Charity analytics case study: Link Education International

Link is Scotland’s leading international education charity, working at all levels to improve education across sub-Saharan Africa.

With projects in Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, Link’s vision is of a world where every child has the right to quality education.

Following a recent website relaunch and with an upcoming Christmas fundraising campaign, Link were keen to improve their data analytics and build the foundations for getting quality insight from their data.

What did we do?

  • Complete audit of Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM) on Link’s website.
  • Set up a range of GA goals and custom events to measure KPIs.
  • Support on UTM link tracking for campaign attribution. 
  • Created interactive dashboards in Google Data Studio.

What was the outcome?

  • Link now have a reliable, clean implementation of Google Analytics they can depend on for ongoing analysis and evaluating future campaigns.
  • With an enhanced UTM process and a way to integrate CRM data with the website dashboard, Link have a fuller picture of channel attribution and their overall KPIs.
  • Data Studio reports will help stakeholders to view crucial data in one place, interacting with and querying the dashboards where needed.

Daniel has been a huge help to us at Link. Having recently launched a new website, we worked with Daniel to audit our digital analytics needs and capabilities.

Daniel was extremely flexible and responsive to our situation. He worked with us to deliver a package of work that was bespoke to our needs, in line with our budgets, and would give us maximum impact for our current situation. He kindly accommodated our tight timelines and always turned work around quickly and efficiently.

As a charity, we really appreciated his expert subject knowledge in our field as well as his clear expertise in analytics and we wouldn’t hesitate to work with him again in the future.

Lyndsey Alexander

Audit of the analytics setup

A core part of our offering is a comprehensive review of the Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager setup. This also touches on other platforms that can be integrated with GA, such as Google Search Console and Google Ads.

The aim is to ensure that we have a clean, reliable analytics setup, which serves as the foundation for all reporting, analysis, and optimisation work.

We carried out priority fixes and enhancements to the analytics setup, and provided a roadmap for further improvements to Link’s analytics ecosystem.

Custom Google Analytics measurement

Link did not have much in the way of custom tracking in place on their website but needed to be able to evaluate various KPIs. These included key fundraising and interaction points across the website. We also wanted to measure “softer” user engagement, such as CTA button clicks, document downloads, page scrolling, and video plays.

We worked with Link to understand their requirements and gain a deep knowledge of their website. We were then able to translate these into goals and custom events for ongoing reporting in GA.

Campaign links & attribution

Effective analytics is an ongoing process, requiring buy in from various stakeholders to be successful.

A key factor in analytics data quality is the use of UTM parameters for tracking campaign links. These tell Google Analytics through which platforms, campaigns, and marketing channels users reach the website. The responsibility for managing UTM parameters usually lies with marketers or content creators.

We worked with Link to help them understand the best use of UTMs and created a tracked link generator to support them in this continuous process.

Dashboard reports for stakeholders

Google Analytics can be overwhelming and difficult to use for many people, even analysts with specialist knowledge.

Google Data Studio is a business intelligence platform that allows us to create attractive visual reports from data. We can work with many data sources and pull them into a single report. For example, with Link we provided a Google Sheet for them to export CRM data, which is connected to Data Studio and will display reports alongside a suite of Google Analytics data.

Link wanted to help many stakeholders engage more readily with website data. Working closely together to refine the requirements and presentation, we created a high-level report for wider distribution up to board level, and a more detailed report for communications and fundraising stakeholders.

The ultimate purpose of all the analytics setup is to get useful insights from the data, and we hope these dashboards will be a key contributor to Link’s work.

It’s been a pleasure working with Lyndsey and Link Education – particularly satisfying to help support the work an international development organisation with such an admirable vision.

We hope to continue working together and that our analytics groundwork will bring value for months and years to come. 

If you'd like a consultation about how I can help your charity or organisation with data analytics, you can find me on LinkedIn, or email me at [email protected]

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Ecommerce case study: Blue17, vintage fashion retailer

I’m please to announce that, in partnership with my client Blue17, we’ve put together a new case study on web analytics and conversion rate optimisation.

Blue17 provide quality upcycled vintage fashion. Our work together encapsulates many aspects of digital analytics for ecommerce, including tagging, conversion analysis, CRO, and website development.

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Upcycled retail analytics case study: Blue17

Blue17 have been selling high-quality, upcycled vintage clothing for over 25 years. With an established physical store in Islington, London, and a developing online business, the time was right to employ a structured and strategic approach to web analytics and conversion rate optimisation (CRO).

What did we do?

  • Completed a full analytics audit and improved the setup of Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Optimize.
  • Analysis of website sales conversion and producing CRO roadmaps.
  • Ongoing CRO work in the form of site enhancements and AB/multivariate tests.

What was the outcome?

  • Robust analytics and AB testing setup for ongoing website data analysis and optimisation.  
  • Tactical, granular insight from Google Analytics to pursue an ongoing, well-rounded CRO programme.
  • Initial tests have been concluded with promising results, optimising the user experience across product pages, site search, basket page, and checkout.

With Daniel having experience working in the charity sector, non-profits and NGO’s – and with us being in the recycling industry – we felt Daniel would be well equipped to understand our online ecommerce business core values and its development needs.

It’s clear that Daniel has a wealth of experience and insight that is an essential asset to any committed website owner. It’s surprising that many webmasters seem to ignore the requirements for data analytics and CRO prior to website design and SEO campaigns.

In retrospect, we would have benefited greatly through working with Daniel some years ago, with data informing decisions rather than guesswork.

We’re really pleased to have discovered Daniel and we look forward to continuing working with him.

Blue17
John Scott

Blue17 sought an expert analytics freelancer with experience in retail and conversion rate optimisation.

Daniel Robertson’s substantial experience in ecommerce, analytics work with businesses large and small, and interest in sustainability made the relationship a natural fit. Blue17 are part of the circular economy and have a recycling ethos at their heart, while providing quality, unique vintage fashion to customers.

Foundations for analytics & optimisation

We were able to get up to speed quickly with the Blue17 business, current challenges, and objectives. Using a structured approach, we spoke with the client to establish the business and ecommerce website background before undertaking a full analytics audit.

Working with developers, we streamlined the analytics tagging setup and made some key updates to Google Analytics. Next, we added a range of new analytics tracking – in the form of custom events and goals – to give us more granular insight into user behaviour and site conversion.

Website analysis & idea generation

Once this was in place and we were collecting reliable data, we performed a site conversion analysis to identify key drop-off points and areas of concern throughout the online shop.

We looked at various site sections, traffic sources, and device types. This insight - allied with years of experience, best practices, and ideas from the business - fed into a CRO roadmap. The roadmap lists targeted site improvements, fixes, and tests:  all geared towards improving engagement and conversion.

Conversion rate optimisation via AB tests

Phase 1 of testing – an initial batch of tests across different site areas - yielded some promising initial results. We then re-analysed key areas, including micro-level drop-off through the checkout and key CTA buttons via our new Google Analytics tracking, before moving on with Phase 2 of testing.

Google Optimize allows us to have up to 5 tests or personalisations at any one time. Testing options include AB and more sophisticated multivariate tests (MVT), which allow us to test multiple changes all at once, essentially running several concurrent AB tests on a given page.  

Our CRO roadmap aims to approach conversion improvements from many angles, with tests focusing on different parts of the website as well as utilising different concepts like elements of persuasion, behavioural economics, and UX improvements. We have also taken on a key role in briefing and managing all developer tasks related to the roadmap.

As a freelance data analytics consultant, it’s fantastic to work through a structured process from the beginning all the way to making analytics and conversion optimisation part of BAU. We are now up and running with a full CRO programme and over time are aiming to achieve substantial increases in conversion rate in collaboration with Blue17 and their developers.

If you'd like a consultation about how I can help your organisation with data analytics or conversion rate optimisation, you can find me on LinkedIn, or email me at [email protected]

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New charity case study: Scottish Book Trust

Charities are undergoing digital and data transformations with increasing pace.

My new case study, courtesy of Scottish Book Trust, explores some of the data analytics work we did following the launch of their new website. We worked with Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Firebase, BigQuery, and Google Data Studio to structure and improve their insight.

Our work together encapsulates web and mobile app analytics, as well as looking at the wider measurement and optimisation strategy for Scottish Book Trust as an organisation.

Find the analytics case study here!

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Charity analytics case study: Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust – an Edinburgh-based national charity that believes books, reading and writing have the power to change lives – launched a new website in 2019. They quickly realised that they needed rich web analytics data to evaluate its performance.

What did we do?

  • Set up custom event tracking in Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager
  • Completed a full digital analytics audit of Scottish Book Trust website
  • Integrated Firebase app data with Google Data Studio using Google BigQuery

What was the outcome?

  • Comprehensive and clear custom events now form the basis of Scottish Book Trust’s Google Analytics reporting
  • We can now easily report on app data through Google Data Studio
  • We are also working through a roadmap of analytics improvements

After launching our new website at Scottish Book Trust in 2019, we wanted to enhance our web analytics capabilities. Daniel very quickly got up to speed with our organisation and what we were trying to achieve. He developed a detailed analytics audit which we worked through with him to improve our setup and use of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Alongside this Daniel was integral to helping us improve our approach to our mobile app analytics.

We found Daniel easy to work with, approachable and very quick to deliver results.

Samantha MacKinnon

Initially, Scottish Book Trust needed custom tracking in Google Analytics to evaluate website KPIs such as interactions with audio and video content, as well as content downloads and clicks through to external websites.

Charities often have a complex, broad set of activities, which is then reflected in the outcomes we need to measure. These can range from events and fundraising, to advocacy and providing valuable content.

Due to extensive experience working in the charity sector and with other large charity clients, we were able to progress quickly and effectively from the brief to a concrete work plan. Based on our initial consultation, Scottish Book Trust agreed that we should set up a more comprehensive range of tracking and carry out a web analytics audit.

Digital analytics audit & review

The web analytics audit is extremely helpful for any charity or organisation to review their current analytics setup and identify any opportunities and issues. An audit will typically focus on Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, touching on other tools such as Google Data Studio for reporting, dashboards, and visualisation, or Google Optimize for AB testing and conversion rate optimisation.

After reviewing the completed audit, we identified a list of analytics tasks by priority. These ranged from simple rationalisation and tidying of the Google Analytics account and tagging, to more strategic questions around an organisational measurement framework and approach to reporting.

Mobile app analytics

As a separate mini-project, Scottish Book Trust were also keen to be able to report on their mobile apps more easily. Separate apps used Mixpanel and Firebase, and we evaluated methods of creating dashboards for this data.

In particular, we found an opportunity to set up an automatic export of data from Firebase to Google BigQuery, which in turn allows Scottish Book Trust to easily pull the data into their Google Data Studio reports.

Over the course of a few months, we have completed some highly targeted and impactful analytics work, characterised by a relaxed, professional, and efficient working relationship. The work was carried out on an on-demand basis – no contract or retainer - and amounted to a few days in total.

We hope to continue working together and bringing value to Scottish Book Trust and all their beneficiaries through data analytics.

If you'd like a consultation about how I can help your charity or organisation with data analytics, you can find me on LinkedIn, or email me at [email protected]

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