by Theresa Bucci, Digital Marketing and Video Specialist, Salsa Labs
How do you know if your website is effective? Easy, measure. Data from your Google analytics account can be the best indicator to whether or not your online efforts are working well for you. What you measure should ultimately be based on the goals you have set for your organization, but here are a few recommendations to get you started.
Website Traffic – Visits/Unique Visitors/New Visitors
Google analytics offers several ways to measure your website traffic. You may want to measure things like “visits”- that’s the total number of visits to your site. Or you may only be interested in the number of “unique visitors”- that tracks how many people visit your site but doesn’t count multiple visits by the same user. Google analytics can also tell you how many new vs. returning visitors your site is getting, an important metric that helps you see if you’re introducing your organization to new people or engaging your current supporters.
Pageviews – Pages per Visit/Average Time on Site
Beyond the number of visitors, “pageviews” and “average time on site” can help you see where your supporters are going and how many pages they are viewing on any given visit. With average time on site, you’ll be able to tell if individuals are hitting your homepage and quickly leaving or spending time looking at your information, action or fundraising pages. These two metrics allow you to see what content is performing best and adjust your content or promotion strategy accordingly.
Website Bounce Rate
Your “bounce rate” is another way to tell if people are finding the content on your site engaging. A higher bounce rate means people are coming to your site and only visiting one page before leaving. By drilling down to individual pages you can measure which specific pages are causing visitors to leave your site based on how high the bounce rate is for those pages. The cause of high bounces rates can vary though, ranging from non-engaging content to poor site design. Regardless, it’s a good indicator of how your site is performing overall.
“Referrals” are the number of visits to your site from other websites, while “inbound links” are the number of links from other websites pointing to your website. These measurements allow you to see where some of your overall traffic is coming from. You can even drill down to specific sites and see how many visitors are coming from a specific site such as Facebook, Twitter or a partner’s homepage.
Organic Search Traffic
“Organic Search traffic” is the number of visitors who find (and visit) your website looking up terms in a search engine (like Google, Yahoo or Bing). This measurement is an indication of how many people are finding your site without using your site’s URL. Measuring “non-branded organic searches” (searches without your orgnaization's name or brand in them) can help you see how many people are finding your site without knowing your organization’s name or other branded keywords. This can help guide your keyword strategy, figuring out which words people use the most when they are trying to find you (or an organization like you).
“Conversion rates” measure important goals for your site. You may want to measure how many people donated from a specific campaign page, how many people signed up for your email newsletter or even how many people visited a particular page on your site. Whatever you are measuring, setting up goals in Google analytics to measure how many people visited the page and then completed the goal (your web-to-lead conversion ratio) can help you understand how people are interacting with your site and if they are completing the desired actions.
Ready to get started? We’ve created a report template to give you a jumping off point. Download our digital metrics report template and start measuring the effectiveness of your website.