You wouldn’t run a radio station without reviewing your Nielsen ratings, would you? After all, it tells you how your station is performing. By the same token, you should measure and review the performance of your radio station’s website. Google offers a free tool to help you do this called Google Analytics. It can give you all sorts of insight, such as where your website traffic is coming from, which pages are most popular, and how long people spend on your site.
Here’s how you use it:
1. Install the Google Analytics tracking code
To use Google Analytics, you need to paste a few lines of tracking code to the header of your website. You can find instructions for adding the code here. Your webmaster should have no trouble doing this. After you’ve added the code, be sure to verify that it’s working.
2. Set up your Goals
Google Analytics allows you to define specific goals ands measure them. A “goal” is an action that you want your website visitors to perform. When a visitor reaches that goal, it is called a “conversion.” You can define multiple goals and measure how many conversions each one gets. You want to figure out which factors cause the number of conversions to go up.
For example, let’s say you are selling tickets to your station’s summer concert on your site and you want to measure the number of people who purchase them. You can define a goal as anytime a visitor reaches the Thank You page after purchasing tickets.
Then you can take an in-depth look at each of the conversions for these goals. For example, you might want to see where the people who purchase tickets are coming from. Did the come to the site directly, or did they click on a link on social media? This type of insight can help you sell more tickets.
You can also assign monetary values to different goals. After all, somebody who fills out a form to request more information about advertising is probably worth more than somebody who signs up for your station’s email list.
Some goals you may want to define for your radio station:
- Signing up for the email list
- Listening to the online stream
- Purchasing tickets to a station event
- Requesting information about advertising
- Entering a contest
You can find more detailed information about setting up goals here.
3. Customize your Dashboard
Google Analytics can give you a ton of insight into your site. You could spend hours digging into the details. Sometimes, however, you just want to take a quick glance at the most important information. Google Analytics lets you set up custom dashboards that you can share with other people on your team.
Here are some of the things I recommend that you measure in your dashboard:
- The number of unique website visitors
- Where your visitors are coming from (social networks, search engines, other sites, or by directly typing in your station’s URL)
- The most visited web pages on your site
- The number of conversions for each goal
- The type of device people are using to visit your site (desktop, tablet, or phone)
- The site’s bounce rate (the percentage of people who come to your site and then leave without clicking through to a second page)
Here are more detailed instructions for setting up a custom dashboard.
4. Set up weekly email reports
You should review your website analytics on a weekly basis. One great way to remind yourself to do this is to have the analytics automatically emailed to you as a PDF that you can print and look over. (You can set up reports at different intervals, such as monthly, if you prefer.)
Here are instructions for setting up automatic emails with reports.
5. Review your analytics once a week
Don’t just look at your reports — use them to take action! You have a weekly music meeting to review and adjust your station’s playlist. You should also have a weekly website meeting to review and adjust your site’s content.
- Figure out what kind of content (album reviews? celebrity interviews? contests?) is generating the most interest so you can create more of that.
- Determine where your traffic is coming from (social media? search engines? direct traffic?) and decide how you can strengthen weak traffic sources and take advantage of strong ones.
- Examine the bounce rate for different browser platforms (desktop, tablet, or phone) to see if your website’s layout needs to be optimized for different devices.
In short, just as you use callout research, airplay and sales charts, and other information to build your on-air audience, you can use Google Analytics to build your radio station’s online audience.Please share:
Chris Edwards says
Are you aware if there is a way to track online radio listening/streaming using Google Analytics?
Seth Resler says
Not to my knowledge at this time. You could track when somebody clicks your streaming link (or “tune in”), but you cannot track time spent listening with Google Analytics. That’s not what it was built for.
There is – like what CentovaCast provides with song popularity – which songs have the highest amount of people connecting and which cause people to disconnect- but using GA. I’ll try and find the YouTube video where I saw it.
Seth Resler says
Thanks, Kai! I’d love to check it out.
We will be switching to Google Analytics. Many of our regular listeners boot to our ICastCenter stream from the frequently visited sites page on their devices, without going through our Station Website. With Google Analytics, can we make a tag and count people who bypass our website and go directly to our ICastCenter stream?
Thanks so much,
Seth Resler says
Google Analytics is a useful tool for measuring what happens on your website, but not necessarily streaming. You could set it up to track when people click the “Listen Now” button, but more sophisticated streaming stats would come from your streaming provider.