It’s obvious to any digital marketer—whether they be a nonprofit organization seeking to recruit donations, time and talent or a strictly for-profit concern simply chasing the success that comes with the almighty dollar—that utilizing Google Analytics is a great way to hone your online strategies in order to make the most of your efforts in the virtual world.
According to Louise Craft, digital marketing executive at Metric Mogul, Analytics “ensures marketers can make data led decisions to streamline their marketing efforts, increase their conversion rates and ultimately achieve their business goals.” And towards that end, Craft has put together a must-do list of the important elements of the tool that too many marketers just aren’t leveraging. Sure, many of us look at the basics—number of views, general actions taken, pass along rates etc.—but what else can this marvelous platform tell us about how we’re doing and, more importantly, how can we do better?
Here is a sampling of some advanced features and set-up tips that Craft recommends. And everyone should investigate, implement and—no matter their end goal—leverage these ideas as best they can.
Use Multiple Views
Too often, Craft notes, organizations stick with one “property” on Analytics but don’t allow for at least three separate views: a main view, a test view and a raw view. “The main view is what you’ll use for day to day reporting and analysis; the test view is for testing new goals and filters, before moving them to the main view; and the raw view is a backup for all website data,” she notes in stressing the importance of each.
Track Your Demographics
Any successful non-profit should already be well versed in analyzing the breakdown of their demographics, which includes location, age, gender and more. Go to property settings, scroll down and enable the demographics button. This will tell you who’s looking at your website and allow you to fine tune content given specific parameters.
Enable Site Search
For those websites that feature the very handy internal search capacity, this is an important piece of data you should be tracking. It tells you “what content and products your visitors want, optimizes their experience and identifies any gaps where no results are returned,” notes Craft.
Don’t Ignore Commerce
If your non-profit hawks goods as part of your fundraising mission, consider enabling the e-commerce tracking, which can report on simple transactions as well as tell you the products your visitors are viewing and how any inside ads are performing.
This might sound pretty obvious, but it’s amazing how many e-commerce sites (and really, doesn’t a nonprofit need to operate, at least in part, as a business?) do not have e-commerce tracking set up in their Google Analytics accounts. And e-commerce tracking is not just about recording transactions—Enhanced Ecommerce can track so much more, including what products are seen, added to a cart and how your internal banner ads are performing.
Go Custom with Report and Dashboards
The custom reports and dashboard feature is a must have in that it gives quick and easy access to all key data. Craft likes that there are three different report types, and notes that custom dashboards “allow you to organize your key data effectively and access it quickly. By organizing your data in this way it is possible to see correlations … and you can use specific dimensions and metrics and also choose a mixture of real time and historical reports in the dashboards,” she adds.
In the end, it’s important to realize that running a nonprofit isn’t really that different than running a for-profit business: both need to attract attention, make connections, encourage specific actions and ultimately translate their digital marketing efforts in dollar signs. And there should be little doubt that Google Analytics can be an extremely helpful tool in doing just that.