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Measuring and analyzing your website’s visitor behavior is a key discipline of any good digital marketer. After all, how do you know you’re successful if you aren’t measuring results?
According to a recent report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, nonprofits saw a 23.9% increase in online donations from March 2016 to March 2017 compared to the same time period the previous year. With online donations typically coming in at a higher average gift amount compared to “traditional” channels like direct-marketing, the continued shift towards online giving can have a major impact on a nonprofit’s annual fundraising efforts. As a result, measuring and optimizing the donor’s experience on your website has never been more important.
I can regularly be heard around the office repeating this quote from Mark Twain’s autobiography:
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
I can’t stress this enough: be careful when drawing conclusions and making bold statements about statistics you uncover. Statistics don’t get to mean whatever you want them to based upon who you’re talking to.
To give you an example, years ago a coworker was giving a recap on the month’s web statistics and said, “60% first-time visitors is a GREAT thing. It means we’re growing.” Later in the same meeting, the exact same co-worker used the exact same statistic to so how troubling it was that no one was coming back to the site. Huh? Only one of those statements can be true.
You also need to keep in mind that more doesn’t equal better. It very well could be that a high pageviews per user means your visitors are highly engaged. It also could mean that your site is convoluted and hard to navigate (think about the last time you visited your state’s DMV website 😬).