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Tracking, Measuring and Reporting What Happens After The Click: Measuring Your Most Effective Communication Channels

By Thomas Francisco, Engagement Specialist

As a communicator your job is to advance your organization’s objectives using a variety of digital communication tools. With dwindling resources and increasing demand of your time, you need to choose to spend your time where it has the most impact. But how can you best discern how you are achieving your goals and through which channel they’re most impactful? The GovDelivery Communications Cloud provides you with robust analytics about the messages you send, but have you ever wondered what happens after the click? Have you ever wondered which communication channels drive the most bang for your buck?


As you likely know, when it comes to understanding what web content your organization publishes is of most interest to your citizens, nothing gets the job done quite like Google Analytics. As communicators, Google Analytics provides us with unprecedented access to the habits and interests of those that visit our websites and read our emails. We can not only see exactly what people are clicking on, but we can also track the route that brought them to that point.

To start reporting on what happens after the click, we need to understand what your objectives are. If your objectives include getting people to take a measurable action such as downloading a document, registering for an event, or driving additional fishing licence registrations, then Google Analytics can provide you real time statistics on the most
effective method through which your objectives are completed. Within Google Analytics, your objectives are identified as goals. By setting up what are called conversion goals, Google Analytics allows you to tie together your email messaging, social media posting and all other web channels to see in real-time which of these communication channels complete your goals most frequently.

These channels include:

  • Email Messages (from GovDelivery or elsewhere)
  • Facebook Posts/Shares
  • Tweets
  • Direct Web Traffic (coming from someone on your website)
  • Referral Web Traffic (coming from another website)

I know… concepts in web analytics can get pretty convoluted. You have event tracking, conversion goals, success events, multichannel funnels, profiles, filters, dimensions, regular expressions, etc. But for what we’re looking to achieve, it’s a little more simple. I recommend using Google Analytics Event Tracking. Event Tracking is focused on helping you identify specific actions that occur on your site. This is an important feature for a myriad of reasons, but primarily because it allows you to measure the performance of elements on your site, such as:

  • PDF Downloads
  • Event Registrations
  • Press Releases
  • Council Meeting Minutes
  • Form Submissions
  • Video Downloads
  • General User Behavior (how users navigate through your site)

Google Analytics is known as a valuable resource in regards to understanding the behavior and habits of a site’s visitors throughout both the private and the public sector. Not only can you receive real time reports on exactly what happens on your website, but Google Analytics also allows organizations to truly understand what motivates their stakeholders to act through their direct interaction with your content. Whether you’re wanting to measure the effectiveness of your email call-to-actions and social media postings, monitoring an email campaign, promoting new documentation, or just interested in knowing what content on your site is of most interest to visitors, Google Analytics conversion goals provide a robust platform for doing so.

Stay tuned for Friday’s post, How to Track What Happens After the Click where I’ll go further in-depth with the step-by-step approach to setting up robust tracking on your website.