Analytics for non-profits

Thursday, May 15, 2008 | 12:55 PM

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I think Analytics is a great tool for all advertisers, not just those with shopping carts or e-commerce, and as non-profits there are ways you can make analytics work for you and your organization.

But what is analytics? Analytics is a service that helps you understand the way visitors interact with your website by tracking traffic as it comes into your site, moves through your content and eventually exits to other pages. Analytics can help you understand and respond to visitor behavior while generating a higher ROI on marketing and advertising initiatives.

Some of our savvy Google Grant recipients are using analytics right now and they've given us some insight into ways that analytics can be used specifically for non-profits.

From what I've seen, organizations in our program have one or more of three main objectives for their site:

  1. Raise awareness
  2. Increase donations
  3. Generate interest/participation
To measure these goals, grant recipients have developed some creative metrics and methods for tracking success through analytics.

The most common metrics used to track awareness are new user registration, info-sheet downloads and page-specific site traffic (like initiatives or About Us pages).

Among organizations raising donations through online transactions, tracking "Thank You" pages for both donations and purchases is the key measurement metric.

Of the organizations whose goals are to generate interest around their cause and increase participation in cause-specific activities, event and activity sign-ups are effective metrics, as are service and information requests and online volunteer sign-ups.

Setting up goals in analytics is the key to getting insight into the important activity on your site. Once you've set up tracking for your goals, you'll be able to see how your goals are performing and where you need to make changes to improve performance.

We'll cover measurement as well as installation, goal setting and reporting in our upcoming blog series, "Analytics Demystified", so stay tuned!

If you'd like to get a head start, you can download our Analytics Guide and start a discussion in the Google Grants Help Group.