Public relations has always been a bit of a murky field when it comes to measuring success. But that is changing in the modern era of digital PR. Technology is giving us ways to track the success—or failure—of campaigns and activities like never before. Yet there is a danger of getting lost in the noise of too much data. Several key metrics to keep track of were highlighted by Ilana Plumer in her article “6 metrics to track when measuring digital PR.”
- Your domain authority (DA) plays a role in dictating where you turn up when an online search is conducted. The higher this number, the higher up you appear in online searches—the lower the number, vice versa. Successful PR campaigns involving influencer partners generate backlinks that lead more people to your website. By cultivating partnerships with successful entities, you can raise your own profile and expand your presence.
- A good measure of whether your public relations efforts bear fruit is how many people are viewing pages on your site. Analytics programs from companies like Google and others can tell you which pages are most popular, how long people view them, and from which locations these viewers are coming from. Estimated page views can indicate that your brand awareness is growing, even if it doesn’t equate to actual increases in sales or customers.
- Page views demonstrate growing brand awareness, but it can also be important to know if people found your site through general searches for your key terms, or if they were led to your site specifically through a branded search. This indicates more acute awareness of your organization in the general public than if people found your site effectively by accident. Google Analytics can help you sift these branded searches out of the general traffic, and gain a better understanding of your PR efforts’ actual progress.
- Backlinks created by your public relations campaign can certainly be helpful, but where those backlinks come from matters. The backlink authority increases from sites with higher domain authority, and with links that come from originally created content with good anchor text and few outgoing links. Sites like Buzzsumo help track where your backlinks come from and whether your public relations activities are creating strong links to boost your search rankings.
- Specific content referrals are the endgame of success in public relations—when a backlink to your site is included and live in the placement you were pursuing. Google Analytics and tools that monitor social media data can help you keep track of your backlinks and connect them with your PR successes, and show you the new relationships you are cultivating.
- An entirely separate blog could be written about successful social media habits, but for these purposes it’s important to acknowledge the value of social shares for measuring public relations success. Articles and mentions you have secured that are shared with positive language are a sign of growing strength for your brand’s recognition and authority. If these shares include links to your site, they can also boost your website traffic. Coordinate your social media and PR strategies to take full advantage of this opportunity.
If you’re in healthcare, insurance, technology or other professional services industries, and need help with a PR, marketing or social media campaign, contact Scott Public Relations.
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