Google Analytics is more than just a tracking and report tool; it can give you valuable insight into what motivates your audience. Once you know what your audience wants, you can create better content, a stronger social strategy, and a more successful campaign. Below you’ll find four reports to use in Google Analytics to help you refine your PR campaign and track lead generation: Who’s buying your products? Google Analytics just unveiled a feature that tracks your website’s visitor’s age, gender, and interests. Interest categories are determined based on the visitor’s cookie ID and what websites the user visits the most. To enable the report, go to Audience > Demographics > Overview. In the Demographics menu, you can view your audience’s demographics filtered by various factors, such as which users bought a product. Knowing the demographics and interests of your core customers can help you determine whom to target with your PR efforts and what angles to take. Google Analytics can also help you determine the main languages and locations of your buyers. To view this report, go to Audience > Geo > Language or Location. These reports can help you determine where to host an event, what languages you should use to disperse materials, or where to target other marketing efforts. If you work for a global company, this is especially useful in determining where to place your efforts and how well they are working. Know your top referrals. Want to know whether the pickup on that morning news show or the product review a blogger did made any difference for your company? Go to Acquisition > All Referrals to view where their website traffic is coming from. Use the search bar or advanced settings to find specific websites. Click the source URL to dig deeper into which pages on the referral site sent you traffic, how many were new visits, how much time they spent on site, and whether they signed up for a newsletter or bought an item. Social media has become a major part of a PR pro’s job. Go to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals or Overview report to find which social network is sending visitors to your site and how many of those visitors are converting. Find the game changers. Most times, public relations efforts can’t be seen as a direct line to a purchase. However, they do play a key role in the customer’s journey. To show your boss the value of public relations to the bottom line and to help you determine which channels to use, keep an eye on the following Google Analytics reports: Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions or Top Conversion Paths: These two reports are my favorite for online PR purposes. Here you can find which channel assisted in a conversion, whether it’s from social media, email, or a referral from another site. Audience > Visitors Flow: Creating flow charts can be slightly confusing if you aren’t familiar with Google Analytics and all aspects of your online presence, work with your Internet Marketing department or agency to set these sections up. In this report, you can track where visitors are first coming to your site and what interactions they have with it along the way to eventually buying a product. Conversions > Goal Flow: Most of the time, your company will have multiple goals expressed in Google Analytics. This report comes in handy if you are tracking a specific goal like newsletter or event signups. Watch the flow and add power to the areas that are making a difference in your conversion rates. Track those links and calls. Many of your PR efforts won’t be online, so how do you track those in Google Analytics? Most campaigns will urge customers to visit their website or call a number, both of which you can track by using virtual page views and custom vanity URLs. To track phone numbers for your campaigns, you must purchase a unique number for tracking purposes and forward it to your normal business number using code on the root level of your website.
Use Google’s URL Builder to create vanity URLs to track visits from news releases, handouts, events, QR codes, and other forms. This way you can know which efforts are drawing more traffic to your website. To learn more about setting up vanity URLs and tracking calls, read this article. Alicia Lawrence is an online PR specialist for WebpageFX and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Get In Front Communications, and Spin Sucks. (Image via)