by Maria Lahiffe
Google Analytics is far and away the best and most-used digital analytics software in the world.  What is digital analytics software, you ask?
Digital analytics consists of data on behaviours such as:
For example. you can find out:
This helps you pick the best time to publish your posts
You can use this information to improve how you market your site.
For example, you can measure how many people clicked on a specific link, or what path they follow to get to a specific page.
In short, digital analytics give you data on how your website is doing. You can use this data to make informed decisions about what to keep and what to change on your site, to make it more attractive to the type of visitors you want.
Digital analytics provide you with information to help you make educated changes to your site based on actual data, rather than guesses based on opinions. Once you understand your visitors’ behaviour, you can optimize your website to improve results.
For example, if you sell a product or service online, it is important to understand the paths people take to get to your sales page, and where they drop off. Volunteer Ottawa sells memberships and continuing professional development on our website. A possible path for a site visitor who buys a membership could be:
Homepage > Join VO > New Organization Sign-up > Shopping cart > Billing Information > Payment Method > Credit Card page > Payment confirmation page
Analytics may show us that a number of site visitors drop out of the purchase process at the Shopping Cart or Billing Information page, thus reducing the number of people who complete the purchase process. We could use this information to simplify the process (perhaps by combining the billing information and payment information pages), to reduce the number of steps to purchase. Then we can monitor site traffic after making the change, to verify if it made a difference.
Let’s be clear here: data on its own is meaningless. But used properly, it is invaluable in helping you understand what is working well, what is not working, and what to do next.
There are a number of analytics programs to choose from, but Google Analytics is far and away your best choice. Here are a few of the reasons why:  
To get started on using this tremendously valuable tool, come to our upcoming course.
Volunteer Ottawa offers a comprehensive suite of courses related to all aspects of running a non-profit or a charity. Click here for our event calendar. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.
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