Using Google Analytics To Track Social Media Visits

If you’re unsure that people are getting to your website from your social media, you might be asking, “How do I monitor the link between social media flowing into my website and whether or not there’s any return on it?” Well, using Google Analytics can help you measure traffic coming from networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn to see how that plays out on your website! Here’s how to do it:

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  1. Make sure you set up a Google Analytics account if you don’t have one already (1:17).

It’s completely free, and the easier link to do so is marketingplatform.google.com. All you need is a Gmail-based email account, and then from there, you link it to your website so it’s able to measure your website traffic.

Your dashboard might look something like this: 


The homepage gives you helpful information like what time of day are people coming to your website the most, what countries they’re visiting from, what devices are they’re visiting your website on, and traffic sources.

  1. Navigate to the Control Menu in Google Analytics on the left hand side (3:09).

If you run ads on Facebook, have a link in your Instagram bio, sharing your blog post on LinkedIn, how do you know if those people are going to your website? What is your most popular content? Go to this left-hand side, the control menu in Google Analytics, and this shows you the different sections.

The section I’m going to focus on today is Acquisition. Acquisition is really the how of “how did your consumer get to your website?” This section is going to help you measure marketing channel against marketing channel. Did they come from Facebook, did they come from Instagram, did they come to your site from an email campaign, did they just type in your URL directly, did they find you through an organic Google search?

  1. Click the down arrow where it says All Traffic (3:53).

You’ll see there are a few additional options: Channels, Treemaps, Source / Medium, and Referrals.

When on the Channels link, the first thing you’ll notice as you scroll down is a high-level summary of where your traffic is coming from. As you can see here, we have a lot of visitors coming through organic searches, which is people who found us through Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any search engine. They typed in maybe our company name or something related to what our company does, then we popped up and they clicked on our link.

Direct means they directly typed in your URL and ended up on your site, or directly clicked the link someone shared with them. Social is the social media traffic we want to be paying attention to. Referral could be any traffic you’re getting to your website from any other website, and then Other is kind of like a catch-all. 

  1. Click on Channels (3:53).

This will tell you specifically what social network you got the most traffic from. So as we look at this website, we can see most, in fact, 86% of our traffic comes from Facebook, followed by Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, then Pinterest.

On a more advanced level for some of you, you can attach that to those last three columns called Conversions. If you have conversion tracking set up, this allows you to see if someone achieved a goal that you have set.

For example, when I switch the drop-down arrow to Contact Us, now I’m looking at if there were conversions that happened on my website where people completed the Contact Us form.

And here I can see that yes, on Facebook out of those 146 visitors, four of them completed a contact form. On Twitter, we only had seven visitors but out of those seven, two of them completed a contact form.

Over time, you want to aspire to start tracking your conversions to evaluate the value of each social network.

 

  1. Go to the next section, Source / Medium (7:05). 

This is also going to tell me where or what specific social media networks my website traffic came from but it’s also going to mix in other places. 

As you can see here, it lists any website that is referring traffic to us. This lets you just go a little bit deeper into seeing where you’re getting traffic from from each social network and then know if it was mobile traffic, desktop traffic, et cetera.

 

  1. Go to the Social section (9:20).

This takes you to an overview page which shows what social networks appear to be delivering the best value for you. You can scroll down through these pages to learn a lot more detail.

For example, Landing Pages shows when people did come to my site, from where, and where they landed. Be sure to click the links so that you can go deeper into the data for each particular entry. 

These have been the topmost keys to keep in mind when it comes to utilizing Google Analytics to understand more about your social traffic. Stay tuned for more in this series on Google Analytics. If you have a specific question that you need answered around this topic or if you have questions that you’d love to see us do a lesson on for future topics, feel free to tag us on social media, leave it in the comments below, or contact us!

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