How marketing metrics can help charities

Charities need to set goals, create a strategy, and utilize marketing metrics data to make sure their websites and campaigns are effective and sustainable

Charities need to set goals, create a strategy, and utilize marketing metrics data to make sure their websites and campaigns are effective and sustainable

In times of economic uncertainty, it’s critical for charities to focus their digital marketing effort on what will make the biggest impact for the least budget spend. Marketing metrics can boost digital marketing campaigns and ensure websites achieve optimal reach.

What are marketing metrics?

Marketing metrics are working away behind the website to provide data to help you monitor, record, and measure progress over time. There are a huge number of metrics available, free via Google Analytics, and the best data to gather is what will have the most impact on the charity’s goals.

So, before embarking on collecting any data, be clear about your goals and have a strategy in place to enable the use of these specific metrics data to help achieve them.

What are marketing metrics used for?

Using data collected from marketing metrics, charities can measure what’s working and what isn’t on their website or on a specific campaign and adjust their strategy accordingly.

A word of warning, however. It’s important to be focused. It’s natural to want to know everything about who’s engaging with the charity’s content but if you collect too much data, some of which might not be relevant to the charity’s goals, it could ultimately become huge time consuming, overwhelming, and counterproductive.

Why are marketing metrics important?

All charities want to make an impact on the lives of as many people as possible. Measuring impact is fundamental to being able to demonstrate how well a charity is achieving its goals and helping the charity to learn what has worked and what hasn’t, know the extent and depth of change the charity has bought about, help prove you have achieved what was originally intended, and inform future campaigns.

Metrics data can help you make improvements, inform future decision-making, provide evidence of value for money or return on investment, and increase brand awareness.

Measuring the right impact for various stakeholders is key. Trustees will want hard evidence to make decisions, staff may want proof that they are making a difference, and donors will want hard facts to be reassured their financial support is helping.

Which metrics should charities use?

The key is to only measure the elements that will bring benefit and provide evidence the intended goal has been met. There are a wide variety of marketing metrics available but here are some of the most useful top-level metrics for charities.

  1. WEBSITE TRAFFIC

Provides basic information on the total number of people visiting the website over a given period. They give an overall snapshot of how the website is performing and reveal insights about visitors, including demographics such as age, gender, location, etc. They can tell you how visitors arrived at your site, ie via an organic search, direct search, referral via another site, social media, or via a pay-per-click campaign.

Useful for: Insights on brand awareness and whether the website is growing, stagnating, or declining. They will also identify seasonal trends, patterns, and spikes. They can reveal the top-performing content, areas where intervention might be required, and help you find out if you are attracting unique (new) visitors and retaining repeat visitors to your site.

  1. BOUNCE RATE

The bounce rate metric provides data on how many visitors leave (or bounce away from) the website after only visiting one page. The lower your bounce rate the longer people are staying on your site. A high bounce rate indicates visitors are not getting what they wanted or expected and are leaving quickly.

Useful for: Although the bounce rate doesn’t tell you why people are leaving, it flags that there are issues, probably around loading times, broken links, bad design, and poor content. Bounce rates can be lowered by improving the design, content quality, and search engine optimization.

  1. PAGE VIEWS

You can see the total number of pages viewed and analyze best-performing pages – in terms of traffic volume – and how the number of page views looks like a percentage of total page views across the entire site.

Useful for: Helping to understand if the entire site is of value or if only certain pages are engaging. It helps to show what the audience is responding to and enables you to work towards providing more of what works. You can experiment with new pieces of content and focus on what your donors/supporters are reacting so positively.

  1. ENGAGEMENT RATE

Tracking how engaged the audience is with all content is key to driving responses. Tracking engagement at various touchpoints lets you know how actively visitors are paying attention to the content and how valuable that content is to them. You can find out how many visitors reached a specific page, how they arrived there, and how many completed the action required.

Useful for: Reviewing and making strategy adjustments to ensure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign and providing a better overall experience for your audience.

  1. CONVERSION RATE

Have the visitors completed the call-to-action you intended? Did they sign up for your email newsletter or click through to your donation page? By looking at conversion rate metrics you can measure conversions and take action to remedy any problems.

Useful for: Tracking whether the total number of leads have taken action you either asked them or persuaded them to do.

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