By Alex Altman
One of the best tools for measuring the results of your PR campaign is Google Analytics. The most widely used web analytics service on the Internet, Google Analytics tracks a number of data points that can be used to strengthen your web-based PR initiatives and improve your ROI.
From bounce rates to user demographics, the real-time intelligence that can be extracted from Google Analytics can be enormously valuable.
Say you’re a painting company that just launched a national blogging campaign to increase the visibility of a new color. Imagine being able to measure not only how many users are visiting your blog, but also how long they’re staying and what’s driving them there. Think of what you and your marketing team could do with that type of information.
While too much data can be paralyzing, having a solid grasp of a few key data points will allow you to optimize your PR campaign in fruitful ways. Of course, “key data points” will be defined differently by every business — which is why you should dedicate an hour to sifting through the dashboard and familiarizing yourself with all the data at your disposal.
Acquisition: The Acquisition Overview reveals how users landed in your digital orbit, be it social media (Facebook, Twitter), organic search (Google, Yahoo!) or direct search (people typed your URL directly into their browser). This can help you glean a number of things, like whether you’re getting as much out of your social media as you’re putting into it.
Location: Where do your users live? Google Analytics breaks down your user population by geography, right down to their city. Let’s say you’re running a health education campaign in Tarrant County. You can zoom in on the map for location-specific insights that will help you determine whether your message is resonating with users in your target area.
Demographics: In addition to their geography, Google Analytics can segment your audience by age and gender. These insights can inform your PR and marketing strategies. As your strategies evolve you’ll be able to track if your demography does, too.
Behavior: It’s one thing for users to visit your site, it’s another for them to stay awhile. The Behavior tab gets to the heart of your campaign, revealing not only how many visitors are coming to your site but also how long they’re staying, how many different pages they’re viewing and what percentage of them are immediately bouncing.