Google Analytics allows businesses to find out how users are accessing their website and make strategic and day-to-day decisions on how to improve return on investment (ROI) through their website and related marketing and communications activities. It is the go-to data analysis tool for web/online marketing.
For content and PR-websites, it can be pretty difficult determining the effectiveness of your website, particularly if you don’t have any clear goals other than notional objectives e.g. “We wish to increase engagement in our website.” Metrics such as “time spent on page” or “number of visitors” are determined by a great number of factors, many of which are not within the influence of the website itself. It is therefore important to look at the right types of metrics AND also customise them to suit your business needs.
We recently completed a full review of a website for one of the largest privately owned property businesses, and one of the most important conclusions that the report highlighted was the need to have some clear, measurable objectives. The reason for this is not to put in place meaningless measurements which could be construed and manipulated either way, but so that the organisation as a whole can become more aware of the importance PR and Communications is to a business. Quantitative analysis of a website’s usage is only one part of an assessment that needs to take place to ensure that your digital strategy going forward is as effective as possible. As well as assessing the ‘raw’ google analytics data, it’s important to assess the website based on more qualitative metrics such as how accurately the website reflects the brand, the message that brand wishes to convey, and, in most cases, the core objectives/values of the business.
The project covered:
- Full baseline review of visitor type, behaviour and acquisition
- Analysis of visitor usage of content categories
- Analysis of role of external referrers such as social media
- Review of ‘core’ content from communications/PR perspective i.e. to what degree do the core business values/objectives of the business come across at any given visit.
Of particular interest was the analysis of existing content categories. The categories of content had been set up based largely on the business structure, however this is not often reflected in the reasons people consume your content. To account for this, we re-categorised all news/PR-based content into categories which were more relevant to the wider industry and topical issues which the sector either influenced or was affected by (in this case it was housing). The result gave a different picture as to the news content that most visitors were engaging with, and this helped shaped the content strategy going for the website’s redevelopment.