Notes inside! Practical advice for measuring, analyzing, and reporting your nonprofit's digital analytics data


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Notes inside! Practical advice for measuring, analyzing, and reporting your nonprofit's digital analytics data

  1. 1. Practical Advice for Measuring, Analyzing, and Reporting Your Nonprofit's Digital Data! Presented by Sarah M Worthy @sarahmworthy | Practical Advice for Measuring, Analyzing, and Reporting on Your Nonprofit's Digital Analytics Data
  2. 2. @sarahmworthy | | +Sarah * 15+ years working at the convergence of technology and business process design. * I’m a designer, but not the graphics kind - I design web systems architectures and user experiences. I take an organization’s entire system of processes and help identify which ones are best translated to digital versus which require a human touch. * I’m the person you call to figure out why no one is using your technology (ie “why won’t anyone download my app”, “why isn’t anyone buying from my online shopping cart” why isn’t anyone reading my blog?”…)
  3. 3. What’s Your Biggest Data Challenge? You have to pick 1! now that you know a little about me, what I do, and why I’m here. I’d like to go around room and have you introduce yourselves. what’s their NPO? what’s their role there, and what’s your single biggest web challenge that they want to solve today?
  4. 4. What We'll Cover Today KPIs = what should you be measuring? ! ROI = connecting results to your activities ! Data Analysis = Using your data to prioritize future activities Bonus: Summary + Resources + Time for Questions at the end !
  5. 5. Digital Marketing is the Brand Equalizer “Tesla Video Ad Made for $1500 Goes Viral!” Why this all matters? Because you have to measure something before you know whether it’s gone viral or not. Digital Marketing is the Brand Equalizer between: * Rich and Poor, * Old and New, Employees and * Constituents/Customers.- ! A great example of this just came out about Tesla. These college kids borrowed a friends Tesla and a 10 year old neighbor and made a commercial about the car. * Tesla didn’t pay a cent, fans/college kids made this and published it. Elon Musk approved it - saying it was cool. * The Internet gives you the power if you choose to learn how to wield it. Data Analytics creates the roadmap for you to follow so you can win. (how do you know something went viral if you didn’t measure it?)
  6. 6. How Do You Currently Manage Your Data Analysis? You have to learn to crawl before you can fly. There’s steps to learning data analysis and what I’ve learned in 15 years isn’t going to suddenly flow into your brains coherently in 2 hours. Be patient with yourself, your team, and remember it’s ok to be a beginner at something. ! {Beth Kanter is amazing! Buy her book, read her blog and follow her.} ! This presentation isn’t just my thoughts, opinions, or experience - it includes the expert advice from Google Analytics professionals, Beth Kanter, and other nonprofit digital analytics experts. I tried to credit and link to the resources I recommend and refer to but if you don’t see a link - please ask and I’ll find it and update it.
  7. 7. How to Use This Guide This is the baby steps guide. * you need a Google Analytics account and your GA code incorporated into your website (this isn’t too hard but does require you to be comfortable accessing certain backend areas of your website) * you need access to your website’s administration backend * is a great free tool for richer demographics * I’ll primarily talk about Google Analytics because it’s free and Google offers tons of free tools and training just for nonprofits.
  8. 8. Take a Minute and Let's Write This Down: Your Organization’s Primary Objective this year: (ie what are you trying to do? why does your NPO exist?) Why does your website exist? What do you want people to do on the site? How are you going to accomplish these objectives you just wrote down? (ie increase online signups, get more signature letters to your state politician…) also there will be homework at the end. 1) Your Organization’s Objectives:  Why does your NPO exist? what are you trying to do?  2) why does your website exist? what do you want people to do on the site?  3) how are you going to accomplish those objectives you just wrote down (increase online signups, get more letters of signatures to governor)  4) how are you going to measure your progress towards meeting that goal (just like the fundraising goals for an event/thermometer) 5) set a goal - concrete number, that you want to reach.
  9. 9. KPI’s - What are KPI’s? - Why are KPI’s important? “Key Performance Indicators” KPIs help you keep focused on your .Org’s goal or mission by giving you a “short list” of the best ways you’ve determined can quantify that mission using KPIs. If your Organization’s mission is to educate school children about nature, then, for example, you might want to measure things related to quantifying how many children you were educating and what result your education had on changing the children’s behaviors. ! You have to keep in mind that KPIs are also how you communicate to other people (both inside and outside your .Org) about how your .Org is using the resources to produce results. Each of these individuals has their own reasons for supporting your organization. Build KPIs that speak to their emotional reasons. ! New and Growing NPO’s need these in order to measure and know if you’re on track or if you need to adjust/change. Your KPIs change as your NPO grows and changes, and so these aren’t set in stone forever always. ! ! “7 Simple Steps of Measurement” Image from: Beth Kanter, an expert with nonprofit digital measurement. She recently wrote a book Measuring the Networked NonProfit that I highly recommend. !
  10. 10. Measure Tactics with KPIs Objective: “Provide education about the natural environment to people of all ages…” - Mission of the Houston Arboretum Strategy: Generate Donations Website: Collect Online Donations KPI: Average Donation Size ($) Segments: Gift Types, Traffic Sources, Donor Type Strategy: Educate School Children Website: Provide Lesson plans and school tours KPI: # of School Requests online Segments: Age/Grades, School Districts, Parents Strategy: Increase Park Visitors Website: Provide Visitor Guides and Maps KPI: # of Park Map Downloads Segments: Traffic Sources, Mobile Devices Each KPI should measure the performance for your tactics. A tactic is something you do like write a blog post, send an email newsletter, send people to your website to donate, host a fundraising event. ! The strategy is the “Why are we doing this? What result do we want to see?” and I’ve put some examples here using the Houston Arboretum’s website. Disclaimer: this is my own examples created for this workshop and in now way reflect the strategic goals or marketing efforts of the Houston Arboretum. This is for the purpose of a learning demonstration only. ! You can use this template yourself for your organization. ! Note: I put this together really fast last night just to give you some examples and we can work through these together to improve them. Creating KPIs can be a bit tricky, since you have to understand how to measure your top line strategy (mission, etc), but also what you’re capable of tracking with your tools. You don’t need several KPIs for each tactic, maybe 3 to 5 for each. If one of your tactics is recruiting volunteers, your KPIs could be the number of volunteers and number of searches for volunteer activities.
  11. 11. Measure Tactics with KPIs Objective: Strategy: Website: KPI: Segments: Strategy: Website: KPI: Segments: Strategy: Website: KPI: Segments: Tactic is something you do: write a blog post, send an email newsletter, send people to your website to donate, host a fundraising event The strategy is the “Why are we doing this? What result do we want to see?” You can use this template yourself for your organization.
  12. 12. KPIs Tip #1 - Measure what you're already doing I really like this Analytics chart because it demonstrates that you can use Google Analytics to note how offline actions (like an ad campaign or a radio interview) can affect your website/online results and with Google Annotations, you can mark those down so anyone in your organization’s analytics dashboard can understand the highs and lows from a “what we did” to see the results. ! —> Let me show you how to use Google Analytics annotations to note when you’re doing something tactically 
  13. 13. Google Analytics Annotation Feature is like a calendar event tracker right inside your web analytics dashboard. —> Use Google Analytics annotations to note when you’re doing something tactically  I have these numbered in order and you can make take this home and log into your Google Analytics dashboard to make your own annotations. 1) find the little tiny tab underneath your analytics chart that you want to make an annotation on. click it to pull down a new annotations panel. 2) click on the tiny “+create new annotation” link on the right hand side of the chart 3) you’ll get this kind of view - and as you can see from this middle picture - these are really hidden “gems” inside GA. You get this field and you mark the date of when you did something, and if it’s private just to you or shared with your team, and just click save. 4) you’ll see a tiny little mark now where the annotation was saved and clicking on it will open up the note. * make sure you annotate the date you did the action, not the date the analytics chart spikes or dips. you want to see how many days before/after actions things are happening too. (badly worded but hopefully you get the drift) ! —> New vs Returning Visitors (to learn what new people do versus returning as they’ve got different starting points of information)  * where do they come from?  * are returning visitors finding you by typing in your URL or from another channel ! —> Map Overlay report to see where your visitors are regionally/globally when they’re viewing you
  14. 14. Click and Explore Map Overlay Filters Another cool tool in GA is the Map Overlay - use this to understand where in the world your traffic is coming from. You can compare other stats and really drill down into the region/cities too. ! —> Map Overlay report to see where your visitors are regionally/globally when they’re viewing you Think about ways you can really segment what different actions you are doing, and what results you want from each action to identify the right KPIs. ! —> New vs Returning Visitors (to learn what new people do versus returning as they’ve got different starting points of information)  * where do they come from?  * are returning visitors finding you by typing in your URL or from another channel !
  15. 15. KPIs Tip #2 - Be consistent with what and when you measure * study by My point with this slide is that results don’t happen overnight, and it costs you time and money up front to get those results later on. In this chart - it takes about 19-20 months (almost 2 years) to begin seeing an ROI from content marketing (ie blogging) compared to the instant ROI of paid search. However, as you can see- paid advertising caps at a pretty low rate whereas the ROI from content marketing keeps increasing over time with far less overhead after that initial investment. Technology is still new, and it’s an investment that requires consistent efforts both in tactics as well as strategic implementation over a long period of time before you see a real return.
  16. 16. * Schedule Weekly Reviews to Analyze Your Data * Watch a Google Analytics Video with your morning coffee my top two tips for getting a handle on this. this isn’t always the fun part - learning and trying to plan things. however it’s the most crucial and skipping this step will almost guarantee poor or no results. you cannot improve what you aren’t measuring.
  17. 17. KPIs Tip #3 - Beware of Vanity Metrics (photo source: UK Guardian) * don’t fall in love with your data and watch out for pitfalls and “vanity metrics” * keep in mind that you can’t integrate all of your data, and you can’t really manage all of it. * take the time to prioritize what you really want the results to look like, and how you measure only the data you need in order to keep focused on the goal. * if you don’t measure it, you can’t change it. Measure what you want to change. * Lead into how to Avoid upward line trends and other data analysis mistakes new data scientists make? *
  18. 18. ie: Total Website Visitors is a Vanity Metrics 2010 2011 2012 2013 * Lean Startup Metrics and Analytics has a great slide deck with more on vanity metrics * total website visitors over time are numbers that will only go up over time - avoid using vanity metrics that don’t give you actionable data in alignment with your goals.
  19. 19. Connect Your Actions to Your Results to Discover the power of ROI ROI = “return on investment” but I like to think of it more as “Results-Oriented Investing” because businesses and nonprofits both need to achieve results that aren’t always quantified by currency exchanges. Additionally, no matter what all the big business books say - focusing your professional results only around how much money you returned doesn’t lend to job security. Ultimately, we all make decisions based on our emotional motivators and as nonprofits, you all understand this concept better than for-profits usually do. You need volunteers and donations beyond just money, and so I want you to understand how to connect what you’re doing every day with the results you’re achieving and understand how to look at and analyze your data, and report on it, with a focus on what’s working, what’s not, and how are you learning and improving over time to achieve the mission, not just the biggest grants. !
  20. 20. ROI Tip #1: Connect Your Goals to Online Actions Measure   Goal Confirma/on  PageDona/on  Form Payment  Processing Star/ng   Line Set-Up Goals in Google Analytics based on what you want to measure. If your goal is to increase donations on your website - write down the steps that a donor has to take to make that donation. the best way to do this is to walk through the process yourself, and copy the page URLs from each new page as you click through. this list of URLs will be the list you’ll insert into Google’s Goals. From Google Analytics: “What are goals? Goals are a versatile way to measure how well your site or app fulfills targeted objectives. You can set up individual Goals for discrete actions like visits to a Thanks for registering! page, a Download completed screen, a minimum visit duration, or a specific purchase amount. Why set up goals? You can measure conversions, or completion rates, for each Goal you set up. Combine Goals with Funnels to analyze visitor actions leading up to a Goal. If you set a monetary value for a Goal, you can also see the value of conversions. Examples of goals include: "Thank you for registering" pages flight itinerary confirmations "Download completed" page”
  21. 21. Creating GA Goals Here’s screenshots of Google Analytics’ Goals with some example text filled in for a goal funnel. I have a link here for a Google Spreadsheet with one method for preparing these url goal funnels on your website. !
  22. 22. ROI Tip #2: Connect People with Unique Actions that Produce Results * set-up advanced segments. * list out the different stakeholders that are part of your organization’s community: donors, staff, volunteers, Board, and break those down into smaller segments as needed. * Ask yourself “What do you want each of these people to accomplish when they visit your website, open your email, attend one of your events, see you in their social media streams…?” write these down next to each segment * write them down as “when a segment type visits/opens/reads content from our NPO, I want them to do what?” * ie: when a facebook fan sees one of our wall posts, they will share it with their own friends. when a first ! use your web analytics data to learn more about your donors by asking yourself questions such as: ! What are the patterns of visitor behavior? Where do they come from? Where do they go while on the site? How long do they stay? What content formats are most popular?
  23. 23. ROI Tip #3: Connect Online Actions with Offline Results incorporate/integrate your email marketing, social media sites and top referrer’s into Google Analytics for a more full picture. ! this shows the online revenue made year over year from one of my previous nonprofit clients through their website. ! You can’t easily measure who attends every event, who stays the whole time, people don’t always fill out the surveys so use registrations on your website as an incomplete but still insightful data to analyze for trends. ! Use the online activities as conversation points to ask your members and donors what they want more or less of.
  24. 24. Using the Data to Forecast and Plan for Growth Why Forecast? - adds value through providing more accurate ways to set goals and plan for the future. For example, forecasting can give you insight into selecting where to prioritize your budget next year by showing you if a spring or fall marketing gala will bring more results based on previous years’ and benchmarks/industry trends - forecasting creates accountability with an agile goal settings process. - teachings you about your inefficiencies in your team, process and strategy and why most people don’t really like to delve into this. However, accepting that you’ll find ways to improve with forecasting is important and your organization must allow for these discoveries in order to succeed in the long run. This is the valuable process of separating female and male chicks as soon as possible, because each sex has different diets and endgames (most males are just destroyed). The mystery is that when you look at the vent in the chick’s rear, some people just know which are female. It is impossible to articulate, so the Japanese figured out how to teach this inarticulable knowledge. The student would pick up a chick, examine its rear, and toss it into a bin. The master would then say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based on his generally correct observation. After a few weeks, the student’s brain was trained to masterful levels.
  25. 25. Data Analysis Tip #1: Predict Future Donor Behaviours using Past Behaviours There’s all sorts of fancy financial algorithms for forecasting and I’m not going to talk about any of that advanced stuff - here’s some forecasting deep dive resources: This is forecasting 101 and maybe even more basic than that. And I think this is a little better than the fancy stuff anyways. ;) #1 Predict what they want next by looking at all the things they’ve done in the past and trying to figure out why they did it. ! The reason is because your members and donors don’t really care about how close to 1 that ratio is - they CARE about the results and getting the results they expected (or even better) 
  26. 26. Find Common Paths by Segments this is one way to use the Visitor’s flow. select a segment, and look at the URL extensions of the top pages visited… what path does someone go through on your site? ! * it’s going to be unique for your site because of URLs, page content, this example is from an events-driven nonprofit and so events are an important part of their Programs and their website goal is to increase event registration and event -related actions. * an organization’s about page and/or “people/staff bios” are usually in the top 3 most visited pages on average. How much attention have you put into those pages?
  27. 27. Data Analysis #2: Look at Frequency of Interactions compare different segments of people to look at frequency, and how often they’re looking at specific types of content. for example, you might find that returning visitors are more likely to go to your recent news and events sections compared to new visitors. is that what you want them to do? create test paths through your website using navigation and calls to action within page layouts so visitors can easily find the “breadcrumbs” you want them to follow.
  28. 28. Do different segments visit your site more or less often? Frequency and Recency reports in Google Analytics are really customizable by Segments and sources.
  29. 29. Data Analysis #3: Use GA Dashboard Templates! these are a huge time saver, and you can experiment with the metrics that other people and organizations are using.
  30. 30. 1) Check to make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your website. ! 2) Set-up a Goal to track online donations in Google Analytics. ! 3) Find your site’s visitor flow and try to identify flow-trends for your recurring visitors. ! 4) Use your Frequency vs Recency GA report to outline the ideal engagement pattern for your nonprofit’s website. Your Homework Homework: * make sure you have Goals set-up in Analytics  !
  31. 31. In Summary: 1) Use KPIs to determine which of your marketing and fundraising actions are the most effective ! 2) Measure your ROI by connecting goal-oriented actions to desired results within custom donor segments. ! 3) Measure only what actually matters to you and your organization and remember sometimes you just have to guess!
  32. 32. Google Analytics Resources
  33. 33. Local Houston Resources +FABdigitalmarketing
  34. 34. Online NonProfit Resources
  35. 35. Questions? Think of a question later? Email me!
  36. 36. Thank You! Find this presentation to download, along with the notes at