I’m in Love…with Google Analytics

I'm in Love...with Google AnalyticsShhh…. Don’t tell my husband but I’m in love.

You know about recent Getting Attention survey findings — 2/3 of nonprofits don’t track impact of their marketing. That’s scary, because without tracking, you don’t know if your strategies are working or not. Or, as Donor Power blogger Jeff Brooks put it, you are “trying to fail.”

As I mentioned in the survey follow-up, the easiest (and cheapest) way to begin understanding your marketing impact is via Web user analysis tools (aka analytics). These tools, probably already built into your web site or blog tool, allow you to see what users are doing on your site, which pages are most popular, which messages resonate most deeply (if you test two pages with the same focus by seeing which one generates more gifts or registrations), and more.

Well, I’ve just started using the all-free, easiest-to-set-up-and-interpret Google Analytics to track usage of this blog and my NS&C Web site. It’s golden, and I’m in love. Here’s what I like love about it:

  • Easy to digest “dashboard” summarizing key stats (i have this bookmarked and review daily)
  • In-depth report on visitor behavior, page review trends, where traffic comes from, etc. — learn what keywords people are searching for when they get to your site and which pages are the most popular, and check if the path most users take through the site hits the pages you want them to see
  • Can cumulate trends for any period of time you select — for site usage, trends are more meaningful than a snapshot of a moment in time
  • Is free
  • Takes 5 minutes to set up.

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Nancy Schwartz on June 6, 2007 in High-Impact Websites, Nonprofit Communications, Unique Approaches | 1 comment
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  • I was a diehard Google Analytics fan too, but I just started using Performancing Metrics and think it blows the other away (unless you are tracking an Adwords campaign). It gives the full dynamic URL so you can see exactly which page of a blog your inbound link came from, outbound links so you can see which of your links are of most interest to your readers, a “spy” feature to see what users are doing in real time on your site, and is extremely clear and easy to read.
    When you sign up, you get the full package for 30 days to try out, but they also have a free service with fewer bells and whistles. My 30 days are almost up, and I’m seriously considering paying the $20 a year for the full service.
    You can sign up at http://pmetrics.performancing.com/. No reason you couldn’t use both services together to complement each other too.
    And no, they’re not paying me to promote their service. :-)

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