How to Utilize Google Analytics in Your PR Campaign
Much of the aim of public relations firms is to inform clients, reporters, and ultimately readers, of incoming updates, news, and trends. One impactful way to do this is by utilizing a backend—more notably, Google Analytics.
Historically, press relations has measured the success of its programs and campaigns through media interest and impact—not data-driven insights and analytics. A 2021 Global Comms Report by PR Week and Cision found that 91% of communications leaders agree that today’s communication pros must also be strong data analysts and that the number one challenge for PR professionals is “converting data into actionable insights.” Now, the world of PR is shifting towards data control, applying analytics and trackers that follow the direction and speed of the news. In turn, this helps both PR firms and business clients amount the impact of their campaigns and hit their own key performance indicators (KPIs).
In this guide, we’ll discuss the key paths to implementing a successful Google Analytics campaign, and how doing so can transform your next campaign.
FIRST, UNDERSTAND WHO TO MEASURE
In an online-friendly and digitally oriented world, it’s imperative to measure the interaction between a consumer and a business. Therefore, understanding audience behavior and the trends that guide it is key to learning about where the current market stands.
To understand this behavior, PR pros will need to see what resonates with an audience and how they can tie a piece of news to their interests. Tools within Google Analytics, such as the audience segmentation tool, or GA4, allows professionals to break down this data and identify key metrics, including demographics, daily site visitors, reach, and how other market channels are influencing their decision-making skills. Additionally, Google Analytics offers predictive metrics to those who want insight on the future behavior of a targeted audience.
Adopting this tool allows PR pros to decipher who finds the campaign appealing, so they can send more customized messaging to that specific audience. Furthermore, this piece of insight can shape follow-up messaging and attract more qualified leads.
TRACK YOUR SUCCESS
One fundamental way to organize your impact? Always. Keep. Tracking. If you’re not already trailing the dates of press release issuance dates, earned coverage, and more, then now is a good time to start. Luckily, Google Analytics offers a feature that allows professionals to add annotations within their reports, to provide additional context into what did—and didn’t—work on your latest campaign.
For example, this tool can annotate the specific date a press release was sent out or when a great piece of earned coverage was published. Other examples include the date a blog was posted or when an email newsletter was distributed.
Applying a tracker also helps professionals measure the success of these activities. In the case that a piece of earned coverage is posted, professionals can track the traffic of a businesses’ website in the hours and days after, to gauge the impact of a story. This is helpful to agencies and PR professionals because it showcases the possible impact and success of their hard work throughout the campaign.
LOOK INTO THE DETAILS
Don’t sulk on overall page views! Instead, use that energy to do a deep dive on clicks—what is their average session duration on the site? Where did the reader go from there? Did they stay on the site, or navigate across five others? Understanding this can help professionals and businesses know how much time a reader takes to digest the information, and whether it ultimately interests them or not. Additionally, utilizing this feature allows PR pros to gain a sense of what the reader is looking for and whether they need to alter their content strategy.
Incorporating a Google Analytics campaign gives professionals the opportunity to consider multiple metrics, that in turn, tells a more compelling story to a targeted audience. Not only will adding this help make your campaign more successful, but it’ll also help drive the success of you—and your agency—with your clients and beyond.