In our digital world, SEO has become almost a buzzword of sorts, as brands and companies toss it around in marketing meetings and strategy sessions.
As a nonprofit fundraiser, perhaps you’ve not given much thought to SEO for your organization, or you’ve dismissed it altogether as being something that only applies to for-profit companies with online sales.
It’s time to challenge that thinking and step up your SEO efforts! For nonprofits, SEO is critical to your fundraising success. Tracking specific metrics will help your organization determine if you’re reaching the right people with your message and the likelihood of meeting your fundraising goals.
The metrics that I mention below can all be measured using Google Analytics, a free, multifaceted tool that you should be running on your website. You can use this tool in conjunction with a nonprofit customer relationship management (CRM) software to better understand who your donors are, where they’re going, and how to connect with them better. Learn more about nonprofit-ready CRMs at TechnologyAdvice.com.
Let’s look at those KPIs:
Overall visitor behavior
If your supporters don’t come to your website, engage with your content, or stick around very long, the odds of getting a donation are slim to none. You must understand your visitors and how they interact with your organization through the content on your website.
Look at these specifics to measure visitor engagement:
- Organic search visitors — How many visitors are reaching your site through organic search and what keyword terms are getting them there?
- Bounce rate — How many people are leaving quickly and which post or page receives the highest bounce rate?
- Post engagement — Discover the most popular posts and least popular posts; what content resonates with your audience?
- Media downloads — How many people are watching posted videos to completion? Listening to podcasts or other audio offerings?
- Referring websites — Where do your visitors come from? Are referral campaigns working to drive traffic to your site?
Tracking these numbers over time will inform content going forward, which will keep donors engaged with your brand. Engaged visitors are more likely to become donors.
Mobile device users
Julia Claire Campbell of Marketing for the Modern Nonprofit writes, “Recent studies found that 54% of email is now opened on a mobile device. While that may seem staggering, Pew Internet found that a whopping 50% of charitable donors are already using mobile devices to access nonprofit websites and emails. Another 40% of those surveyed used a mobile device to make a donation. Wow!
“Pew Internet also found that a majority of young adults, black and Hispanic adults and low-income adults rely on their mobile devices for online access and not on desktops or laptops.
“So, the lesson in all of this is that nonprofits need to get on board with the mobile explosion – and fast. Despite the proliferation of mobile devices and the sheer amount of time that we all spend on our smartphones, too many nonprofits are not paying attention.”
What about your organization?
Look for specific behaviors related to mobile users visiting your website:
- Number of mobile users — If you have none or a few, it may mean that your site is not optimized for mobile visitors.
- Number of mobile users who make donations via your give page — If this data is a low number, it may mean that visitors can’t figure out how to donate on a mobile device.
- Number of mobile users who leave your site — Find out how many mobile users are leaving your site and what the most popular exit page is.
Optimizing your site for mobile users is not an option! This doesn’t just mean that someone can access your site from a mobile device. A site optimized for mobile users means you site supports a mobile-responsive design, which adapts the site to any size screen and makes all information readily accessible, regardless of the device visitors are using.
Donation page visits and shopping cart completions
One of the most important pages on your nonprofit’s website, the donation page should be scrutinized carefully. In addition to measuring the visitor behaviors mentioned above, it’s crucial you analyze how effective your donation page is in getting donors to give.
While bounce rate can show you a lot about a page’s ability to engage the reader, the donation page may be a bit harder to figure out.
That’s because many nonprofits see a disconnect between the donation page visits and gifts actually made through the shopping cart.
A post on Bloomerang advises nonprofit marketers:
“When a donor comes to your donation page with the intention of making a gift, they often get distracted by the process or the donation page itself and leave. Some donors leave with plans to return when they have more time, but few do.
“In fact, 60% of potential donors come to your nonprofit’s donation page and leave before completing the transaction. That’s a lot of potential funds your nonprofit is missing out on!”
Take a close look at the user experience with the entire online giving process to your organization:
- Number of visits to donation page — Examine this number beside the number of completed transactions and the number of incomplete transactions.
- Shopping cart abandonment — Where are donors falling off in the giving process?
- Different options for giving — If you offer more than one way for donors to give, which methods produce the most gifts? Which produce the highest amount of gifts? Which receive the highest number of incomplete transactions?
- Security for users — Make sure you are compliant with all security and privacy regulations and communicate that to your donors.
For the nonprofit fundraiser and marketer, examining SEO across your website is critical to a thorough understanding of your online efforts. The more specific tracking you can implement, the more successful your marketing campaigns will be, which will translate into more (and greater!) fundraising dollars.
Mary Bernard is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com. She has helped all types of companies — from small brands to multi-million dollar franchise corporations — grow their businesses through blogging and content marketing. She is a freelance writer and editor based in Nashville, TN, where she resides with her husband and three teenagers. Find out more about Mary and her business, A Way With Words, at www.maryparkerbernard.com.