It’s important to track a few key website statistics on a regular basis and yet not get lost in a sea of numbers. But, which are the most important?
- Visitors (both new and repeat). This is the number of people who have come to your website for the first time or who are coming back for a second time. This is important, because it is the size of the pool of people from which you are trying to generate support. The larger the number of visitors, the more potential for engagement.
- Action takers. This is the number of people who self-select on your website and do something to give you their contact information. It could be signing up for a newsletter, requesting more information, or viewing a video, but there must be a form where they give you at least their email address and sometimes additional information as well. This number is critical since your website engagement is a crucial source of future support.
- Conversion Rate. This is the percentage of your total website visitors who engage with your organization. So, if you had 200 visitors to your website today, and you generated 3 newsletter sign-ups, that would be a 1.5% conversion rate. The conversion rate is important because it is telling you how efficient your website is at turning site visitors into supporters.
- Keyword Search Rank. For many nonprofit websites, the most efficient traffic and engagement will come from organic search. This is the traffic that comes from people searching on Google, MSN and Yahoo and other engines and finding your website in the results. This traffic is not completely “free”, since you need to work on your website to really maximize it, but it is usually much more cost effective than other sources. You need to know how you rank in the search engines for at least a few key terms related to your mission, and you also want to know how that rank is changing over time – are you moving up or down – since that will determine the future success of your website visitors and online engagement.