Taking your website to the next level: Website Usage Reports
Blog No.4 – Website Usage Reports
- Less than half (49%) of non-profits are utilizing this absolutely essential (and often free!) tool.
Shockingly, not quite half of the organisations that responded to Blackbaud’s State of the Non-Profit Industry (SONI) survey rely on website usage reports. This is shocking for two reasons: first, because these tools are often free to implement and easy to use (see Google Analytics), and second, because 55% of organizations expect an increase in online donations this year, which will only happen if their websites are “sticky.”
A sticky website is a site that keeps visitors on the site once they find it. Stickiness is monitored with website usage reports, which tell how a visitor arrived (via search engine, cooperative link, email click-through, etc.), where a visitor went (straight to the donation form, to a program case study before giving, to a friend’s personal page, etc.), how long he visitor spent there, and whether he or she “converted” or completed the action you hoped for during the visit.
If you are not monitoring these simple statistics, you have no way of knowing if your site is doing its job. If you send an email that tested well but didn’t get any donations as a result, should you trash the email and start over? Someone analysing website usage trends could tell you if the landing page was the culprit instead of the email. Perhaps the page didn’t clearly direct the visitor to take the next step. Perhaps the page was too interesting or busy, and visitors got lost and wandered off to another page and then took action elsewhere. This type of intelligence is critical in order to tell what is working on your website so that you can optimise and replicate your successes.
There is perhaps a bit of fear factor when setting up these sorts of tools. Dropping tracking code, like Google Analytics, into a website can be intimidating when you don’t quite know what you’re doing. Youtube how-tos, Google Guides and free advice are all available to take you through step-by-step – it really is a lot easier than most would think. The added ability to manage Google Adwords (another fantastic free tool for non-profits worth $10,000 per month) though the platform really means that you can maximise your websites effectiveness at no cost.