SmartCause Digital

If I have no time, how can I use website analytics?

Jul 12, 2016

 

I know one thing for sure.

There’s not enough time in your day.

You have a loooong list of ideas you want to try and tools you want to learn, but you can’t find the time.

Me too!

You should see the herd of post-it notes that litter my desk. So many ideas for blog posts, new software I want to try, reminders about important deadlines, and even notes to myself about what’s for dinner.

But even though my days are packed, I always find the time to use my website analytics.

Here are my two secrets to getting it done:

  • I check in according to my chosen schedule.
     
  • I use my customized dashboard.
     

If you don’t have enough time in your day and you want tips on how to squeeze in website analytics, click below to watch this video tutorial!

 

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Training Video Transcript

If you feel like you have no time to use website analytics but you know that you should be using them, or you want tips to get started, then this is the training for you.

My name is Yesenia Sotelo, and I am a web developer and a digital skills trainer for nonprofits. Sometimes I do those two things at the very same time for my clients.

I teach Google Analytics a lot. I’ve been teaching it for a few years now; in fact, I won an award for teaching Google Analytics and I love sharing this information with other nonprofits!

I get great feedback from my students every time that I teach a class about Google Analytics. But I always also here that “we don’t have enough time,” that “we want to use this tool but it feels overwhelming,” and “we just can’t find the time to squeeze it into our days.”

And guess what? I don’t have time either. I run a business, I have a family, I have a new baby, I have clients that I love and want to do great work for, and honestly, I fell asleep at 8pm last night. There is not enough time in the day to get all of this done. And yet, I still find the time for Google Analytics.

Here are the two tips that I want to give you in this quick training that help me make time for analytics.

The first tip is that I do it on MY schedule.

Now, my schedule might be different from your schedule. And your schedule should be uniquely chosen to meet your organization’s needs and your workload’s needs.

Maybe some of you will do it weekly. If you really are struggling to find the time, I doubt you’re going to do it weekly, and that’s ok. You don’t have to do it weekly.

Maybe you do it monthly. Maybe you already have a monthly staff meeting, or a monthly check-in with your boss, a monthly team meeting -- some other monthly event that you can tie analytics check-ins around. That would be a great fit. It makes a lot of sense to add this task to something you’re already doing. So monthly would be wonderful.

Even if you only do it quarterly - every three months. That would still be useful.

I have a quarterly updates program with my clients where we get together every three months. I update their website with all the software and the plugins and whatever, and we look at Google Analytics and make a custom report. We talk about what we found in the report, we talk about ways to fix some of the things or ways to take advantage of opportunities that have come up, but we do that quarterly. It makes a lot of sense for my clients. I feel like quarterly makes a lot of sense for most of us.

Quarterly lets us get a “big picture” look at something, because weekly, as you can imagine, is a lot of minutiae, but quarterly you start to see big trends. Quarterly also lets you have three months to implement your ideas, so if you check in quarterly and you see things that need adjustment, or you see opportunities to take advantage of, then you give yourself three more months to actually do the stuff that’s going to fix things or new ideas you want to take advantage of.

So if you only do it quarterly, if that’s the schedule that you stick to and that’s as often as it gets, that’s really really good I think. Especially if you’re not doing it at all, right? Any progress is helpful. So if quarterly works for you, go for it.

In addition to having my own chosen schedule, the other way I make time for this is my dashboard.

The dashboard is something that I created for myself that pulls in just the analytics that I think are useful. It’s something that I freely share with you and I’ll tell you how to get it in just a couple of minutes. The reason I like it so much is it’s a one-stop shop in Google Analytics.

There’s a lot of information in Google Analytics, it’s a great tool, I love it, but if you don’t have the time, none of that information is useful to you. If you don’t have the time to get to it, it’s not helping you. But if you have this one dashboard, that’s one place where you can stop in and check everything out once a week, once a month, once a quarter, whatever your schedule is, then I think you’re going to be successful in actually getting this done.

So let me show you the dashboard in action. When I login to Google Analytics from my own site, I just bypass all of this and I scroll over to Dashboards, and choose my dashboard. I’ve named it Nonprofit Dashboard; you can call your dashboard whatever you want.

And here it is: a one-stop shop that pulls in everything you ever wanted to know — pageviews, bounce rate, the sessions graph, where people came from, what percentage are on mobile, how long they stayed, what the most popular landing pages and exit pages are. So this is my dashboard, and as I said before I am going to share with you. It’s one of the resources I love giving away to anyone who needs it because it’s so helpful. If you’re watching this training and thinking to yourself, “Yesenia, I don’t even know what these pageviews, or bounce rate, or any of this means,” … don’t worry, because the resource that is the follow up to this training is a Google Analytics mini-course.

If you haven’t taken the Google Analytics mini-course and you want to find out what all of these terms mean, or you just want the dashboard link, you can either scroll down (if you’re watching this video on SmartcauseDigital.com) and enter your information and you’ll get started with the mini-course. Or if you’re watching this on a different website or on YouTube or somewhere else, go to SmartNonprofitWebsites.com and then you’ll be able to get started with the Google Analytics mini-course and you can follow along at your own pace.

I hope this training was helpful to you. I hope that you take advantage of the course, and once you’re part of the course you’ll also start receiving email resources from me via email every two weeks. Thanks so much.

 

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About the Author

Yesenia SoteloYesenia Sotelo is the founder of SmartCause Digital. She works with nonprofit professionals like you to build you an awesome website & train you on digital skills.

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