Earlier this week I was invited to lead a discussion for #NPTalkIRL (non-profit talk in real life) about the topic of Google Analytics.   Since it was a very open ended topic area, I chose to talk about how to more effectively use Google Analytics and to gain insights into your website (in this case non-profit website).  The format of the presentation was very informal - no powerpoint or computer allowed.  Just an intimate group of non-profits interested in getting better at web measurement.  And a great group it was!

Normally I post slides to my presentations on the blog for people to see, but since there were no slides allowed, I normally wouldn't have anything to post.

Fortunately one of the attendees of the event, @coien, was "live tweeting" my tips for everyone to enjoy.  I rounded up all of his tweets and included below.  Thank you, @coien, for making me sound much better than I likely did IRL.

* Blessing and curse of Google Analytics: it's free and easy. So easy that you get into the habit of not doing anything w/ it.

* Add custom tag to the end of your URL so you know if ppl visit site site from Twitter, etc. Otherwise may turn up as direct visit

* People who visit your site from social media behave completely differently from people who come in from search or typing in URL.

* See a Google Analytics report that you like? Click Add to Dashboard to access it easily.

* Ask yourself early and often: what is the goal of this website?

* Your top 10 searches are probably all for your specific brand name. Getting beyond that is how to build search traffic.

* Book recommendation: Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, by Avinash Kaushik. Another rec: taking the Analytics IQ test.

* If someone hits a "Thank You" page, that's usually a goal. Create a funnel to see how many make it past each step to get there.

Twitterfeed can integrate with Google Analytics URL Builder to get you custom data. Sweet!

* Don't aim to arbitrarily increase traffic if that extra traffic doesn't meet your website's goals.

* Got a blog? Look at PostRank Analytics for some next level analysis beyond Google Analytics

* Another next step: site surveys like 4Q that can ask visitors if they accomplished their goals, and to rank their experience

I also enjoyed interacting with @jjmillard, @shayspeed, @nomadic_mind, @nonoah and @aokolue, and wanted to thank @jlbraaten for making the introduction and @SocialNicole for doing great things with #nptalk.

If you are interested in learning more about Non Profit Talk, learn more here.

Three Deep really enjoyed supporting the Non-Profit community and we love talking about Google Analytics!