5 Key Google Analytics Areas to Inform Your Strategy

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Google Analytics can be a powerful tool for measuring the effectiveness of PR work—but only if you know where to look.

The tool offers myriad metrics to reveal whether you’re reaching your target audience, how well the message is resonating and which one of your tailored messages appeals the most.

But new users can easily be overwhelmed by Google Analytics, falling prey to "analysis paralysis" in trying to navigate its many moving parts. Never fear: As part of her article in the PR News Media Training Guidebook, Bianca Hutton, U.S. communications and marketing manager at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, offered up this quick checklist of where to look, and what to look for, as a primer on navigating all of that data:

Demographics: Benchmark and track changes in age, gender and location. Is your target audience navigating to your site? Why or why not? How do you need to adjust your campaign accordingly?

Behavior: Explore the ratio of new vs. returning users. Are there only new kids on the block or do you have a dedicated group of regulars? What makes those returning come back? How long do they stay, and do they take action according to your plan?

Mobile: View the ratio of users accessing your website from a desktop or mobile interface. How does this affect your campaign? If you’re targeting mobile users (in terms of demographics, outlets, etc.) but the majority of clicks come from desktop users, something unexpected is happening with your campaign that you should explore and amend if necessary.

Acquisition: Understand where your referrals are coming from to make sure that the hours of labor you’ve put into pitching specific media targets are reflected in incoming traffic. If your PR hits are not listed, you may need to reconsider your media outreach tactics. Don’t forget to review the “revenue” tab to understand what kind of dollar signs your PR efforts might be bringing in.

Social: If you’re like the rest of us, social media has become a part of your PR role. Check out the social media value and conversions charts to help understand and justify the work that you’re doing across social media platforms. Amidst a sea of hashtags, you’ll find comfort in finding every tweet that turns into a dollar or two.

For more advice on digital metrics, order your copy of the PR News Media Training Guidebook.

Follow Bianca on Twitter: @BiancaHuttonDC

Follow Jerry on Twitter:@Jascierto