Google Analytics Explainer

Google Analytics Widget

Launched in Q3, 2017, this widget allows you to quantify the ROI around your earned media efforts by tracking how many visitors to your website got there as a result of clicking on links in news articles featuring your company.

Using Meltwater's own media coverage as an example, we will go through step-by-step to explain how we get from the widget on your dashboard down to the specific articles people read online, and the links that people clicked on to get back to your website, and what this means for attributing value to your PR efforts.

Once you authenticate your Google Analytics in the Meltwater platform, you can create your widget, which will require choosing a 'property' (your website) and an input, or saved search (the one on your company, most likely). That will generate a widget that looks like this.

You will notice there are four series on the legend. They are:

Media Exposure - This is the search you have selected, and will be the line graph attached to the left axis. The numbers indicate the amount of articles featuring the keywords in the search over the selected time period.

Other Sessions - This is the light blue bar, representing the total amount of sessions to your website during the selected time period. These sessions could have come from anywhere on the web, be it search, social, referrals, or people typing in your website address directly.

Referral Sessions - This is the darker blue bar which you see at the bottom of each bar, representing the amount of sessions to your website that whereby the visitor clicked on a link on another site to get there. For example, our LinkedIn page has a link to our website - if someone clicked on that link, that would count as a referral to

Earned Referral Sessions - Given the amount of our website traffic, you can't make it out or see the reading on the chart above, but by clicking to remove the other sessions, it shows up more clearly below. This dark blue bar indicates the amount of people who got to your websites by clicking on articles from the Media Exposure search that were published in the last six months. Older articles can still generate traffic to your website - we'll make sure we account for them too!

Simply by clicking on 'Other Sessions', you can remove them from view. Now the dark blue 'Earned Referral Sessions' are more visible, and you can analyze the proportion of your overall referrals that come from your earned media.

To make it even more apparent, you can also click on 'Referral Sessions' in the legend to remove it as well.

Now we are just seeing our Media Exposure volume, and the amount of Earned Referral Sessions, shown day-by-day.

As you can see by from the hover in the image above, on Nov 3, there were 29 news articles mentioning Meltwater, and we generated 50 Earned Referral Sessions as a result of our coverage in the last six months (not necessarily articles from that day)

This is all completely interactive, so clicking on the individual bars will tell you exactly which articles generated Earned Referral Sessions to your website, and how many sessions each article generated, like the below.

As this shows, those 50 Earned Referral Sessions on Nov 3 came from only four articles. One from a CNBC article published that day, 45 from the Recode article also published the same day, three from a Business News Daily article published six weeks prior, and one from a TechCrunch article published all the way back in June, more than four months earlier!

In the Recode example in particular, it is telling us that 45 people clicked on the link back to the Meltwater website in the story below.

This is great news for PR professionals. For years marketers have been able to easily track the effectiveness of their paid media as it pertains to website traffic and revenue conversion, and now PR professionals are able to achieve the same goals from the earned media that they generate.

To be able to say "this placement in Recode, and the subsequent articles off the back of this report, generated coverage that reached 17.8m unique visitors, was shared on social media 4500 times to a total audience of 330m, and generated 135 Earned Referral Sessions to our website" is a great way for our PR team to show off the effectiveness of their relationships with the media, and we are sure the same kind of metrics will be great for your organization as well.

Linkedin Twitter Facebook Instagram

Meltwater 2017