While it’s not a Social Media tool by name, Google Analytics is one of the most effective ways to monitor your online marketing and PR campaigns.
Google Analytics allows you to see a huge amount of data related to your corporate website. By employing it effectively, public companies are able to use this data to establish the return on investment (ROI) from their Social Media and other marketing strategies and then make adjustments.
Visitors from “company search”
Your company’s primary source of website traffic is almost certainly related to Google searches for your company name and location. To ensure that people searching for your company arrive at your website, it’s beneficial to push other results off page #1 of search results. One of the easiest ways to do this is to link your company’s Google Places and Google Finance profiles to your corporate website.
If you’ve done it right, you should see something like this when you Google your company.
Big Tip: If you start to see this kind of traffic dropping, check back to make sure that no other listings have pushed their way above your website and are stealing traffic from you.
Referrals from PR
One of the main reasons to distribute Press Releases is to drive traffic back to your corporate website. These are visitors who have seen your Release somewhere on the web, have read it, and then as a result have landed on your corporate website. One very simple way to measure the scale of this traffic is to create annotations in Google Analytics on the days when Press Releases goes out.
As you’ve seen above, when PR is published, there is an immediate change in the number of people using your website. But is this the most effective way to drive traffic?
Big Tip: If every Press Release costs your company $1K (very possible) then a spike of < 100 website visitors probably isn’t a good use of company marketing dollars. But hey, at least you know your ROI now! For more on ROI, skip down to the Website Lead Funnel section.
Social-to-Web Conversions combines all of the different ways a visitor might get from your Social Media profiles to your corporate website. It’s good to note that Google Analytics provides the ability to measure exactly how many people have hit your website via different social networks.
The image above includes data for one of our clients showing Social Media traffic over a 1 month period. As you can see, this client gets a LOT of traffic from LinkedIn. But also, the visitors from LinkedIn stay on their website 7 x longer than visitors from Facebook. The lesson? LinkedIn is hugely valuable for them and our marketing strategy will be updated this month to reflect this.
Big Tip: Not all LinkedIn traffic is the same. In fact, there can be a huge difference between the value of visits to your home page and visits to your Press Releases – as you’ll see below.
Social Visitors Flow
The “Social” area of Google Analytics’ Traffic reporting is a lot of fun (for us) and by far the best way to monitor the ROI in your Social Media strategy. Social Visitors Flow in particular gives a demonstration of not just how people arrive at your corporate website, but also how they interact with it. Below you’ll see that our website also gets a lot of traffic from LinkedIn.
The majority of that traffic goes straight to our blog posts. This traffic is great, but the users often then bounce off the site, having come for what they wanted. The better traffic in this instance is the visitors who arrive on our home page. These visitors are more likely to visit our Services, Contact and Company pages and are therefore of higher value to us.
Big Tip: Any traffic from Social Media is beneficial. Yes, our site gets higher-quality visitors to the home page, but we won’t stop writing blog posts. The same goes for a public company.
Social Activity Stream
Another awesome little feature of the Social area in Google Analytics is the “Social Activity Stream” tab. By monitoring this area, you’ll be able to see how exactly how discussions of your content are driving traffic to content on your corporate website.
Big Tip: The more you talk to other people, the more often you’ll see spikes in website visitors when you release company news. That’s just how Social Media works…
This is the area of Google Analytics that we use most. Being able to measure the effectiveness of driving website traffic from different networks allows us to optimize our marketing campaigns for clients on a monthly basis. Armed with this data, your company can decide where to spend marketing time. If Facebook just simply isn’t getting people to your website’s contact page, but LinkedIn is, then it’s time to focus on the audience that is engaged with your content.
Big Tip: Be open to changing your marketing strategy to suit what works. Not everyone will respond to you immediately, but if things aren’t kicking up on Twitter, say in 2-3 months, it’s time for a re-think. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Website Lead Funnel
Funnel analysis gives an overview of exactly how people use your corporate website. By installing tracking codes (talk to your web developer), it’s possible to see exactly how people have come to either call your IR department, send an email requesting more info on the company or signup for the newsletter. The lead funnel helps you optimize your corporate website by showing where people enter and leave.
E.g. if visitors seem to leave your contact page without calling or sending an email, this is an indication that your contact form needs work, or perhaps the phone number is not prominent enough.
Each of these actions should be assigned a value based on how many of them are required to influence market activity.
Measuring Your ROI With Google Analytics
For E-Commerce websites, measuring ROI is really easy. For Investor Relations, it’s a little bit more difficult. But if you focus on the three metrics we mentioned a second ago and assign a value to each of these, that’s a good place to start. Those metrics again are:
- Phone Calls To Your IR Department
- Email Requests From Your Website
- Signups To The Email Newsletter
ROI Process Flow
In terms of selling your company to new shareholders, the process flows something like this:
- How many phone calls do you need to affect buying?
- How many people call you having hit the contact page of your website?
- How many people visit the contact page having come to the website?
- Which sources drive the most total visitors to the contact page?
- What is the average cost of driving each of these visitors from those sources?
- What is your total cost per new shareholder?
Big Tip: Some of these are harder to measure than you might think. E.g. if someone visits a press release on your website from a link on Google+, which method gets the credit, Google+ or the Press Release itself?
Still Want More?
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to shoot us an email to get AT irsmartt.com and we’ll be happy to give you our two cents. Thank you all!