The best practices this quarter followed very similar themes, with a focus on analysis and strategic planning. You can check out more grantee tips onour testimonials pageas well. There are new additions coming all the time and you cansubmit yours, too.
Evaluate your success metrics In a perfect world, visitors would donate to your cause or complete your intended action on their first visit. But, as you likely know already, this isn’t always the case. There is often a “getting to know you” period before a visitor becomes a sponsor, for instance. However, if youlearn about the true lifecycle of your sponsors(their actual behavior on your site and the time/visits it takes them to convert), you can set your goals accordingly and see more accurate results.
While it’s crucial to track and measure the goals associated with your managed marketing initiatives (AdWords campaigns, email newsletters, etc), don’t forget totrack conversions fromorganic traffic and integrate them with your success metrics. Donations made from folks who found your site via organic search results are just as valuable as those who came through your pre-determined channels.
While donations are a high priority for most non-profits, try tracking connections you’re able to make between your constituency and the information you offer to see the less direct value of your marketing initiatives. Downloads,pageviews and time on siteare good ways tomeasure the level of connection between those you’re serving with the information you provide.
As much as your goals differ, the method by which you track their success should differ as well, so that you’re able to see true progress and success for each unique goal. For instance, you couldset your campaigns up by goal, so that you can customize their messaging and tracking accordingly.
For example, an awareness campaign with an offer for information could have a success metric of a certain number of pageviews and a donation campaign witha strong call-to-actioncould have a success metric of a certain amount of donations made.
Just knowing that visitors aren’t converting on your site isn’t usually enough to fix the problem. Byunderstanding abandonment rate, you’ll be able to see where visitors are leaving your site and at what rate so that you can improve those points on your site and the messaging that leads people to those pages.
This seems like a no-brainer, but one of the easiest ways to make the most of your AdWords budget is to remove oroptimize underperforming keywords(low quality score, low CTRs) and “reward” keywords and campaigns that perform well by allotting more budget to those efforts.
Know your constituents In the same vein as the previous topic of sponsor lifecycles,tracking metrics other than clicks can help yougauge the success of these other visitor activities. For instance, by trackingtime on sitebynew visitors, you will be able to see how your marketing initiatives impact these activities and when time on site increases you’ll know you’re going in the right direction with your strategy without having to wait for improvement from more direct goals, like donations.
Most businesses, for-profit and non-profit, have a “high season” during which time a large portion of the year’s revenue is generated. Some savvy grantees have developed strategically focused campaigns toget the most out of their “high seasons”so that they can maximize donations and make those funds work for the rest of their calendar year. Once you'vedetermined the span of your org's high season, you can work ona focused planto take advantage of it.
Use all the tools at your disposal If you offer informational resources of any kind (like PDF downloads or specialized pages on your site), you cantrack usage rates and/or requests to measure involvement or interestin your organization’s programs.
Many non-profits are feeling the pinch from the recession, but some are letting their Grants AdWords account take up the slack from costly marketing initiatives. Moving marketing messaging and initiatives to your Grants account is an effective way tokeep your name out there and achieve your org’s goals despite the impact of economic hardships.
Check back each quarter, or better yet, add our RSS feed to your reader or Gmail inbox, to get the latest in AdWords expertise from non-profits around the globe. You can read previous summaries like this by clickinghere or searching this blog for "Grantee best practices summary". If you've had a recent success with AdWords or Grants that you'd like to share, please visit our discussion forum to share with other grantees right now.