The Value of Google Analytics
The majority of companies rely heavily upon their websites to represent their brand, spread their messages, and present information. Measuring the online reach and visibility of your company is an important responsibility to branding as a whole; knowing who is visiting your website and why can lead to lead to potential prospects. The KCD Public Relations team makes it a priority to set up web analytics and schedule and review weekly reports for each client. We can then evaluate the nature of the online attention the firms are receiving and whether our PR efforts need to be redirected. Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool we use to track and report statistics about website visitors. These reports help our clients see the bigger picture—and oftentimes, a return on their website investment.
Many companies have incorporated web analytics into their marketing efforts to learn valuable data on web surfing habits of their customers and prospects. One success story: U.S. Bank, with the help of web analytics, discovered that 80% of their website’s millions of daily visitors were repeat visitors. They were then able to redirect their goals to deliver a more customized experience and more appropriate offerings. Without this knowledge of visitor demographics, they could have misused funding and resources on irrelevant targets.
Below are four important questions that Google Analytics reports can answer about your website’s visitors, and how you, too, can benefit.
1. How much traffic is your website generating?
The “Visitor” Google Analytic report will tell you exactly how many people visited your website during a given amount of time, which can be selected by you. Here, you will also be able to view how many of those total visitors are returning, and how many are first-timers. Customizing your reports so that results are displayed in charts, timelines, or graphs will give you a snapshot of the overall demographics.
2. From what referring websites are these visitors coming to your website?
Results of the “Visitors” report will also reveal their journey to your website, and how they landed there. It will tell you whether a Google search lead them there, whether they were referred there, or whether they arrived directly by typing in the URL. For example, if visitors have arrived through a link on Facebook or a blog post, you may want to increase activity on those platforms.
3. What keywords are bringing visitors to the site?
If the visitor has arrived to the website after searching a particular keyword, those keywords will also be revealed in a report. Knowing the terms that are bringing new and repeat users to your website will allow you to adjust search engine optimization settings through its backend, so that its URL is generated in results more frequently.
For example, as the KCD PR team studied a June Google Analytics report for our Lousiana-based client Dunavant Wealth Management, we learned that the majority of those who visited the site arrived after searching key phrases like “New Orleans Ministries Financial Planning” and “Wealth Management New Orleans.” Including these keywords and phrases in updates to YouTube, social media and website content is a good way to maximize those search results and increase visitor traffic even more.
4. What pages on your website draw the most views?
A report can be set up to let you know the average visit duration for a given time frame and where visitors mostly spent their time. For example, if visitors are spending the majority of their time on the “Events” page because of its imagery, boosting the aesthetics on pages with more significant content may balance out their time throughout the website.
Incorporating web analytics programs with your existing public relations or marketing initiatives can be an extremely valuable way to quantify PR efforts and to ensure your business is visible to your target audience. Aside from the basics covered here, check out the wide array of additional services and measurement tools available to help your team evaluate the efficiency of website pages. Play around with settings, check out examples, and read case studies at www.google.com/analytics.