I want to share a tool with you that very few people I speak with have heard of. Alexa.com is owned by Amazon and ranks website traffic domestically and internationally. Go to the “Browse Top Sites” section at the bottom right of the home page and put in the URL you are curious about. The lower the ranking number the more traffic the site experiences. There are also many other valuable features available for a fee.
Why should you care about web traffic? It may not be the be all and end all for your organization. For some, their Facebook page may be the target for traffic. For most, however, more web visitors means more people learning about your organization and services, and increases the possibility someone will make a contribution or make further inquiry.
Web traffic rate is a great way to benchmark your organization’s web traffic against similar organizations locally or nationally. You can use that data to make an argument to invest more in strategies to drive traffic to your site, and / or to improve your “search engine optimization” (SEO). You can also use the data to address criticism that your site is not being effective when it is, in fact, attracting more traffic compared to peer organizations.
You should be tracking traffic volume and sources, which pages are drawing people to your site, and bounce rates on your site. But, when done in a vacuum, you are missing important dimensions to help you with strategy. Alexa will give you a baseline from which you can track your web traffic strategy progress – against yourself, your objectives, and nationally compared to peers.
You will also likely have donors and board members who would be interested in Alexa rankings. It is a good discussion topic and one that may draw in some of your “geekier” donors.
While we are at it, two other tools you should consider using liberally are google alerts and ceoexpress.com. Check them out!
1. Always be in the hunt for free and fee-based web tools.
2. Understanding how you compare to peer organizations helps to make arguments for targeted investments.
3. You can learn a great deal from the many variables provided by website analytics.