Google Analytics is a robust free tool that Google offers, and lots of marketers only scratch the surface of what this incredible platform can do. By using Analytics strategically, you can design a more effective digital marketing strategy and bring in more online donations.
Here are 3 Google Analytics tips to do just that:
1. Set up Ecommerce Tracking
Google Analytics lets you set up ecommerce tracking, which you can use to track every online donation that comes in through your site. More importantly, you can track the size of the donation—so you can differentiate the $50/month recurring gifts from the $5 one-time gifts.
Why should you set up e-commerce tracking?
One thing I’ve found in my marketing career (I’ve done SEO for a living since 2015) is that what gets measured gets optimized. If you’re primarily measuring rankings, you’ll optimize for rankings. If you’re measuring dollars donated online, you can more effectively optimize for that.
Google Analytics offers you a wealth of data about your users, ranging from their device to their location (down to the city level) to their demographics to which pages they visited and how long they stayed on your site. Imagine being able to see that women donate 18% more than men, or that users in big cities are 27% more likely to make a recurring gift than people in the country. Those kinds of insights can help you optimize your giving funnel, dial in your target market, and generate (and track) a lot more donations.
2. Identify High-Performing Landing Pages
Once you have e-commerce tracking set up, you can use Google Analytic’s Landing Pages view (Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing Pages) to identify the landing pages that are generating the largest donations. These are the pages that donors land on before navigating your site and donating.
Once you have a list of the 5-10 highest-performing landing pages, you can tweak your marketing funnel to send more traffic to those pages. For instance, imagine that 23% of your online donations in Q2 2021 came from visitors who entered your site via your blog post about the power of giving. You can boost traffic to that post, which should increase donations. One way to boost traffic would be to optimize the blog for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Another way would be to use your Google Ad Grant to point paid traffic to that page.
3. Identify the ROI of Different Marketing Channels
It’s important to tie every marketing initiative to a specific outcome, and Google Analytics can help you to do this. That way, if you saw a big jump in online donations in August 2021 (for instance), you can see whether it’s because of your new optimized ad campaign, your new social media push, SEO, or some combination of the three (or a different channel).
I like to use the Top Conversion Paths (Conversions->Multi-Channel Funnels->Top Conversion Paths) to identify how many donations came in through each channel. The beauty of Top Conversion Paths is that I can get insight into the user journey. For instance, if users are coming in through Google Ads and then bouncing and coming back to the site via Organic and donating, that will show up.
By using Google Analytics in this way, I can identify which marketing initiatives and channels are working, and which need to be tweaked or jettisoned. If my Google Ads campaign is generating a 500% ROI but social media didn’t contribute to a single online donation last month, then it’s a sign that I need to double-down on Google Ads. It’s also a sign that I may need to rethink my social media strategy, and/or pull back from investing in that channel.
As a nonprofit marketer, you have a too-tight budget and 30 items to tackle this week alone. You and your team are probably understaffed, overworked, and working with a shoestring budget.
These Google Analytics tips can relieve the pressure by helping you to:
– Identify quick wins (no need to SEO optimize 75 pages when you know the top 5 that generate 80% of your online donations)
– Identify channels that aren’t working and cut them (if Twitter ads haven’t generated an online donation in 6 months, use that budget elsewhere)
– Identify channels that are working and double down on those (if SEO is driving 45% of your online donations, consider allocating more resources to it).
Give these Google Analytics tips a try and drop a comment to let us know how it went!