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Website analytics

Guide for nonprofits and activist movements
3 min read
Last update: Sep 7, 2023

In this guide, you will learn how to use tools like Google Analytics to measure the success of your campaigns. We will explain how to turn website data into valuable insights for your nonprofit or activist movement. We also review some more privacy-friendly options.

Why are website analytics valuable?

By default, website analytics tools offer insights into how many people visit your website, what pages they view, which platforms they came from and much more. These data are not super useful in themselves. It can be tempting to get lost in vasts amounts of cool graphs and numbers, without it actually helping you become more effective.

However, if you know what data to look for, it can actually be super valuable for your campaign. It can help you evaluate whether your strategies and tactics are working. In addition, realtime data is useful for doing experiments and adjusting your bit by bit campaign based on the results of your tests.

Get started

Here is how to get started using your website analytics tools in an effective way:

  1. Define your desired website audiences. For example: potential supporters, coalition partners, funders, policy makers, journalists. Each audience has different needs on your website.

  2. Define your website goals. Your website is only one of the many digital tools you can use. What role does your website play? How does it relate to your other platforms (such as email marketing, chat apps, calling, etc). Which goals do you have for which audiences?

  3. Define conversion actions that indicate important moments in your user journey.

    • Conversions are things people do on your website that you deem important steps in their journey towards becoming actively involved with your campaign.

    • Make sure to measure the quality/value of your conversions, not just the quantity (for example, one newsletter signup is worth less than one volunteer signup). Most analytics tools use monetary values to measure quality, but you can just imagine that dollar sign means "people power points", or whatever is relevant for your organisation.

  4. Analyse the journey that different types of users take on your website. Analyse step by step (any click or scroll) how people need to navigate to get to your defined conversion actions. Which conversion points come first, which later?

  5. Set up measurements to analyse how well your website performs in achieving its goals. Make sure your analytics tool keeps track of the things you want to know.

  6. Set up dashboards so you and other people in your organisation can easily get insights from data. By default, most analytics tool just show one big overview of all data that is being collected. Most of that data is not useful to you. Dashboards can help you find the needle in the haystack. They are especially useful for other people in your organisation who need to make decisions based on data, but whom are not skilled in using your analytics tool.

  7. Train people in your organisation how to use your dashboards. Collecting data is useless if you do not look at them. Make sure that the right people know how to use your dashboard tools.

  8. Evaluate if your website reaches the right audiences and achieves your desired goals. Analyse all the steps in the user journey to see where you might be able to make improvements. Make changes and test to see if they have the desired effect.

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