In My Opinion: Joe Walton: Google Analytics for PRs

WE live in a digital world that puts more emphasis on PR measurement. Here are three reasons why there has never been a better time to get to grips with this free tool, Google Analytics.

Reason 1:

According to a recent ‘State of the Profession’ survey, published by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, 60 per cent of PR professionals have some responsibility for social and digital marketing. An understanding of Google Analytics will unlock a serious amount of intelligence for you.

Reason 2:

We all need to demonstrate our success. Google Analytic can help show if it was an email campaign, an online advertising or a piece of editorial that brought visitors to your site. By using Google Analytics, measuring action on a page has never been easier.

Reason 3:

Google Analytics is said to be used by 90 per cent of businesses, although not always exclusively – it is the analytics software of choice, likely because it’s free. With all this information available for free, why wouldn’t you take advantage?

Bonus reason: digital measurement is moving offline

The latest iteration of Google Analytics is called Universal Analytics. Why? Because it can track offline as well online transactions.

* Want to know if the clicking of an email newsletter results in an offline sale? You can now track the correlation between the two.

* Interested to see which days of the week are best for online and offline sales? Not a problem, this will be available via Google Analytics.

* Thinking about a click-and-collect app and want to know which browser (and OS) offline customers use? The answer is at your fingertips.

The application for all types of organisation – for internal and for external communications – is very exciting and only just being explored. The future of digital analytics is offline and this opens up even more opportunities for communicators to prove their worth.

If you would like to know about Analytics but find it all a bit baffling, I will be speaking at a CIPR Scotland ‘Social in the City’ event on Wednesday, at the Newsroom in Edinburgh.

Joe Walton is a CIPR-accredited PR consultant based in Ediinburgh. He holds a Google Analytics Individual Qualification and, he adds, “a longing to be a scientist”.