Nonprofits have always used data about their supporters to improve their fundraising efforts. Not too long ago, that may have looked like overflowing filing cabinets or a green-screen database. But, in the modern era, nonprofits have so many digital methods to collect, analyze, and leverage data. And one of those methods is Google Analytics.
So, what is Google Analytics? How does it work, and what’s the benefit to nonprofits? We’ll break all of that down, and talk about Mightycause’s new integration with Google Analytics.
Google Analytics Basics
Google Analytics is a free web tracking tool. It gives you information about how users interact with your website, tracking everything from where they came from, how long they stayed on a page, their location, to what device they were using to view your page. (And why is it free? Well, because Google will know all of those things about your website’s visitors, too.)
When you create a Google Analytics account, you’ll add a tracking code to your website. (If you don’t maintain your nonprofit’s website, your webmaster can add it for you.) Once the tracking code is added, information will start to flow from your website to your Google Analytics account.
The Benefit of Google Analytics
There are several important purposes your organization’s website serves. First and foremost, it’s the first place people go when they want to learn more about your nonprofit. It’s where you talk about your mission, your programs and services, and where your community can connect with upcoming events. And it’s a key place your nonprofit collects donations. So, data about how users are interacting with your website can help you optimize your web presence, and ultimately engage supporters better.
Source tracking provides valuable information about how donors and people in your community are finding your nonprofit. And when you’re investing in paid advertising, you’ll be able to make sure you’re spending your money wisely on advertising channels that are actually bringing people to your website.
If your nonprofit has a Google Grant, you can connect your Grant account to your Analytics account to get a full picture of how people are interacting with your ads and your website. You can set goals and even measure when someone who came to you from a Google ad makes a donation… even if it’s on a different device, at a later time!
Google Analytics Terminology
The best way to get an idea of what Google Analytics measures is to learn some of the basic terminology! Here’s a quick rundown of some key terms you’ll want to know before you start tracking:
- Users: This is the number of individuals who have visited your website. You’ll be able to see how many users visit your website, which gives you a picture of how many people you’re reaching. You can also monitor increases or decreases, which can give you important information about your website’s health.
- Session: This is a group of interactions with your website, within a specific frame of time. So, for instance, if someone comes to your website, browses several pages, and ends up making a donation, that’s all one session.
- Session Duration: How long are people spending on your website? (It’s usually a lot less time than you think!) Your website’s job is to keep users there, so this can give you a good picture of how engaging and interesting your site is to people viewing it.
- Bounce Rate: A “bounce” is when someone goes to your website, does nothing, and then leaves. Your bounce rate is an average that gives you an idea how many people are walking into your website and turning right back around. A high bounce rate can tell you that your site isn’t engaging, not relevant to what the user was looking for, or even that there’s a technical problem making people leave.
- Traffic/Channel: How are people finding you? This metric gives you an overview of how people are coming to your site. You’ll see channels like “email,” “referral” (meaning users came from another website), “organic search” (meaning a user found you in a Google search that wasn’t an ad), and so on. You’ll also see “direct” as a channel, which means that Google can’t precisely determine how someone came to your site, and includes things like clicking a bookmark in their browser, typing in the URL, and so on.
- Source/Medium: This breaks dow the channels people are using to find your site more specifically. For instance, if you were linked in a news article, you might see that article as a source for much of your traffic.
Google will track trends for you and give you a snapshot of activity on your website. But you can also drill down into the details to understand how users are interacting with your site. It all depends on how granular you want to get!
How Google Analytics Supports Your Fundraising
If you’re investing time and effort into your web presence, it’s worth knowing how people are using it. (Especially if you’re paying someone to manage your website!) Google Analytics helps you understand how people are accessing your website, what they’re doing there, and what that looks like in the context of your overall online communications. You see, Google Analytics isn’t just about your website. It’s about all of your communications. It tells a story about how pieces like your email marketing, social media presence, Google Grant, and outreach to your community come together. You’ll have a cohesive picture of the different paths people take to support your nonprofit. (And potentially find holes you can patch up.)
If you’re looking to grow, or just get a better understanding of how donors interact with your nonprofit online, or testing new ways of getting your message out, Google Analytics can be the tool that helps take you to the next level.
Mightycause’s Google Analytics Integration
So, your website is one place where your nonprofit collects donations. But Mightycause is another. Nonprofits use Mightycause to fundraise year-round, run campaigns, participate in giving days, and more. Mightycause exists as part of your web presence, and an important place to reach donors. And just like your website, it’s vital to understand how users are interacting with your nonprofit on Mightycause and where they’re coming from, as part of your overall communications and fundraising strategy. And that’s why we’re excited to add Google Analytics to our list of software integrations!
Mightycause Advanced subscribers can link their Google Analytics accounts to their Mightycause accounts for even richer, more robust data. Find out how people are finding your Mightycause profile, how long they’re staying, and what channels bring you donors! Linking your accounts is simple and easy, so you can start tracking right away.
Another important tracking tool many nonprofits are interested in using is a Facebook Pixel. A Facebook Pixel tracks users similarly to how Google Analytics does, but it’s specifically tied to Facebook Ads. You add the Facebook pixel base code to your website (or have your webmaster do it for you), and the pixel reports back to Facebook when users take an action.
So, if you’re using Facebook ads to drive people to your website, solicit donations, or advertise an event, you can see when they click, when they make a donation, and get an idea of how effective your ads are. And both your Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics can be managed through Google Tag Manager. (That’s another free system that helps you manage all the tracking tags added to your website.)
We’ve also added the ability for Advanced subscribers to add their Facebook Pixel to their Mightycause page, for even more tracking and analytics!
Ready to start tracking?
Existing Mightycause users can upgrade to Advanced right through their dashboards to start tracking with Google Analytics and their Facebook Pixel! (It’s under Plan Management in your Settings.) And if you’re new to Mightycause, just drop us a line to let us know your interested! One of our friendly team members will reach out to you to help you get set up with Mightycause Advanced, and help you get acquainted to all the fundraising features you’ll unlock with an Advanced subscription.