If you aren’t already utilizing Google Analytics for your nonprofit organization or school website, this is your signal to start! In this article, we’ll dig into how Google Analytics can benefit your small school or nonprofit website performance and unpack a huge Google Analytics update to take effect next summer.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free analytics tool provided by Google to provide data about website traffic for SEO and marketing purposes. Warning— an untrained eye will find the wealth of information and data to be overwhelming, but fear not, it’s not too difficult to get an idea of what to look for and where to find it within the platform.
Schools, enrichment programs, camps and nonprofits use Google Analytics to learn a lot about their website performance, including:
- How many visitors are coming to your website
- The demographics and locations of people coming to your site
- How visitors are finding you: what websites are sending traffic to your site
- What content on your website is most popular
- What kind of device visitors are using when viewing your site
- How much time people are spending on your website
- When and where users are exiting your site
Creating a Google Analytics account for your nonprofit or school website is a simple, quick process. Learn more about creating a Google Analytics account here.
Making the Switch: Universal Analytics to GA 4 for Nonprofits and Schools
If you are a seasoned Google Analytics user, you may have heard that Google Analytics is making a drastic update in summer 2023.
Google Analytics recently announced the original version, Universal Analytics (or UA) will not work after July 1, 2023. They are replacing UA with a newer version called GA4, which is a different system. After July 1, 2023, all of your website data and metrics will flow into GA4 instead of UA.
Why is Google Analytics shutting down UA?
The Universal Analytics system is over ten years old. Not only is it an older program in Google Analytics, but it relies on pageviews and sessions to track your website performance and visitors.
GA 4 operates differently— it tracks metrics based on “Events,” and claims to be more privacy-friendly than UA. Making the upgrade to GA4 will provide your small school or nonprofit website benefits like stronger privacy and increased understanding of your website performance.
Install GA4 as soon as you can!
GA4 is a different program and will take some getting used to! If your nonprofit or school website is currently using Google Analytics UA and don’t have a GA4 property yet, you should create a new GA4 account within your Google Analytics account as soon as you can.
Like we said, the new GA4 system is pretty different from UA and will take some time adjusting to. Unfortunately, the update isn’t as simple as a “click.” GA4 will require its own setup and implementation; July 2023 may seem lightyears away right now, but we recommend being safe than sorry and activating GA4 as soon as possible. You need historical data to make yearly comparisons on your website traffic and performance.
Additionally, when GA4 is fully functioning and UA is nonexistent, you won’t want to lose any time or create gaps in your analytics because you dragged your feet in installing GA4. Don’t forget about GA4 and leave yourself scrambling next summer when it’s too late!
What are the next steps?
If you haven’t done so already, you need to create a GA4 property for your website and install it on your small school or nonprofit website. The GA4 property will work similarly to your old UA Google Analytics property.
To install the tracking code, add it to your website, refresh your WordPress analytics plugin, or use your Google Tag Manager. Also, Google Analytics offers a setup assistant if you need extra help and instructions.
After GA4 is installed in your small school or nonprofit website, ensure it has started collecting data and you see your website traffic in the program. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s begun collecting metrics, you’re done! You can sit back and continue business as usual until the official switch to GA4 begins July 1, 2023.
Why does my small school or nonprofit website need analytics?
In short, your website is only as successful as your understanding of how it’s being used by your audiences. Google Analytics for nonprofits and schools provides you an inside look at exactly that! Your analytics can tell you important metrics, regarding user experience, website errors, website speed, and more. While digging into analytics and making data-based decisions has a learning curve, it’s important information that will serve your small school or nonprofit website well.
Are you ready to learn how we can help you with your small school or nonprofit website? Contact us TODAY for a FREE 15-minute consultation.