All About…Web: June 2021

Nonprofit and association websites are at their best when they combine empathy, information, and action. Empathy is key to creating a good user experience, providing relevant information, and inspiring your visitors to action such as making a donation or signing up for membership. It’s all about understanding the needs and goals of your audience and applying them to your creation of quality content.

This month’s resources provide inspiration for thinking about how you understand your audiences, including the story of one user’s experience exploring a virtual food drive, changes coming to Google Analytics as the web pivots away from cookie-based tracking, and a guide to using callouts to get quick, direct feedback. Also, learn how to EAT your way to quality content that both users and Google will recognize as trustworthy.

If you’d like to discuss user experience research methods to optimize your next web project, spring cleaning your Google Analytics tracking, or learn more about our managed service offerings, please feel free to put time on our calendar to chat!

– Erin Rickard, Digital Services Manager

ARTICLE: The Virtual Food Drive: Turning a Website Visitor Into a Donor?

Read about the user experience of a food bank’s virtual food drive through the eyes of a first-time website visitor and donor. This article from NTEN describes how the use of a virtual shopping cart experience, allowing donors to choose food items to donate and see the retail cost compared to direct purchase cost for the organization, engages and educates visitors on how food banks can stretch donated dollars further by purchasing food items directly.

If you’re planning a new web experience to engage donors, members, or volunteers, seeking out this type of individual user feedback on your site experience through user interviews can pinpoint what’s most engaging or frustrating to users to help optimize your plans.

NEWS: Is the End of Tracking by Cookies Near?

As more websites increase transparency on their use of cookies to meet GDPR and CCPA regulations, Google is preparing for a web world where fewer visitors opt-in to cookie tracking and those who do expect more control over who is tracking them. Read TechCrunch and the Search Engine Journal’s articles on Google’s two-pronged plan for the future of analytics: machine learning and Consent Mode. Machine learning systems will model user behavior and fill in gaps where cookie tracking isn’t available. Consent Mode works with Google Tag Manager to adjust tracking based on a user’s consent choices for cookies. Implementation will soon be available directly from Tag Manager accounts, ushering in a new era of user-personalized tracking. 

If your organization is using Pardot, check out the blog we just posted about how to update tracker domains to first-party service.

COURSE: Callouts – Use This Simple Method from Social Media to Engage Audiences 
This article from Sidecar explores how callouts – simple questions or polls posed to your audience – are a great tool to gain feedback and inspire content that will appeal directly to the needs and interests of those your organization or association serves. With examples of simple callouts like “What immediate help do you need most?” read how callouts feed the audience engagement loop. Simply stated – “if an organization asked its members to share their struggles and triumphs, the content produced would be much more engaging, time-sensitive and appropriate for the conversations at hand than simply guessing what members immediate needs are.”

ARTICLE: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness – EAT Your Way to Quality Content 
The EAT criteria are foundational to Google’s Search Quality Raters guidelines. Learn more from Yoast about how Google considers these criteria for different types of sites – some based on the people behind the content (do the writers have professional or everyday expertise?) and some on the technology behind the site (does it have an SSL connection?). For more on building credible, engaging content, also see Sidecar’s article here.

ARTICLE: Avoid These 15 Common Google Analytics Mistakes 
If it’s time for a spring cleanup of your Google Analytics instance, check out the Search Engine Journal’s list of ways to optimize your tracking. A few key tips: use the Chrome extension Google Tag Assistant to check for any duplicate tracking codes on your site; look for signs of spam and bot traffic, and make sure your subdomains are properly set up in your profile.

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