No matter the realm of business you deal with, digital analytics can help you better understand the audience of a website—Who are they? Where are they coming from? What actions are they taking?
But let’s face it: investing in analytics can be daunting! There are many tools available on the market, and even the free ones do not come without costs to the organization. Aside from the right tools, getting value from analytics requires investment in hiring and training your staff.
Making the most of every dollar is important, but even more so in a not-for-profit setting. Effectively implementing an analytics tool and building internal capability can help save time and money in 3 key ways:
1. Refining Acquisition Campaigns
Analytics can be used to optimize and refine acquisition campaigns, allowing you to get better results from your marketing spend:
- Which promotions are most effective in driving donations? Proper campaign attribution and e-commerce tracking will ensure you are able to analyze conversion rates for each channel, promotion, or campaign asset.
- Where is your marketing spend most effective? By combining cost and revenue data, you can analyze the relationship between advertising spend and donation revenue to determine which channels provide the most bang for your buck.
- Which campaigns are most likely to acquire long-term donors? Evaluating the immediate return of a campaign provides one measure of performance, but don’t forget about the cumulative value of donors over time.
At the end of the day, a more refined acquisition campaign can reduce costs, increase revenue, and deliver a higher ROI for your digital marketing efforts.
2. Understanding Content Consumption
It’s one thing if your organization has a large site with many different resources available, but what are visitors actually consuming? In addition to standard page tracking, custom configuration is usually required to track how users interact with your content:
- Are visitors scrolling down the page? Scrolling to a certain threshold on a page can indicate interest. In contrast, perhaps users never scroll to the bottom of pages, which may indicate overly long pages.
- Are users watching videos? Additional configuration can be set up in your analytics tool to track consumption of video content, which typically indicates strong engagement from a visitor.
- How engaged are visitors overall? Consider implementing a Content Engagement Metric for your website: a calculated metric that can help your organization assess overall engagement.
Content analysis will allow your organization to understand the consumption habits of your users and arm you with the insights to produce more relevant and engaging content.
3. Optimizing Conversion Paths
There are likely only a small number of digital KPIs that your organization cares about. Whether it be recurring sponsorships, event registrations, or one-time donations, analytics can help you better understand the path that users take to conversion. Understanding these paths can help to identify any barriers or roadblocks to success:
- Is the website slow to load? Looking at page load time can help identify any barriers that may be causing frustration among your audience. In fact, research from Google indicates that mobile users who have to wait longer than 3 seconds for a page to load bounce 53% of the time!
- Are donation forms overly complicated? User experience testing can help provide insight into roadblocks in the donation process.
- Could a different version of the page perform better? Once barriers to conversion have been identified in your analysis, consider A/B testing with a tool like Google Optimize. A/B testing will allow you to test different ideas on your audience before committing to a permanent change to your website.
Ultimately, we all want to optimize our digital properties for conversions. Working to identify and improve challenges users may face will lead to a more refined user experience with increased conversion rates.
While it may seem like a daunting task to properly set up and maintain an analytics implementation as a not-for-profit organization, the benefits are unparalleled. Having reliable data to base marketing decisions on will undoubtedly be worth the initial investment, empowering your organization to make smarter marketing and financial decisions.
If your organization needs assistance making better use of analytics, let us know—we’d love to help!