiency of your advertising and increase your donations for less cost.
Why use analytics?
As above, analytics has the power to make your marketing much more effective – less money needed to gather funds, so more money spent on your cause. If you do not refine your digital strategy to the most effective techniques, then you are going to be spending more money for less results.
For example, adverts on one social media channel might be leading to much more donations than on others. Knowing this allows you to investigate your other campaigns to work out if it is the platform that is not getting the results, or if it is the particular ad you are using, or if your targeted advertising is not set to the right demographics.
You can then adapt your advertising on each platform to make it more effective, by prioritising ads and platforms that work for your nonprofit. Without tracking analytics, you’re in the dark about what works and what doesn’t.
Analytics also allows you to use the precious resource of your volunteers more effectively. As well as making sure you don’t waste their time, you can use analytics to clearly show them how the work they are doing is driving donations and evaluate who is best in which role by how well their content performs.
You can also use data to impress your guarantors and major donors. Analytics can be used to clearly prove progress for your nonprofits and demonstrate accountability, helping you direct investment to where it is most valuable. Give donors and guarantors what they want by proving just how effective your nonprofit can be with solid, reliable facts and figures.
If you are thinking of applying for Google’s Ad Grant, also, you need to track the progress of your Google ads in order to stay eligible for the grants. To learn more about this, and how to optimise your campaigns, take a look at our Ad Grant Management service.
Keeping your data clean
In order to actually generate valuable insights from your analytics, you need to ensure that the data you collect is accurate and free from errors. You can’t just take the raw data and assume that it is from your target audience – you need to filter or clean it – to ensure anomalies such as spam and internal traffic from your team don’t lead you to false conclusions.
So, what does that mean? Well, not all the interactions with your platforms will be from actual humans who are interested in your nonprofit and might become donors. Most traffic – 52% according to this report – is from bots or spam accounts. Given that this traffic isn’t human it can completely skew your interpretation of how people are using your website and might cause you to make incorrect decisions as a result.
It’s a bit of a pain, but it can be solved with reliable filters and counter measures – our analytics dashboards are optimised and filtered to make sure you only get insights that are valuable and actionable. To find out how analytics can work for your nonprofit, book a consultation with us.
Our analytics features
There are lots of data sources that you could track on any one website and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Using a variety of sources in combination allows you to most effectively evaluate how the website is being used. That said, it is important that you avoid information overload so you can actually focus on the metrics that matter.
Higher level reporting like our analytics dashboards clearly display your results so you can monitor key performance indicators. These help identify potential areas for further investigation using more targeted tools like visitor recordings – which in turn help you identify areas for improvement.
Some examples of analytics tools are:
- Visitor recordings: watch how real visitors use your site
- Referral lists: information on how visitors arrive at your website
- Heat maps: visual representations of clicks, taps and scrolling on your site.
- User feedback: visual, specific feedback from users about your site
- Geographical location: find out where your web visitors are based
- Session duration: how long users stay on your website or certain pages
You might also use more advanced tools like split testing or test users to gain more specific feedback on your site.
Understanding and using your data
All this interesting information wouldn’t be very accessible if it was simply a table of numbers. A visual representation of your analytics data is important to really understand your website’s performance.
It’s common for nonprofits to have analytics installed, but not use it effectively since it’s difficult to actually see what’s important. Analytics tracking is only valuable when it is actually linked to your nonprofit’s goals so you can understand what is driving donations. In a nutshell – setting the right goals and tracking conversions accurately ensures that you’re monitoring what matters.
That’s why we use a personalised and intuitive analytics dashboards (see below) with spam filters to display your analytics results in an easy-to-understand visual format so you can concentrate on the information you need.
Intrigued by analytics?
Continually optimising your website ensures you keep hitting (and hopefully exceeding) your traffic and donation goals. Analytics tracking needs to be simple, easy and actionable – that’s why we develop tailored dashboards that only show what you need to know, so it’s easy to act on.
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