Why all PRs need to understand Google Analytics
|12/09/2012||Posted by Chris Lee under Blog, Content marketing, SEO, Social media marketing|
Not enough brands are willing to share their website performance data with their external PR teams, according to the results of a survey I ran and wrote up for Brand Republic’s Wallblog this week. But this is only half the issue, as I go around the UK and Europe training PR agencies on social media best practice and SEO, I find that often only one or two people per agency have even tested Google Analytics, arguably the most easily available website performance tool.
Let’s be clear: If you don’t know how visitors are landing on your (or your client’s) site, how they’re finding them, which keywords they used to land there, how long they stayed, what content they interacted, where they clicked through from and other core behavioural statistics, then you’re sailing blind. Any PR professional whether in-house or agency side who doesn’t understand Google Analytics or the website performance tool for their/their client’s site cannot do their job as effectively as they should.
The benefits of Google Analytics for PR
I found that of the 50 senior UK tech PR professionals that I quizzed, 100 per cent agreed that clients should share website performance data, but that only a third currently made it their policy to ask clients for this data.
Exactly half of respondents disclosed that the “minority” of their client base does indeed share their website performance data with them, with just under a third (28 per cent) saying that the “majority” of clients did. A fifth of respondents still do not have access to any of their clients’ website performance data.
There are a number of benefits for clients sharing access to website performance data:
- Online PR is measurable: Google Analytics and other website analysis tools offer hard data which helps PRs justify their fee. 90 per cent of my research respondents said measurement was their key driver behind wanting access to clients’ website performance data
- Assessing/reviewing content: With website data, PRs can review how content is – or isn’t – performing and amend content strategies accordingly
- Hone target media: What sites are referring traffic to your clients’ site? Who aren’t, almost as importantly, so PRs can better hone their media and blogger targeting
- Keywords: What terms are people landing on the site with? What keywords/terms aren’t performing and how and how can you change that?
- Visitor behaviour: What do people do when they arrive at the client site? Which pages or posts attract the most interest? PR can assist marketing in making sure the website performs better to achieve business objectives
Thanks to all who took part in the survey and, to the respondent who said the survey was “silly”, I’m glad they have the privilege of clients who willingly share their data, because many still do not.