Can Nonprofits Benefit from Web Analytics?
By Mario Marhx
Analytics: What Is It Exactly?
The buzzword digital marketing professionals love to toss around. How is it relevant to nonprofits?
To keep it simple, analytics is the practice of analyzing your marketing effort (and it’s not a buzzword). For modern nonprofits, it is a set of tools and organizations are already using it with great success. Analytics provides the “big picture” through tracked metrics. That data is then used to improve engagement and donor yield.
Tracking how many people visit a website is nothing new. Hit counters existed decades ago and were helpful at the time for gauging the popularity of a site. With analytics, we can go even deeper with our data tracking (way deeper). Not only can we track when someone visits a site, we can answer questions such as:
- How much time did they spend on the site?
- Where are they visiting the site from?
- What age group do they belong to?
- What articles did they read?
- What are their interests?
- What did they click?
If that’s not enough, we can also determine how they found the site whether it be through organic search or a referral from another site (backlinks). With all of the data patterns tracked, we can determine how to best optimize your nonprofit’s current marketing effort.
Common questions for nonprofits are “What is your ROI (Return On Investment)?” or “Is your marketing working?”. With digital marketing, analytics gives you the numbers you need to confidently answer those questions. Besides, wouldn’t you like to know? “Yes” is the correct answer. For a nonprofit, digital marketing spending must be optimized (any spending really) to ensure the message is received by the right people. You don’t want to waste money on a fruitless desert when you can plant the dollar on fertile soil. Analytics are going to provide the much-needed data to see things clearly.
Nonprofits are already aware of the increasing demand for transparency. Stakeholders expect to be briefed on everything. The nightmare of losing donors or even substantial board members becomes real when there is suspicion or doubt about an organization’s operation. Analytics helps you address part of that issue with detailed reporting. Show off your ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) with pride!
When it comes to providing the “big picture” for a nonprofit’s digital marketing efforts, analytics is the artist to commision it from. With the right metrics being tracked and some optimizations put in place, a nonprofit can see improved engagement and donor yield. On top of that, you can show it all off with detailed reporting, thus increasing your organization’s transparency.