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Top tips on making your organisation take notice of web analytics

9 February 2012

Publiz Zone's Jonathon Simmons on how to ensure your whole organisation makes use of the great insight offered by web analytics,

How are analytics regarded in your organisation? Does your CEO know who was on your website this week? Does your campaigns manager ask what the most popular topics are in your Facebook groups? Does your fundraising director know how much time it takes to fill out your donation and membership forms?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then no need to read on.

Why are analytics so important? Put simply, they help you understand what thousands of people think about you. And perhaps, more importantly, what they want from you. We know that many web managers already understand this but the analytics and the great insights they give rarely get out into the organisation as a whole.

Most of our clients use Google Analytics, but they face a real challenge in sharing their findings in a digestible and relevant way. So how do you get the rest of the organisation to listen?

Here are a few quick and easy ideas on how to share data and insights in a useful way, to ensure the information you extract from your website about your users is not wasted.

1. Be relevant.

A page of graphs and phrases people do not understand, such as ‘bounce rate’, is easily ignored. But showing the head of information the top 10 search terms that website visitors have put into your search function will interest them. However, that information will probably not interest the person responsible for partnerships: they want to know which organisations send you the most traffic. The point is to consider who your audience is when presenting the insights and what information will be most useful to them.

2. Be personal.

If the information is about them then tell them. If you look at the most common search terms for an organisation, the names of people working within it will rank quite highly. For example, “Hannah. Did you know you come 19th in top search terms for our organisation?” Let people know if the article they have written has had many visitors or is linked to from elsewhere.

3. Create context.

Ninety percent of our clients have business strategies. Often with five targets. Can you link your analytics to those targets? By doing so you are creating a meaningful context for the analytics. Setting up one indicator and sending out a monthly update against business targets will attract more attention than a page of meaningless numbers.

4. Create a reason to celebrate.

Set analytic targets and celebrate when you meet them. Following on from the business strategy point above, why not set your own public targets and involve everyone when you hit them? If you currently have 1,800 unique visits per month, why not aim for 2,500 and celebrate with the whole organisation when you reach it? After all, that’s an additional 700 people. Imagine if that many people turned up to an event.

5. Create constant visibility.

One of the issues we regularly encounter with not-for-profit organisations is that analytics are not visible. So the rest of the organisation cannot appreciate the insights they represent. Think about using your organisation’s communal spaces to present interesting snippets about analytics in order to keep people informed and engaged. It is amazing what a list of the top 10 pages visited pinned up in the kitchen can achieve.

6. Keep it short.

A quick fortnightly all-staff email update with one nugget of insight will prompt discussion. Avoid lots of statistics or charts – tell stories and ask for their thoughts.

7. Foster competition.

There is nothing wrong with a bit of competition! If the pages for one specific department are doing very well then tell everyone. People in the organisation can affect traffic to the website by publicising it via their various social media profiles. You can also encourage partners of your organisation to add links to your website. If your team really buys in to generating more traffic to their section of the website, you can encourage them to write search-friendly content. Creating a little competition may encourage them to do more. 

Jonathon Simmons

managing director, Public Zone