Connecting analytics tools to your website and social channels turn data into valuable insights, improving the way nonprofits get to know their followers and their user behaviors, and from there plan for the future in a way that makes the most out of their time and resources. At first glance, your raw data can look like a pool of numbers without a story to tell. But if you dive deeper, these figures tell a story that can help nonprofits to analyze and fine-tune their organizational processes, create targeted fundraising campaigns, and efficiently compile reports.
Depending on your goals and needs, finding the right analytics tools can be overwhelming and costly. Since our job at Whole Whale is to make nonprofit life easier, we pulled together a list of our top 5 analytics tools that your nonprofit should start using.You miss 100% of the shots you don't measure. Click To Tweet
1. Google Analytics for website traffic
Google Analytics is a free website analytics service that provides statistics and basic reports for SEO, on-site optimization, and marketing purposes. You’ll be able to monitor your site traffic on both a qualitative and quantitative level. Google Analytics is especially useful for learning when something may be out of whack, or to see who is visiting your site and what actions they’re taking. You can even get granular and see details like the type of browsers visitors are using, whether they’re on desktop or mobile, and where they’re accessing your site from.
Google Analytics pulls in data from all channels of traffic, including social media. These data will help inform any changes you may need to make to your site or your marketing campaigns driving traffic to your site. Oh, and the best part? It’s FREE! The service is available to anyone with a Google account. If your nonprofit has a website, it’s imperative that you have Google Analytics enabled and set up properly. Google Analytics also pairs with some pretty cool plugins:
- Search Console: Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results. While you don’t have to sign up for Search Console for your site to be included in Google’s search results, doing so can help you understand how Google views your site and optimize its performance in search results.
- LightHouse by Whole Whale: GetLighthouse.io connects emails submitted through your site to user behavior metrics in Google Analytics. It also allows you to search for emails that took defined actions on the site.
- Da Vinci Tools: Da VInci Tools is a free plugin that enhances your Google Analytics reports. The plugin has a range of features, including the ability to automatically remember the date range, segments and other parameters and bring you to the same report when you switch views in Google Analytics.
Already rolling with Google Analytics? Here’s our full Google Analytics resource archive with more tips and tricks of the trade.
2. Moz and other tools for SEO
Moz is an marketing analytics tool that measures, monitors and evaluates the onsite and offsite aspects of your website’s search engine rankings and opportunities for search engine optimization. With Moz, you can do keyword research in order to help inform the content you create for your site or the copy you use for digital ads.
On the technical side, you can run an SEO site crawl which will tell you the current status of your site’s hygiene and ways you can optimize further to appeal to Google’s RankBrain. There are a number of cool features Moz has to offer, including a nifty downloadable toolbar that gives you instant metrics while viewing any page. Moz offers free tools as well as a paid Pro-level version that gives you more in-depth data. MozPro offers a 30-day free trial and pricing begins at $99 per month.
Moz also has a blog and video series dedicated to teaching the fast-changing field of SEO. Their Whiteboard Friday video series is a favorite at WW HQ.
Other fun SEO measurement tools to checkout:
- The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler that allows you to crawl a website’s URLs and fetch key onsite elements to analyze onsite SEO. You can download a limited free version, or you can buy the full version for about $200 per license per year.
- Ahrefs is a tool used for backlink and SEO analysis. Like Moz, Ahrefs hosts a slew of cool features including competitive analysis, keyword research, and content exploration, which will help you find the most shared content from your site, site audits and rank tracking. Ahrefs membership starts at $99 per month, with the option of doing a 7-day trial for $7.
3. Sprout Social for social media
If you want to explore analytics beyond those built-in on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, Sprout Social is a great social media management tool. In addition to post scheduling options, Sprout allows you to analyze your social media data and monitor engagement. It integrates with all major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Google+) as well as other systems including Bitly and Google Analytics. Pricing for Sprout Social starts at $99 per month but they do offer a 30-day free trial period, so you can give the platform a test run.
4. Facebook website pixel
Facebook describes their analytics tool as “people-first analytics for an omni-channel world.” In essence, Facebook Analytics allows you to see how users interact with your Facebook posts, and then see how those same users move over to your site and convert. In the nonprofit world, this conversion would look like a donation or a volunteer sign-up, those key actions that people take that help you get closer to achieving a larger goal of your organization. Here is how to set up the Facebook pixel for your nonprofit.
5. LinkedIn Website Tag
The LinkedIn Insight Tag can be added to your website to show professional information about visitors. Similar to the Facebook Pixel, the Insight Tag allows you to link user data in LinkedIn to tracking tags on your website. This means you can target site visitors through LinkedIn advertising, as well as discover unique audience demographic insights like job function, seniority, and industry. For example, 22% of Whole Whale pageviews come from people working in Marketing, and almost 30% are from companies with 11-50 employees. Here are some more ways to use Linkedin for you nonprofit.
We know nonprofit budgets can be tight, and investing in (and learning) a tool shouldn’t be done haphazardly. Take advantage of the free trials and test out these platforms to see what would work best for your nonprofit needs. These are tools we use and love at Whole Whale and we hope your nonprofit finds success with these as well.
Have any other tools your nonprofit loves? Let us know! Tweet us @WholeWhale.