How to Decipher Press Release Data and Analytics

customer loyalty - pr measurement

Just like any marketing or PR tool, a press release is only as good as its results. If you’re just splattering releases up on your press release distribution site without paying attention to whether anyone is reading them or clicking back to your site, you’re wasting a lot of time and energy, not to mention money.

Deciphering Press Release Data

Most press release platforms provide ample information on the releases you’re sending out. With this information, you can determine what topics people are interested in and plan more releases in that same vein.

In this post, I’ll be covering the report you get using PRWeb because, well, that’s what I use. But if you use another system, I’m sure the reporting is similar.

6 Metrics to Pay Attention to

With all of the press release analytics, it’s easy to get lost in them. Here are the six main measurements to pay attention to.

1. Headline Impressions

Headline Impressions - Press Release Analytics

This number accounts for all the places on the Internet that your press release’s headline appeared. That doesn’t mean that it was published on this many sites because many websites use an RSS or news aggregator that displays headlines, and once someone clicks on them, they go back to the news source.

Why It’s Important: A high number of headline impressions indicates that you’re doing well in naming your press release and using keywords that get it found on related sites.

2. Full Release Reads

Full Release Reads - Press Release Data

Here’s where it gets good. This is the number of people who clicked on your release from one of those places your headline appeared to actually read it. There’s no bar to set in terms of number of reads. It depends on your news and your niche. You might be happy with a few hundred reads, or you might find that your releases get thousands of reads. You’ll have to put out a few releases and compare them.

This part of your analytics also tells you where those reads came from, so if you’re international, you can see where interest around the world is originating.

Why It’s Important: Once you have data from a few releases, you can get a sense for what subjects really resonate. For example, you might not have gotten many reads on your announcement of a new CEO taking over your company, but your release on your recent industry survey may have gone through the roof. This helps you guide your future PR strategy toward success.

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3. Traffic Sources

Traffic Sources - Press Release Data

You want to know how people found your release, and this data tells you. It will tell you what percent came from search engines and which keywords people typed in to find your release.

Why It’s Important: Again, great data to guide future releases, as well as which keywords people are interested in.

4. Release Interactions

Release Interactions - Press Release Stats

What do people do once they click on your release? Do they email it to others? Click your video to download? Download attachments? Print it? All this is valuable data that you can glean from your press release report.

Why It’s Important: If you took the time to put together a video for your release, you want to know people are actually watching it. If they’re not, you can nix it next time.

5. Clicks

Clicks - Press Release Data

Ultimately, you want people who read your release to click the links in it back to your website. This component of your report tells you if that’s happening or not.

Why It’s Important: If you’re not getting the clicks you want, your links might not be attached to the right words to garner interest. For example, if you want people to click to your industry survey, hyperlink the words “2014 Industry Survey” rather than “click here” and see if you get more clicks.

6. Social Engagement

Distribution - Press Release Data

This feature is really cool, as it tells you how many people shared your release on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +.

Why It’s Important: Social proof tells you your press release topic is a hit (or a miss). Tweak your topics until you start getting more shares.

Knowing what metrics to pay attention to can help you make sure your press release strategy is getting the results you want. Speaking of results, also make sure you set up goals so that you can measure your analytics against them.

Want to see what the #1 press releases for traffic can do for you? Take a demo of the Vocus PR Suite now!

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, where she helps her clients realize the benefits of social media, content marketing and blogging. Read more of Susan’s articles here!