Since 1998 Birgit Pauli-Haack has worked with nonprofits as a web developer, a technology strategist, a trainer and community organizer. She founded Pauli Systems, LC in 2002, now a team of six. It is a 100% distributed company. Since 2010, her team has used WordPress to build new nonprofit sites and applications.
In her spare time, Birgit serves as a deputy with the WordPress Global Community team, as a WordPress Meetup organizer and a Tech4Good organizer.
What does that even mean? Lighthouse is a performance testing tool that measure your site for load speed metrics like “First time to Interaction”. Also, part of the test are accessibility how good is your site accessible also for people with disabilities and then also test pages for best practices on search engine optimization.
Stats relevant to your website’s user experience
20% of US population has some form of disability.
You have only 3 seconds before a mobile user navigates away from your website.
60% of user browse the web on their mobile phones
Google uses Site Speed as ranking factor
Google now only indexes mobile content for you website.
We will run a performance test on your site and give you the detailed report. The performance test uses Google Lighthouse tools and measures overall performance, accessibility, best practices, search engine optimization and PWA requirements. The last part is only interesting if you are working on a Progressive Web App or on a mobile first site.
Theme migration huge performance jump
Here is an example test before and after we made some site changes. We migrated a site from theme published in 2006 to a more modern theme and spruced up the home page navigation.
The overall score went from 71 to 76 so the old site wasn’t that bad. However the details show some astonishing outcomes. The overall Accessibility went from 74 to 96 and the SEO score from 69 to 100.
This was quite remarkable. After the first day, the site owner also sent me an email that when he searched his name on Google, he saw for the first time that his own website actually showed up before any of the social networks or news sites, which normally have a much higher authority that any single topic site. Once can not know for sure but with the SEO value going from 69 to 100 percent, I definitely wasn’t surprised by that outcome.
After a week or so, the site owner realized that we didn’t bring over the advertising he placed on his older site. When we added Google AdSense areas to the footer of the site, the performance went way down again. How disappointing….
So it’s not only important to measure the performance of your website and each single page, it also is necessary to monitor the performance over time, or at least test is again, after you make significant changes or start using 3rd party systems.
Image Lazy-Loading coming to WordPress Core
The biggest problem with page speed is image loading with the site. They are most of the time the largest files and many content creators don’t optimize images before upload and employ all kinds of additional plugins.
Zoom makes is very easy to create different links for different marketing channels. In this case study, we concentrated on the channels that were the same for the first six events. We started with the Gutenberg Developer and Design leads on November 30 and ended with Site Building w/ Gutenberg on February 8th, 2019. ( We use Zoom to support the publishing and promotion of Gutenberg Times )
First we looked, how many registrations we received from visitors coming from the four channels: Facebook, Twitter, website and our weekly eNews.
Registrations by Marketing Channel
In Figure 1 we can see that the ratio of registrations is fairly well distributed with Facebook and the eNews slightly under 20% and Twitter at 27% and the Website at 34%. So far so good. All four channels contribute considerably to our Webinar audience.
What does this really mean? We know for each person, who registered through our Zoom registration page came through a link they saw on the respective network. We don’t know how often a visitor saw us promoting webinars, we also don’t know if those coming through Facebook, are not also twitter followers or saw it first on the website.
Use Conversion Rate to determine Return on Investment
To determine Return-on-Investment or ROI, we also would need to know the conversion rate of those visitors who came from those channels and then actually converted to a registration. In other words, how many visitors out of 100 visitors actually registered for the webinar?
When we crunch the numbers visitors / registration, we see a total different picture:
Figure 2 shows us the conversion rate for all for networks. The highest conversions rate have subscribers from our eNews. We also see that we need 10 times more visitors coming from Twitter to get the same number of registrations. Visitors from eNews are also the most faithful readers of our content and we are in contact with them on a weekly basis. Clearly aiming for increasing the numbers of subscribers should always be one of the focus for your marketing.
With the followers on Twitter we don’t have a close connection and the engagement is rather fleeting.
Narrowing down the audience seems to help with our conversion rate, too. On Twitter it is more the broadcast approach via the various profiles we control, on Facebook, we post the information about the Live Q & A only in three WordPress Groups. So the narrower the target audience the higher your conversion rate. Feels like stating the obvious, but it’s always good to confirm our instincts once in a while.
The visitors from the website are in between. We needed about 2 times more visitors from the Website to have the same amount of registration of our subscribers list.
Calculating return on investment (ROI)
The ROI could be calculated, by measuring how much time and effort ittakes to create content for weekly eNews to augment the promotion of the Live Q & As, compared with the amount of time and effort it takes to update the website to provide the context for the promotional graphics and how much effort it takes to distribute the posts around Twitter and Facebook. Metrics are time spent and or money spent. And then set it into relation to the money gained. We don’t have any money numbers for this project.
In one of my next posts, I’ll share the tools methods and processes to create the Gutenberg Live Q & As from speaker recruiting, to collaboration on the content to social media promotion to the show and the post-production with YouTube space, transcripts and publishing on the Gutenberg Times for the archive.
How to improve ROI for promoting webinars or other online events?
To improve the ROI it might be worth looking into methods to streamline or automate processes and to reduce friction especially for twitter promotion. For Gutenberg Times purposes, we decide to add additional scheduled Tweets to promoted the webinars. This step is the easiest to do, it is free, and might catch followers and friends, who missed the announcement the first or second time.
Another approach could be to schedule the webinar more than two weeks out to give the promotion a little bit more time. Many people, have a 10 day lead time to get on their schedules, so if you are not there early, you might not catch a free time slot.
Another advantage of a longer planning period, is that we could reach out to other WordPress publications and alert them to the upcoming webinars so they can mention it on their eNews and social networks. This coordination takes time, though, but it’s well worth it. The highest numbers of attendees, would show up after the WPTavern added a post about it.
For other websites, it could be to increase interaction on Facebook, and schedule events, make sure you also include the panelists as co-hosts, which might help with distribution there.
This case study only covers, what is called last touch attribution.Neil Patel has lots to say about why only tracking last touch attribution is a bit defeating. Tracking all touch points is quite complex, and for a site like the Gutenberg Times, not feasible. If you are thinking about reaching a much larger audience (over 10,000 monthly visitors) creating a analytics framework that covers all touch-points your visitors, customers, followers have with your company would probably be worth the set-up and maintenance costs.
What online analytics framework is feasible for you?
Connect with Birgit Pauli-Haack and find out what analytics framework would be worth your while for your website and social media efforts.
Today, Heart Internet published my article on how to make themes Gutenberg-ready. It’s the first article published that was not for a site I own or for clients and I am grateful for Heart Internet and their editor Oliver Lindberg for working with me through the process of getting it published.
In other words, there are a few features the block editor offers, that might not be available yet for your theme and your site, so it’s not pure binary, works or doesn’t work.
There are multiple levels of Gutenberg-readiness.
It goes from enabling Align-wide and Align-full styling for the various blocks (columns, images, cover, gallery), to include styling for each core block to providing custom color and font-size pickers for your customers content creators, so they stay within the brands boundaries.
In this article, I’ll talk about all these different ways your theme
can interact with the block editor. We’ll talk about stylesheets, CSS
specificity and layout. There are voices, and mine is among them, that
building blocks are the domains of plugins. Themes provide the glue
between features and front-end, and a site owner should be able to
switch out their theme without losing content or composition. Of course,
like everything else in life, the edges are blurry and the block editor
is still in its infancy.
The latest version of WordPress (4.9.8) shows on your Dashboard a prompt alerting you to the “new, modern publishing experience coming soon”. Over last two months, I have been following the development of the Try Gutenberg Call-out for the WordPress dashboard. The new editor is codenamed Gutenberg, and you might ask yourself: To try or not to try?
Your graphics are honey to the bees, irresistibly drawing your worker bees – er, readers & fans – to your posts from all across the internet. Graphics are King! Don’t you believe me? You say, “It’s content.” Yes, you are right. Content is king, but only if you can get the attention of your target audience, and tempt them to click on a link to actually get to your content. A great graphic for your content makes it more shareable, more enticing to click on it and more successful.
Researchers of Vanson-Bourne investigated the used of secondary CMS among enterprise organization. The study was commissioned by WPEngine and Manifesto. 300 Enterprise-level IT and marketing decision makers, involved in their organization’s website operation, were interviewed in October 2017. Respondents were from organizations in the private sector across UK and US. The companies had at least 1,000 employees, the majority of respondents’ organizations have at least 3,000 employees and the average global revenue was 3.2 Billion.
How do I come up with blogging ideas for my nonprofit website or my online business?
It’s a question often asked. When you put this issue in the Google search box, you’ll find about 197,000,000 results. One answer for you: Search Analytics in the Google Search Console
The most forgotten tool for content creators is Google Search Console. About a year ago Google renamed it from Webmaster Tools as an attempt to get non-techies to pay attention to the information it uncovers.
Yes, there is a lot of techie stuff there, still. But one section is pure gold when looking for inspiration on what to blog about next. If you write for your nonprofit’s website, you need a report on the site’s position on the result pages. A report on monthly activity will work on most occasions. If it’s a new site, use the last 90 days to compile the list.
What can you learn from the Search Analytics?
It lists all keyword phrases your website was relevant, in Google’s mind, for its search pages.
For each keyword phrase in the list you can see:
Number of clicks
Number of Impressions
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Let’s take it one at a time:
Number of Clicks
People saw one of your pages listed, found it worth checking out and clicked to pull it up in their browser. If they didn’t lose patience while waiting for the page to come up, they landed on your website.
By the way, those are the visitors and sessions you see in your Google Analytics under “Organic search.”
Number of Impressions
Search Console Help states: “A link URL records an impression when it appears in a search result for a user.”
Every time one of the web pages from your site was included in the search results it counts as an impression. Google also notes that the URL does not have to be scrolled into view for it to count. It does not mean the user searching has seen the web page. What you can now see is how many people have searched for the keyword phrase.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
You can calculate the click-through rate by dividing the Impressions by the Number of clicks. It gives you a relative measure of your web page’s’ performance.
The last number is average position and identifies the spot on the search result pages. The goal, of course, is the number 1 spot. Ranking number one for your brand is easy. If people search for your company, your site should come up on the number one or number two spot.
Apart from that, to rank high enough to get to the top spot, your content needs to hit the keyword phrase exactly. The web page needs to cover the topic deeply and exhaustively. Most of the time that’s not the case.
A lot of different ranking factors go into the algorithm determining the placement of a web page. All you can aim for is close to the first page of the search result pages.
How do keyword phrases in Google Search Console help you create better content?
You look at the keyword phrases with a high click-through rate. Decide for yourself, if it’s a keyword phrase, that is relevant to the goals of yours. Relevancy is key. Sometimes we find surprises in the Search Analytics. For instance, our website ranks high for “pardon our dust.” A phrase placed on our site before we had any content. A person searching for this phrase is not interested in nonprofit technology topics.
Next, to the keyword phrase, you see a gray arrow in a square. If you click on this square, you will see an example of Google search page for the keyword combination.
Take a look at the sites listed on the first page. Now asked yourself, if you can’t do a much better job writing about the topic than they could. Your next blog post will be on this subject. Combine it with a series of other blog posts, make an ebook out of it and use it as a lead magnet. Invite an expert and interview her on this topic for your next video. Re-purpose the audio of the video and publish it as a podcast. It’ll be a lot of work, but it will be worth it.
“What’s a good read for people is good enough for Google.”
This approach should drive your editorial calendar. Do this for twelve more keyword phrases, and you improve your average position. To get to number one spot might take a few months. And you will generate more clicks to your pages along the way.
How long should your blog post be?
Well, you can aim low and go for 300 to 600 words with a nice graphic to attract readers on the social webs. If you want to hit a home run, you need to take a big swing, though. Go for the long form content.
Back in 2012, I was doing some research for myself and our customers to select the best blogging tool and work through all the necessary features to use it as the central hub of an organization’s online communication. The research for the post took me quite a while to make real apples-to-apples comparisons, and test each of the 17 features in four blogging tools.
When you search for “compare blogging engines” the article is still listed on the first page, five years later. It doesn’t perform as well anymore because in the last five years a lot has happened in that landscape. You can imagine that on top of my to-do list is to update the post with new information, make the overview table responsive to mobile devices, and then it will drive more relevant traffic to our website again. Studies show long-form content outperforms shorter content for the long tail and both have their places in your content marketing strategy and search engine optimization activities.
“Give people what they need, and they will reward you with their clicks.”
NewsCred’s managing editor, Heather Eng, wrote about their internal Content Quality Checklist every piece of content needs to pass. It should get you started to formalize quality standards for your content producers.
Aside from its fully integrated system which manages all contact information and activities around all people involved in your organization, CiviCRM is also state of the art technology with a very attractive price point as open-source. There are no licence fees. It’s all installed on your host if you’d like to stay in control of your environment, data and security. As with any software system, it needs its fair share of set-up, configuration, maintenance and training.
I have been burned with open-source software quite a bit in the last decade but working with open-source has also been the biggest delight. There are open-source software communities that stand out and CiviCRM is definitely one of them.
How to judge an open-source software and avoid the pitfalls?
As with any technology project you have to look from three different angles: the technology, the processes, and the people involved.
For most mature technology projects, the technology is sound. The engineers put their hearts and souls into it and gave it their best. I always assume it’s really good.
Most technology projects don’t fail because the technology decisions were wrong. Most of the time, it’s the people and the processes which become the hardest to align.
CiviCRM has been built with PHP probably, the most used web programming language. It runs on a LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). It is an open-system for developers. It has a managed public API and maintains an infrastructure for custom extension. If a software has been around for almost 10 years and successfully installed around ten-thousand times, it’s safe to assume most of the bugs in the core were already discovered and fixed.
Both the maturity of the CiviCRM system and the managed infrastructure for developer contributions make for an excellent basis upon which to build organization’s core administrative tool for employees.
Next step on my CiviCRM journey was to dive into the processes of the CiviCRM community.
In this case, processes mean to me: where to find documentation and discover how current it is; find out how can I ask questions, what is the process to report bugs or errata in documentation; discover how forums are run, how was the wiki assembled and how does the issue tracker work.
I witnessed first hand how the community came together and jumped through hoops to become an official Stack Exchange public forum and sunset the existing forums on the site. This was a major effort. You need to prove to Stack Exchange there is a sufficient enough community to support a forum on the site. Stack Exchange doesn’t want ghost towns. The process opens up the community to even more users and also allows for many more people to help each other out while relieving the core contributors from the vast amount of forum posts to be answered and moderated.
I read through all the documentation and successfully installed CiviCRM on top of WordPress, in our company’s test server.
Again, a pleasant surprise. I did not experience a single hiccup or mismatch between the documentation and what I saw in reality. Until this experience I found it quite normal that complex systems would not always behave like the best case scenario in the documentation.
I don’t normally get it right the first time. Nine out of ten times, luck would have me hit a roadblock or surface a bug no one else had found. With CiviCRM I didn’t encounter any of it.
The developing contributors did a fantastic job testing the code before is was released and thoroughly documented the phases of installation and configuration. We all love when a plan comes together. But when you have been around technology long enough, you really don’t expect it to go smoothly right off the bat.
While testing the systems and diving into several different use cases and requirements for the my first project, I received plenty of assistance through the people volunteering on the forums. When I read through the documentation I mostly found the necessary additional information on how to handle special cases of events or a so-called household memberships.
For fun, I also read about scheduled reminders and scheduled jobs. Of course, at this point I was set-up with higher expectations but CiviCRM did not disappoint at any level of my self-paced, fast-paced education. I tested the membership module, events module, the email mass mailing software and the contributions module. Nothing brings more knowledge and lets me test drive a system than when applied to a real life project. So later that year, I took on migration of a membership organization from Filemaker 7.0 to CiviCRM.
Equally important to technology and process, if not more important for its success, are the people who run the software and the community around it. Who are the people involved? How large is the community? Who are the leaders? How approachable are they? How welcoming is the community to newcomers? How can normal everyday users get help? Is there a network of consultants available to do the heavy lifting for organizations which don’t have their own IT departments?
I started interacting with the CiviCRM community about 15 months ago, when I was searching for a speaker for the local Tech4Good group.
In my search, I reached out to Donald Lobo, CiviCRM’s founder, and David Greenberg, co-founder, got back to me. What a delight. Although as I mentioned I didn’t know any of them, their status in the community soon became quite clear. Both were very helpful – I felt quite welcome. Unfortunately, we didn’t find an evangelist for CiviCRM in Florida. If there is a need, and my interest is peaked, I normally run with it and research some more. Donald and David definitely planted the seed.
After a few months of testing and documenting some of the lessons learned, I started to get even more involved with the CiviCRM community. I signed up for the CiviCRM User Summit in September 2014 (Check out scheduled CiviCRM Events ) and was really amazed about the climate of collaboration and community. The CiviCRM User Summit started with a social showcase gathering the night before in an art gallery with four presentations in which implementers and nonprofits showed-off their use of CiviCRM or discussed new modules or extensions.
The presentations and presenters at the User Summit the next day were outstanding. I was totally intrigued by the versatility of CiviCRM software and the generosity of the consultants, implementers, contributors and community managers.
The CiviCRM community radiates a genuine spirit of making this world a better place with the best tools available and that spirit enables better software and collaboration.
After working four years extensively with WordPress, I learned to embrace the community driven software. I have the choice to work with open-source vs proprietary software, open-source wins every time.
Fill out below form to learn more about our Implementation Services for CiviCRM and we schedule full demo session with you.
For our business clients ,we mostly connect their website to Stripe payment processor.
Here is a short tutorial on the steps to create a Stripe account so that you can accept online payments or contributions.
The two Irish developers, John and Patrick Collison, started Stripe 2010. They wanted to provide an easier way for developers to implement payment gateway system for apps and websites. Later on, Stripe partnered with Visa and other credit card companies and it now one of the most secure, payment systems with a strong focus on fraud prevention. It was also one of the first payment gateways besides PayPal that allows for recurring charges on customer credit cards. The combination of ease of integration and high security makes it the most popular payment gateway system.
Step 0: Have all information ready
Who is the Admin person? Probably You.
What’s her email address
what will be a good password
What’s your last four digit of Social Secuirty Number
Notes:On this form all information is used for the admin user account. Make sure the email address is a specific email address and only the person dealing with company financials has access to it. It’s also the email address that will be contacted when you need to change your password. During normal business operation, this email address will receive notifications about payments and other important messages about your online account. When selecting a password, make sure it contains at least one lowercase, one uppercase, one number and one special character.
When you are ready,
enter your email address,
confirm the password,
check next to “I am not a robot” and
click on “Create your Stripe account”.
Step:3 Confirm you are the company representative
Stripe will needs additional information from you to properly identify you.
Optionally, you can use your facebook account, your LinkedIn account or your Google Account.
And you have to fill your personal identifying information
Your personal legal name
Your Date of Birth
The last four digits of your Social Security Number
Step 4: Enter Bank Details
You would need to have available your Routing number and your Account number. Fill out the blanks and then click on “Activate Account”
Once your Account Application Status is Approved you are able to take transactions.
Step 5: Get the Keys to connect Stripe to your Web Site