Don’t Let Yourself Be Intimidated by this Necessary Tool
By Nikki Darling, TrizCom PR
For my non-tech savvy or number-friendly friends, the word “analytics” may sound a bit daunting … and rightly so. Data and analytics are a relatively new concept in the context of everyday use for everyday people. The concept can be a bit scary and overwhelming. However, they are of the utmost importance, especially now. As our world becomes even more digitally based, being able to track progress in all manners through numbers and data is necessary to deem a project, campaign, etc. a success.
It’s our job as publicists to not only secure placements and coverage for clients, but to report on successes. However, we like to do this with more than just a list of wins – it means showing the meaning of those wins. How many website visits did it mean? What was the overall reach? How did it impact ticket sales or Facebook likes? Did it improve overall brand sentiment? Geographically, where did media wins have the most impact?
As a client, using analytics is important for you too. You can directly see how public relations efforts affect your organization and your goals.
The word analytics is also such a broad term, it could mean anything. But the best place to start is with social media analytics (likes, followers, comments, overall sentiment) and website analytics (traffic, bounce rate, unique visitors, user demographics). These data sets will give you the base knowledge of not only what your followers like about you and your organization, but who exactly your regular consumers are.
Still feel a bit daunting? That’s OK. There’s a learning curve associated with learning how to use and understand analytics, but once you do, you’ll be thanking yourself. If you don’t already have analytics set up with your website, here are some of the top recommended analytic tools to check out:
- Google Analytics: If you have nothing else, set up Google Analytics. You will see Google Analytics at the top of every list about analytics and for good reason – it’s the most comprehensive analytics tool. Plus it’s automatically connected with Google. Don’t be intimidated. If you’re not familiar with analytics, once you spend some time with it and maybe watch a YouTube tutorial or two, you’ll be good to go.
- HootSuite Analytics: This is good for tracking social data. Should you already use HootSuite to manage your social accounts, connect with HootSuite Analytics.
- WordPress Analytics Plug-ins: Many sites are run off of a WordPress. Thankfully WordPress has a number of analytics plug-ins you can use to track your website data.
- WP Power Stats
- Clicky by Yoast
Any sort of analytics tool only makes you more knowledgeable about how your organization is performing. Not only that, but it allows your PR team to gain deeper insights into how PR efforts are affecting the bottom line as well as what tactics are working and which ones aren’t. You also gain a better understanding of who you are targeting and reaching, thus empowering you with data and knowledge to back up business decisions. Analytics are your friends.