The good old days of Web 1.0
A world without the WWW is hard to imagine for most of us - although it is not that far away in the past. I get a little nostalgic when I think of setting up my first email address back in 1999. Back then the world was like this (ok, this is quite some time ago ..).
Some 20 years ago, the overall number of websites around was ridiculously low for today´s standards. To get any idea about how a page was performing, web marketers had to rely on things like the notorious visitor counters or wrangling log files created by web servers. The latter was definitely a hassle as access to these files was required in the first place, configuration file hacking or programming was necessary, only static reports etc.
Data-driven Digital Fundraising today
Nowadays the common denominator for most organizations having a digital presence is definitely running a website. In a context of marketing and sales as well as fundraising, this page often acts as kind of hub to which other digital channels and communication activities point. Running a website requires sound management. And as management is in essence a data-driven discipline, an evidence-based approach also is key in a web context...
This is where Google Analytics comes into play. It has the capacity to answer questions like these for online fundraisers and decisions makers in general:
Google Analytics is free in its base version which suits many use cases of websites. For big data applications, there is the even more powerful tool called Google Analytics 360 as part of the Google Marketing Cloud.
All you need to set up Google Analytics (free version) – apart from a website you have the ownership for of course – is a Google Account and the possibility to embed the little Java Script code snippet that does the magic. This can either be done by yourself or a web developer. Frameworks like Wordpress or Weebly (where this blog runs on) make life even easier through assistants. For the ones interested in what is happening under the hood, this infographic might be interesting.
Google Analytics in a nutshell
Google Analytics is embedded in an ecosystem together with tools like Google Tag Manager, Google Adwords etc. This is particularly the case on in a more advanced and differentiated online fundraising context.
Google analytics offers a lot of potentially insightful reports out of the box which can be used from day one. The main areas are:
There is a plethora of resources from Google and other providers to take a deep dive into Google Analytics. These are a few:
Advanced Analytics @ Google Analytics
Google analytics can moreover also be interesting in a broader analytics and data science context. Think of the following uses cases:
To cut the long story short, analysts, data scientists etc. working in a fundraising context should - in addition to the digital fundraising experts taking care of the website and digital channels - care about digital data analyses in general and Google Analytics in particular. As 2020 just started - let´s get cracking! :-)
All the best and keep in touch as asykourdata.co or firstname.lastname@example.org.