Key Things to Check on Google Analytics

  • by Diane Park
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As our discussions continue, it becomes clear that branding and web development for your nonprofit is an ongoing process rather than something that ever becomes finished or done with. Your nonprofit’s branding is something that should continuously be growing and working for you, helping to get the message of your brand out there. A way to check in on how successful your brand’s messaging on your website has been is with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a collection of data that tracks how people are engaging with your website. The following is a list of items to check on Google Analytics and the depth of information each tell you about your web engagement.

Bounce Rate

This is a major statistic to measure overall engagement on your website.  A website’s bounce rate is its percentage of visitors that leave the site after visiting a single page. While high page views or visits are great, the bounce rate tells you how much visitors explore your website. A healthy bounce rate is the result of good layout, messaging and content.

Page Views

This is the most straightforward statistic, but one requires a great deal of consideration and study. Key things to look out for with page views are trends. What pages or content is getting the most activity? What day, or time is traffic heaviest? Are there any spikes or drops? What are some factors that could have influenced that? Page views are a great way to check in on the overall health of your site. Always look at them both in present context and over a long span of time.

Time Spent

This can be a tricky statistic. All of the entries in Google Analytics are most useful when applied and used with one another. This is especially true for time spent. In general, you want people to spend time on your site. A short time spent and high page views can still spell trouble for a site. It could mean that people clicked around and didn’t find anything they wanted to see, then left. Alternatively, it could mean that your website was easy to navigate, people got the information they needed, were satisfied, and left. For instance, maybe they needed to check your donation wish list or they only needed a phone number or address. A high time spent and bounce rate can happen when people came to your site to read a blog article, then left when finished or perhaps you have one long web page as your entire website, so there is really no other page to look at.  You ultimately want people to find what they are looking for quickly and move on from there, so consider the type of page people are landing on and if you expected them to keep digging through your website or not.

Traffic Source

Be sure to check in on this stat regularly. This is another great analytic to look at on a regular basis and check contextually over time. Are your nonprofit’s traffic sources consistent? How do the stats stack up compared to where you are spending the most effort or resources on social media and advertising? Traffic sources are a great way to ensure that you are dedicating time to the right platforms for your website.

Devices Used

This again is all about the visitor’s experience. The more you understand about how people spend time on your site the more you can capitalize on your messaging and the exposure you are getting. If more people are using mobile devices to view your webpage be sure that the mobile experience you are offering is smooth and catered to serve that need. This can be especially important if you have audio and video content.

Be sure to check in with Google Analytics and incorporate the listed factors as part of a regular routine in maintaining your nonprofit’s brand and online experience.

For more information on the statistics provided by Google Analytics or for a free 30-minute consultation to review your website’s performance, reach out to the SW Creatives team.

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