This is part two of a two-part series on website assessment that we were excited to talk through with Nonprofit Marketers- STL and their internal team of marketing professionals. Before diving in, we recommend watching part one of the series which you can find here. Part one focuses on the importance of conducting a site audit before beginning the website design or website redesign phase. There’s also a helpful download provided to help get you started!
In this part-two webinar, we focus on the importance of having website analytics set up, including goals to help you understand who your users are and mapping a specific user journey on your website. This amount of detail helps guide the way you structure your website and what kinds of content you provide for your users that get them to one of your website goals.
How to approach website analytics
First and foremost come with questions. The lore of website analytics, user data and SEO has many aspirational website managers and digital marketers believing there is some kind of magic to behold when dealing with website optimization. The truth is, it’s actually relatively simple, the real magic is in asking the right questions and looking for the right answers. Once your curiosity has lead you to find the right answers, you can customize your analytics to gain an even deeper understanding of your website and its users.
Understanding website analytics
Out of the box tools like Google Analytics provide a ton of useful data. Without any customization, you can get a bird’s-eye view of your website performance and use that information to begin improving your site in very impactful ways. At its core, website analytics help us understand four main things about our website:
The Audience report allows you to get information on who is using your website. The overview of this report will give you the best summation of your sites performance at a glance. If you dive deeper, this information includes everything from where they are located geographically, their age and gender, and even their interests… pretty crazy, right? You can use this information to adjust your content to appeal to your actual audience.
Understanding how people find your website is the key to getting more people to your website. The acquisition report will tell you exactly how people are finding and viewing your website. It will tell you if people are finding you through social channels, email campaigns, referral links on other websites or in organic Google search results. It will even tell you what types of devices people are using to view your site so you can optimize accordingly.
Once you get the users to your site, the behavior report will let you know exactly what they are doing once they get there. Here you can find out how people navigate your website and pull reports on the most viewed pages of your site to see what people are really wanting from a content perspective. Once you have firm grasp of the fundamentals of website analytics and want to start customizing your data collection, the behavior report is where you will start. You’ll be able to track everything from button clicks to form submissions.
Conversions is the only report that won’t really benefit you out of the box, but once set up, it will be the most valuable report by a large margin. The conversion report will allow you to track goals that are specific to your website. This section does requires custom setup, but you don’t need technical or coding knowledge to do so. We provide detailed instructions for setting up Google Analytics goals in the webinar above.
Where to start?
- Why do I have a website?
- Who do I want to visit my website?
- What do I want them to think, feel and do on my website?
We hope you find this webinar and blog post helpful. If you are in need of help with your website analytics or are looking for an expert opinion feel free to reach out to our website strategy team at Almanac. If you have questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you.