As a nonprofit, your website is where a lot of the action happens – donors come to find out more about your organization, volunteers apply through your website forms, and you use it for announcements and news. Once these myriad of visitors come to your website, you need a way to make sure that their visits are not in vain – and that you leverage what they do on your website to get them coming back and attract more visitors.

That’s where your nonprofit website metrics come in. These metrics, ranging from number of visits and time spent on the site to the pages visited, there’s a lot to learn and tweak to keep your digital presence active. In this guide, we take you through the most important metrics you should track on your nonprofit website and how to leverage these metrics to make your digital presence better.

Time spent on website

You would always want visitors to spend more time on your nonprofit website, but in order to make sure that you keep them coming back and spending more time, you need to measure their time spent. Your content management system may have this feature built into your site or you can use a third-party tool to measure time spent on your site by visitors. So what does this do?

Measuring the time spent on your website does a lot, including:

  • Providing an in-depth outlook into how long your visitors stay on your website, which helps you determine the average time you have to entice your visitors or grab their attention to take certain actions.
  • It also helps you determine how to structure your site to keep visitors staying longer.
  • You’re also able to use this nonprofit website metric to help design your site and lead visitors such as donors, advocates, volunteers, and philanthropists towards a certain action.

The bounce rate

Bounce rate represents the percentage of people who visit your site or a particular page and decide not to take any action or view other pages – and leave the site afterwards. While this may sound like ‘oh, the person found what they wanted on the first page they visited’, it is generally not good for your nonprofit website, and should be measured.

Generally, a bounce rate of bellow 50% is usually considered healthy. Anything above that would mean you need to work on your site. Here’s how measuring bounce rate on your nonprofit website can help you build a better digital presence.

  • Measure bounce rates on all your pages – home page, donation page, volunteer page, and more
  • If the bounce rate is high, for instance on the donation page, but rather not translating into donations, it means you need to work on this page and optimize it to get more donations.
  • Learn to use bounce rate with other website metrics, to make sure that you have a holistic view of your website visitors and how to keep them clicking to other pages on your website.

New visitors Vs Returning visitors

In website analytics, a new visitor is someone visiting your website for the first time, using a particular device. For instance, if I visit a nonprofit website on my laptop for the first time, I will be counted as a unique (new) visitor. If I visit that same website again on my mobile phone, I will be counted again as a unique (new) visitor. However, if after the first visit with my laptop, I went back to the site again with the same laptop, then I will be counted as a ‘returning visitor’.

  • This is a great nonprofit website metric to measure as it helps you differentiate new and old traffic.
  • It could help you define how to word your campaigns for those who have already visited your site and the kind of triggers and “call to actions” you build for them as against those who are visiting for the first time.
  • If you have high new visitor percentage, it means your content is getting far and reaching new people. An increase in the returning visitor percentage also means that your content or website is great and that people love to come back all the time.

Your website traffic

This is the basic metric that every nonprofit website should track. Traffic refers to the number of visitors, per week or per month, you get on your website. So what does measuring this metric mean?

  • An increase in the traffic means you’re getting noticed
  • A reduction in traffic means you’re doing something wrong and you need to up your content, design, or backend game. But remember that traffic drops will happen, so you need to take your time to bounce back.
  • Also remember that traffic growth on website is highly based on the industry, so even if you’re doing a comparison of your traffic to another website, make sure that site is in your industry. Your biggest traffic analysis, should however, be a month-on-month comparison with your own site.

Inbound links or backlinks

Inbound links or backlinks occur when another website or page provides a link back to your website or another resource (blog, report, etc.) on your website. Question is, how does measuring this metric help your nonprofit website and how do you use it to your advantage?

  • The more inbound links you get from other website, the more search engines like Google treat your site as an authoritative source, and so the more you appear in search results.
  • When you have many inbound links, it could also translate into increase traffic for your website.
  • A high number of inbound links or backlinks also increases your brand awareness and helps you build working relationships with other nonprofits or corporate partners if you take things further.

In-site Search

When people visit your nonprofit website, that’s because they’re looking for something. Some find what they’re looking for on your site immediately they visit or navigate to the pages they want. Others find it difficult getting to what they want, so they do search on your site by type what they’re looking for in the search bar.

Whatever they do as people looking for resources or information, you need to track this search that goes on when people visit your site. Tracking this metric will help you identify what people are looking for when they visit your site. This way, you’re able to come with simple navigation menus that will lead people to their various destinations on your website. It also helps you understand the type of content people are searching for and how to modify your website’s content or design to meet their needs.


Tracking your nonprofit website metrics is an excellent way of monitoring your visitors, getting to know them better, and modifying your website design and content to meet their needs. As a nonprofit, you shouldn’t miss any donation, philanthropic gesture or volunteer, and tracking metrics is a great way to stay on top of your digital game.