If you want to grow your audience…
Below are 10 stats about nonprofit websites that you should keep in mind for the coming year, along with ideas that you can implement immediately.
If you’re serious about raising more money and building up your email list in 2017...
Join the SmartCause Digital email list. You’ll be invited to a key upcoming training: “Double Your Audience”. Learn what it takes to recruit more supporters your organization by improving your website and your online outreach.
(All of the screenshots in this article are from Google Analytics accounts for nonprofit websites.)
1. 2017 is the year that mobile will eat the internet.
Gut check time.
You know it because you do it too.
Everyone is using their mobile device to access websites.
Each year, the size of your mobile audience grows larger than the year before. (See graphs above.)
As far as Google is concerned, only mobile matters. Google is creating a “mobile” index that will become the primary index for search.
Prioritize the mobile experience of your site as your create content, choose images, and plan campaigns.
2. The size of your search audience depends as much on your effort as it does on Google.
Whether you’re losing search visitors like the site on the left, or gaining search visitors like the site on the right, the results come down to your effort.
The site on the right has been monitoring their most popular search queries, creating new content to attract more visitors and optimizing their most popular pages with relevant calls-to-action.
They’ve hustled and the numbers reflect their effort.
Get smart and strategic with your content. Need help? Sign up for my email list and get your invitation to my free, upcoming “Double Your Audience” training series.
3. You need a speedy website.
Both visitors and search engines expect your site to load quickly.
The slower your site, the more likely a visitor is to leave before it even loads.
Google Analytics shows you how long it takes for your pages to load. It even provides you with specific “Page Speed Suggestions”, as shown in the screenshot above.
Check out your speed test and suggestions in Google Analytics! (Behavior → Site Speed → Overview)
Need help navigating Google Analytics? Sign up for my free Google Analytics mini-course and get a handy introduction that includes a tour and customizable dashboard!
4. HTTPS isn’t an option… it’s a requirement.
Google favors sites that use HTTPS.
(HTTPS means a site has an SSL certificate installed and that it transmits information via an encrypted connection.)
Several of my clients have experienced boosts to their search engine traffic after they added SSL to their site. (See the screenshot above)
What are you waiting for? This is the easiest, legitimate SEO boost available to you!
Make sure your site uses HTTPS. If you need a primer to help you get started, check out my article: Your website isn’t finished. You forgot HTTPS.
5. PDFs are a (secret) part of your SEO formula.
There is a secret world of content that’s attracting visitors to your site: your PDF files.
As both PDF technology and the Google crawler have advanced, the search engine has archived more and more of the content in your PDF files.
What if your PDFs are be among your most popular content? You might never know!
In the screenshot above, a nonprofit website’s list of top pages that appear in search engine results includes many PDF files.
This information is available to you, but you have to do a little work: link up Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Link Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Need a hand? Check out my Quarterly Updates service. I take care of the configuration as part of my work to help you get the most out of your analytics!
6. Referral audiences care more than search audiences.
A visitor who arrives at your site via a referral site came through a link from another website. Your city government might have listed you a resource. A funder might have mentioned you on their website. A blogger might have written about a resource you created.
Visitors who come to your site via referral are more likely to stay on your site and spend more time there than other kinds of visitors.
And isn’t that the goal, y’all? We want people to hang out on your site and get to know you!
Seek out links from other sites, especially government, news, education and nonprofit sites. Yes, this is a long-term effort, and worth it - as it yields excellent results.
7. If you want to raise more money, use website analytics to understand your funnel.
Every nonprofit I work with has different results, as you can see in the screenshot above.
There is a common thread that applies to all of them - and to you as well:
The nonprofit teams that measure their work get better results.
Do you know, for example, what your donation conversation rate is? Or how many leads you collected via your website in 2016?
Set up Goals in Google Analytics to help you measure your funnel.
Need help getting started with Google Analytics? Sign up for my free mini-course and look for an invitation to my advanced Google Analytics Toolkit training!
8. You’re making decisions in the dark if you’re not integrating all your tools with Google Analytics.
The first screenshot is the default configuration in Google Analytics. Traffic sources include Organic Search, Referral, Direct and Social.
The second screenshot is from a nonprofit that has integrated their tools. They track additional sources such as Paid Search and Email.
The nonprofit in the second screenshot knows more about the success of their efforts and more about their audience because they’ve integrated their various tools with Google Analytics.
Check whether your online marketing tools support Google Analytics integration. This includes tools you use for: email marketing, social media, advertising, mobile apps, payment processing, streaming online video, organizing a document library, etc.
9. Campaigns are the most powerful tool that you’re (still) ignoring.
Get a taste of the power from the screenshot above.
This nonprofit can quickly see which of their outreach channels (online ads, email marketing, social media or mobile app) is bringing the most visitors to their site.
Behold the power of
Campaigns are a completely open area of Google Analytics, ready for you to mold into the measurement tool that works best for your organization.
Start by checking whether your email marketing and social media tool support Google Analytics integration. (Many of these tools already support integration!)
Then get on my email list so you can be the first to know when my Google Analytics Toolkit opens for enrollment. I teach you all about how to set up Campaigns for your nonprofit.
10. Invest in the tail… of your page traffic.
Yeah, yeah. Everybody fights over being featured on the homepage.
But look at the rest of that tail of traffic. Look at aaaaaall those other pages that people visit every day.
There’s payoff in the tail. Invest in the tail.
Look beyond your homepage, at your About page, your Services page, your Leadership page.
What can you improve? Refresh the copy? Add a beautiful image? Include a call-to-action?
Navigate to Behavior → Site Content → All Pages to see your specific page list and start improving your website.
This is just the beginning. What’s next?
Scroll down and join the SmartCause Digital email list. You’ll be invited to a key upcoming training: “Double Your Audience”. Learn what it takes to recruit more supporters your organization by improving your website and your online outreach.