Here's a quick 3-step refresher course on how to use Google Analytics for PR, thanks to an exchange of blog posts earlier this year by two experts on the topic: Justin Cutroni (he wrote the O'Reilly book on GA) and Andrew Bruce Smith (he runs a GA training course for CIPR).
Step 1: From the Basics to Your Very First Dashboard
Start by reading Mr. Cutroni's post Google Analytics for PR. He shows you how to use GA to answer four basic questions about your website:
- How many people did I get and how much traffic?
- Where did my site visitors come from? Twitter? Blogs?
- Did people like the stuff on my website? Were they engaged? How often do they come back? How long are then on the site?
- How did they change my business? Did I sell more products? Did I get more leads?
He also includes some explanation of real-time monitoring and how to set up a custom dashboard with advanced segments. You want an automated email of your dashboard from Google every day? He's got a link to that, too.
Step 2: You Got a Problem with Google Analytics?
Next read Mr. Smith's post, (prompted by the one above) and note his discussion of some of the challenges for PR people using GA:
- No goals, no insights
- PRs often struggle to get access to GA
- Stakeholders and custom variables
- Attribution analysis
You might recognize yourself in there, or some difficulties that you have faced.
Step 3: Upgrade to Serious Dashboard Chops
Now go back to Mr. Cutroni's blog for another post " A PR Dashboard for Google Analytics." He's built a GA dashboard with typical PR metrics that you can install for your site with three clicks. (Really, I just did it for The Measurement Standard.) He takes you through each section of the dashboard and shows you how to use and customize it.
Bill Paarlberg, Editor of The Measurement Standard, has been writing about public relations measurement for 20 years. He is editor of the award-winning "Measuring the Networked Nonprofit" by Beth Kanter and Katie Paine, and editor of two other books on measurement by Katie Paine, "Measure What Matters" and "Measuring Public Relationships." Visit Bill Paarlberg's page on LinkedIn.
The Measurement Standard is a publication of Salience Insight. Salience Insight is the media measurement division of News Group International – a global provider of business intelligence and media resource services. Salience is a fresh, new global brand which incorporates the former UK-based Report International and US-based KDPaine & Partners, acquired in 2012.