.gov sites free to Google their audiences

Federal marketers, start your engines cookies.

As we helped our social marketing agency partner explain in its blog, .gov websites can now deploy the persistent cookies needed to count unique visitors and power some of the leading web analytics software tools. Being Google Analytics Certified Partners, Empirical Path is particularly excited that we can combine our experience on Federal websites with our expertise in Google Analytics now that the Office of Management and Budget has refined its rules about cookies and measurement.

DC-based Noral Group International wrote about the rules’ impact on the public education and social marketing campaigns the agency delivers, providing an easily digested primer on the relevance of analytics to government marketers:

“While commercial marketers worry about how they fill their online shopping carts, Federal agencies and social marketing campaigns have an even bigger worry.  They need to worry about their progress in moving people towards behavior change: a long and complicated journey. Relative to the shopping cart, there may be many more “clicks” along the path of building awareness, changing attitudes and generating action.  It’s good to know what’s happening along the way, address what works and doesn’t work and make sure that every visitor is at least a little closer to your behavior goal, not frustrated by a failed website visit or disappointing experience.  More specifically, if you are a Federal agency using web components as part of a social marketing and public service campaign, what exactly might you learn with web analytics?   Here’s a just a short sampling:”

Empirical Path has helped Noral, a GSA Web-based Marketing contract-holder, with web analytics and quantitative market research since 2002, including Noral’s multi-year public health marketing campaign for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

“As a case in point, Noral used our public health client’s web analytics data to measure the number of monthly visits before the campaign, then compared subsequent efforts against that baseline.  The software’s reports also helped us choose — based on metrics like bounce rate, time per visit, and pages per visit — the best landing pages for web surfers who encountered the campaign online via its syndication feed (RSS), social media profiles, and search engine marketing (SEM).  To validate the campaign’s investment in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, we performed custom analysis of web analytics data to confirm that visitors enticed by search engine ads were engaging with website content as hoped.”

Please contact us for more information on analytics for Federal websites or an introduction to Noral.

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