Donations are “eCommerce,” too! Donation conversions can be tracked with Google Analytics. Here’s some of the insights you can get by leveraging Google Analytics eCommerce tracking with Give.

Our Give forms strive to be as streamlined as possible so that by the time your donor gets to the donation form, they have zero struggles making it happen. But what happens between your homepage, or any other page on your site, and when they get to your donation form can heavily influence whether or not they click that “Donate” button.

The only way to understand how to help your donors make that final donation is with data. This is where Google Analytics comes into play. Recently, our friend Scott Buscemi wrote an article on our site about questions you should be asking about your Google Analytics data. It’s a valuable read that you might want to review before reading further here.

What Scott helps us understand is that your website’s traffic data has to be understood in the right context with the right outcomes in mind. But traffic alone is really only half the picture when it comes to Donations. In order to truly understand your donor traffic and behavior, you have to see how that traffic converts to donations monetarily.

Google Analytics has a powerful Enhanced eCommerce tracking feature. Anyone who runs a WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads shop understands the power of eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics. But online donations are eCommerce, too.

Online Donations are eCommerce, too

Just like a retail online shop, your nonprofit can benefit greatly from tracking your donation conversions with Google Analytics eCommerce tracking.

ECommerce Tracking is a feature that needs to be enabled. Additionally, the Google Analytics integration on your website has to be configured correctly to support eCommerce tracking. For a novice WordPress user, setting this up can be a real hassle. We’ll get into how you can configure this with just a couple clicks below. But first, let’s talk about what you can do with eCommerce tracking with Give and why you want to do this.

How eCommerce Tracking can help you get more Donations

The only reason to use eCommerce tracking is to understand your donors better so you can help your website convert more donations. So here’s two scenarios that will help you better understand your donor behavior on your site and what you can do with that information.

Scenario #1: Where do your Highest Donating Donors Come From?

Every social media platform attracts a different kind of person or a different audience. Typically, you also post different types of content to these different platforms as well. Instagram, for example, really focuses on images, so you’ll typically share pics you took at an event on Instagram. On the other end of the spectrum, Facebook does a better job with longer text posts and linking to articles.

If you haven’t read through our “Nonprofit 101” series you really should; there’s great tips on leveraging these platforms for their strengths in there.

Because each is different there’s potential for some platforms to convert more donations or higher donation amounts than others. Here’s how you can figure that out.

With Enhanced eCommerce enabled on your Google Analytics account, you’ll be able to see the highest referring social media sites with just a couple clicks.

Just go to “Acquisition > Social > Conversion.” From there, you should now see a new column at the far right called “Conversion Value.” See here:

Acquisition > Social > Conversion
Acquisition > Social > Conversion

You’ll notice that this site has its highest donation conversion value from Instagram. Why is that exactly? Maybe they share there a lot more than others. Maybe their volunteer network is much more active on Instagram than others.

For some organizations you might enable eCommerce tracking and it will confirm your existing suspicions about your social media efforts. For others — like this one — you might be confronted by what you find. This organization put a lot of time, effort, and funds into new YouTube videos and, so far, they have converted very little of that traffic into actual donations. This means that either their videos just aren’t compelling like they expected, or maybe instead, they are embedding those videos on their website and those pages are converting instead of the youtube.com pages.

That bring us to our second scenario. How do we analyze our website to find out if our pages are converting to donations effectively?

Scenario #2: Which Pages on your site Convert to Donations the best?

By seeing our donation conversion data together with our website traffic on visitor behavior data, we can learn a lot about how the website is built, how effective its content is, and more.

Our previous example raised the question of the effectiveness of the YouTube videos since their donation conversion numbers are so low. It turns out though, that the videos were embedded on their website on strategically-created landing pages. Let’s find out how well those pages are converting.

The videos they produced and published to YouTube were a documentary video and a promotional video about their organization. They embedded those videos to a unique URL for the documentary and the promo went on their About Us page.

Turns out, those pages also convert really well. See here:

Behavior > Landing Pages
Behavior > Landing Pages

They found that out by logging into Google Analytics and navigating to “Behavior > Landing Pages.” Then the last three far right columns are all about those pages conversion values. They found that their main Documentary landing page converted really well, as did the individual documentary page, and their About Us page was doing fine, too.

This goes back to Scott Buscemi’s point about understanding your Google Analytics data correctly. At first glance, we thought that the YouTube videos were not performing well. But the truth was, they performed really well when they were embedded directly on the website.

How to Implement Enhanced eCommerce Tracking for your Online Donations

By now you probably “get it.” You see the potential of this data for your organization and now you need to know how to make it happen.

Now comes the easy part! If you’d like to start tracking your donation conversions in your Google Analytics account today, and you’re a Give user, then we’ve got a solution for you.

We recently released our Google Analytics eCommerce Add-on for Give. Setting it up is as simple as just activating it — as long as your Google Analytics is configured correctly on your site.

Here’s a quick overview of what you need:

If those two items are done, then all you need to do is activate the Add-on and your Google Analytics account will start showing your donation activity automatically.

NOTE: Keep in mind that eCommerce data typically takes about an hour to show-up in Google Analytics.

Additionally, you can configure our Add-on to track Test Donations (for testing purposes) as well as Refunds.

Keep in mind that Google Analytics is not tracking or storing identifiable information about your donors at all. It is only tracking traffic sources, referral, and the actual donation conversion numbers themselves.

Share your Insights!

If you are tracking your donation conversions and had some “Aha!” moments, we’d love to hear about them. Also feel free to share any ideas you might have for data you’d want to collect for your next big campaign for other Give users to benefit from as well.

It’s never too early to start thinking about GivingTuesday. How do you want to analyze your GivingTuesday conversion this year?

Download the Donation Tracking Google Analytics Add-on Today!

Matt Cromwell

Matt is a co-author of Give and is Head of Support and Community Outreach for Impress.org. He loves writing docs and being "Generally helpful since birth".

One response to “Using Google Analytics eCommerce Data to Understand your Donors

  1. Helpful tips.
    I integrated Google analytics on my blog for quite a while now, my donations form also on since last year, but I have never received a single donation. With these tips, I guess I need to do more work!
    I’m however not too clear about converting data.
    Thank you.

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