Google Analytics for PR Pros: 4 Things You Should Know
By Lulu Li | On October 8, 2014
Whether you are gathering website data for your own firm or a client, understanding what the information you are collecting means and how it can translated into actionable business intelligence is crucial in making sound recommendations for your communications strategy. When it comes to tools for learning more about your website’s performance, none are more ubiquitous or important than Google Analytics, with its vast data segments that can be pulled and analyzed.
Google Analytics is especially useful in understanding the “who, what, where, when and how” visitors and users are interacting with a specific webpage, e-commerce site, interactive portal etc. Here are four key features that all public relations professionals should utilizing:
- Visitor Profiling
Google Analytics can provide insights into better understanding the type of person who visits your web property. From demographic information like age, gender and location to a breakdown of interests, Google Analytics users can create custom dashboards to determine if their target audiences are coming to their sites. Another key piece of information is whether a person is visiting your site from a mobile device or a desktop computer. If there is a mobile base, make sure that your site is optimized for portable devices through responsive design.
- Content Stickiness
Next comes the content – is it engaging? Is it keeping the audience coming back for more? By tracking the page views of each user, the PR pro can see which pages are most engaging. Then by layering on session duration, it becomes evident which pieces of content are getting the most views for the longest time. From this, you may conclude the client’s published white paper is getting the most amount of attention, and recommend they publish similar content in the future. As important as it is to see where visitors are coming from, understanding the reasons they leave are equally important. Through tracking bounce rates, the PR pro can see at what point in the decision process does the visitor drop off – such as when they are asked to subscribe before getting the information they are seeking.
- Social Measurement
A relatively new feature on Google Analytics is the ability to track social media activity around your website. Google Analytics always allowed you to track in bound hits to your site from social channels, but new reporting features allow you to track social media against business goals. A great way to start tracking this information is by use this custom dashboard from Google’s very own Adam Singer.
- Funneling Out Company IP Addresses
As a PR pro, it is our jobs to understand the client’s business and innovations – this means frequenting specific sites. It is important to funnel out internal IP addresses, so that visitors from within the company do not count towards the user count. This is vital for reporting because it is the PR pro’s job to deliver the most accurate results.
Do you have additional features that you have found useful? Let us know!