Measuring the success of a website

A website can be an effective tool in garnering support, becoming easily accessible and getting your content seen by a range of audiences. But as an organisation you need to know whether or not your website is working for you. So in case the task of sifting through endless numbers and statistics scares you, here’s a quick guide to keep you focused on what counts.

Recognise your Goals

The first thing you need to do is narrow in on the measurements that matter. The measurements that will let you know exactly how much good or bad your website is doing for your organisation. You do this by asking yourself the question what do I want to achieve with my organisation and how can my website help me achieve these goals? The goals could look something like this:

  • To get donations

  • To interest new volunteers

  • To attract new investors

  • To advertise events

  • To get people to sign petitions

Once you identify the core goals of the website you can prioritize the information you track instead on wasting time on statistics that do not really give you a clear view of your website’s impact. These goals also influence the design of your website because your goals reflect the information you want your visitors to easily access and navigate through.


Conversions are the primary metric for measuring how well your website fulfils its goals. Conversions include:

  • A new volunteer registers

  • A donation is made

  • Downloading informational pdf’s or documents from your site

Whenever a visitor completes one of the websites goals it results in a conversation. If the definitive goal of your website is getting visitors to take action, this data will be one of the most crucial to track. An easy way to track your websites conversion rates is with an analytics tool like Google Analytics. Each time a visitor completes a goal it gets logged into your Google analytics account but that’s another article all together.

Engagement Metrics

A non-profit organisation often benefits greatly from engaging users with compelling content which lets them know more about the organisation and what the organisation stands for. If one of the goals of your organisation is to provide information and engage visitors in your content, Engagement metrics will be one your key measurements of success. With the help of an analytics tool they quantify engagement and user experience quality based on these 3 actions:

  • Number of pages visited

  • Amount of time spent on the website

  • Bounce Rate (percentage of users who enter the site and leave immediately without looking at other pages)

This will give you clues as to how good your website is keeping people engaged. It will also give you an opportunity to spot your problem areas. For instance, if a high percentage of people are exiting without looking any further you could question whether they are finding what they need on that page and what changes could be made to enhance the experience of the user.

Acquisition Data

If one of your goals is to create awareness or generate support from the community this is an important metric to measure. Use the following metrics to measure your websites success:

  • Number of gross visits

  • Number of unique visits

  • New visitors versus returning visitors

  • Inbound Links

This data will be able to show you whether your content and campaigns are successfully driving visitors to your site. If you are using Google analytics you will even be able to filter the data into the locations the visitors are coming from, the number of visitors from each location and the number of unique visitors. You will easily be able to see if your campaigns are targeting the right places. The higher your traffic the more likely it will result in conversions.

Ecommerce Tracking

If the goal of your site is to sell products or generate revenue, its metric can be tracked using the following:

  • Products: Kinds of products, quantity and revenue

  • Transactions: The revenue, tax, shipping, and quantity information for each transaction.

  • Time to Purchase: The number of days and number of visits it takes to purchase, starting from the most recent campaign through the completed transaction.

Based on this data you will develop an understanding of which products are better suited for your customer base and when to offer discounts as well as how long it takes customers to make the decision to purchase.

To start cracking the numbers check out Google Analytics here