This blog is provided courtesy of Engaging Networks Accredited Partner, Firefly Partners, and authored by Monica Malmgren, Digital Strategist at Firefly Partners.
As a nonprofit organization, reaching potential donors and generating online donations is essential for the success of your mission. With so much competition in the digital space, increasing organic traffic and conversion rates can feel like an exhausting task.
Fortunately, there is a powerful tool at your disposal that can support your search engine optimization and marketing efforts: Google Analytics.
Utilizing Google Analytics for nonprofits can provide significant data, including identifying your audience, tracking website traffic sources, and monitoring user behavior. By analyzing this information, your organization can evaluate the effectiveness of its website and determine areas for improvement through Google Optimize testing.
We’ll explore how this tool can help your nonprofit organization and provide valuable insights into your website’s performance.
The Basics of Google Analytics for Nonprofits
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and can provide information to measure conversions and user activity.
How to Set it Up
To optimize the use of Google Analytics for nonprofits, it is important to confirm the accuracy of your tracking code on all website pages. Additionally, if any of your resources or forms are hosted on a separate domain, enabling cross domain tracking would be beneficial.
To ensure data integrity, it’s important to set up multiple views. A master view should have all filters, goals, and configurations you use regularly. A testing view is useful for experimenting with new settings before applying them to the master view.
Filters play a crucial role in obtaining precise data. It is recommended to configure your Google Analytics instance to exclude any internal IP addresses from offices and staff to avoid inflating page views. Additionally, excluding bots through filters is also advantageous in maintaining accurate data.
Google’s Universal Analytics vs Google Analytics 4
Universal Analytics has been around since 2012 and is widely used by businesses of all sizes to track website traffic and user behavior. It offers a range of features, including tracking website performance, user demographics, and behavior, and more. However, Universal Analytics is limited in its ability to track user behavior across multiple devices, which is a major drawback in today’s cross-device world.
Google Analytics 4 is the latest analytics solution from Google that addresses the limitations of Universal Analytics. Google Analytics 4 is built on a new data model that tracks user behavior across devices and platforms, providing a more comprehensive view of user engagement. This is achieved through the use of machine learning and advanced modeling techniques that enable Google Analytics 4 to provide insights into how users interact with a business’s website or app across different devices, such as desktops, mobile phones, and tablets.
Google Analytics 4 will replace Universal Analytics on July 1st, 2023. After that point, Universal Analytics data will continue to be temporarily visible, but UA will not be usable as a platform.
Better Understanding Your Supporters
By tracking the traffic to your organization’s website and digital campaigns, Google Analytics can provide valuable information on the age, gender, location, interests, and behaviors of their supporters. This data can be used to inform your team’s marketing strategy and tailor messaging to better resonate with your target audience.
For example, if Google Analytics shows that the majority of website visitors are from a certain geographic area, you can use this information to target outreach efforts in that region. Similarly, if the data shows that supporters are primarily young people interested in advocacy for a particular cause, you can adjust your messaging and social media strategy to better engage this demographic.
By utilizing demographic reports from Google Analytics, nonprofits can make data-driven decisions that lead to more effective marketing and greater impact. Demographic reports provide insight into your website’s visitors. You can analyze the age of your visitors to see which age groups are not well-represented. If you have ecommerce tracking, you can track donations by age group. If certain age groups are not donating as much, you can create strategies to better target them.
Here are some more advantages to using Google Analytics:
With Google Analytics you can analyze the channels that drive traffic to your website, such as search, email, or social media. By doing this, you can make informed decisions about promoting fundraising campaigns, events, or advocacy actions.
Implementing conversion tracking for each channel can provide insight into which ones are most effective for specific goals, and therefore more beneficial. Additionally, this information can highlight areas for improvement in acquisition efforts.
The Homepage Next Path report in Google Analytics is useful for understanding what visitors do on your site. It shows the first page they go to after the homepage. This can help you see if your site prioritizes the right internal pages. For example, if you want people to visit your blog but they’re going elsewhere, you can make changes to promote your desired pages more effectively.
Google Optimize is a tool that is free to use and can be connected to Analytics and Google Ads. This tool enables you to test elements of your site. Once you have identified underperforming areas on your site using Google Analytics, you can run experiments in Optimize to deploy winning strategies.
You can test text, colors, fonts, placement, form fields, images, and more. You can compare various versions of the same pages or forms, and then implement the version that best accomplishes your goals.
Transform Your Donor Engagement with Google Analytics
Understanding the behavior of your supporters is key to the success of any nonprofit organization. Google Analytics for nonprofits makes it easier than ever to achieve this by providing valuable insights into website traffic, visitor behavior, and online donations.
By analyzing data such as organic traffic sources and visitor demographics, nonprofit organizations can better understand their potential donors and tailor their content and messaging to appeal to them.
You can use Google Analytics with Engaging Networks pages to gain deeper insights on page activity and performance for reporting and optimization.