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Tracking Your Website Visitors in Google Analytics From Social Media Channels

This blog post is the fourth of a four-part series, “The Top 4 Ways To Get Value From Google Analytics”. This post is intended for those who haven’t used Google Analytics before, and are looking for a place to start. Read on!

Social MediaGoogle Analytics offers many reports to help you understand how your social media presence affects your website. Let’s take a look at a few of the more useful reports available.

Social Value Report

Earlier in this series you learned to set Goals using Google Analytics. When a site visitor achieves the Goal you set (e.g. visits 3 pages), that’s known as a “conversion”. The Social Value Report allows you to see how many of your social media visitors have converted to each of your Goals.

This allows you to answer the question: How do visitors from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. behave on your site?

Social Network Report

How much traffic are you receiving from the social media sites you operate?

The Social Network Report ranks the percentage of visitors you receive from each social network. Take a look at this report – does it reflect the amount of time you invest into each network?

The example below is from a site that has not defined any Goals in Google Analytics!

google analytics report

Social Media Sources Report

How do your visitors from social media compare to the number of overall visitors to your site?

The Social Media Sources Report provides a color-coded line graph charting daily visits compared to those from social media. Looking at this data, you may notice that social media visits are up, while overall visitors are down, or vice versa.

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Making Sense of Social Media Reports

We often get the question, “how should these social reports affect what I do on social media?”

It depends. If your primary social media goal is to drive visitors to your site, these reports can tell you exactly how you’re doing. Moreover, they can tell you, based on how those visitors behave, whether this is a good goal in the first place.

Taken together, these reports should answer critical questions. Is your social media strategy working? Are you sending visitors to pages they care about? Is each social network worth the time you invest? Are visitors converting?

If you Tweet six times a day to drive more site visitors, but don’t see an equivalent spike in traffic, you could quickly see this in the reports.

Certain trends are not unusual. For instance, it’s common to have an abnormally high bounce rate from Facebook visitors. That’s not necessarily because your website needs work, but because Facebook users tend to migrate back to Facebook quickly. In other words, they may have absorbed your content – and simply returned to Facebook after doing so.

The social media reports from Google Analytics are an invaluable tool for testing your strategy. You may be surprised by what you find out.

Food for Thought: Spicy Tomato and Blue Cheese Soup

Tomato soup ranks right up there with the most popular American comfort foods like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. It pairs very well with a grilled cheese sandwich too.

I saw this tomato soup recipe from Michael Symon of Iron Chef America and I just had to try it – after all, it includes bleu cheese! I haven’t gone back to the old way of making tomato soup since. This recipe even has a bit of Sriracha to kick it up a notch. Give this a try if you are looking for something warm and comforting but a bit different.

Speaking of different – this recipe makes me think of the power of using Google Analytics. This amazingly simple tool can help you to find and fix the problem pages on your website. It can help your business to set up goals that will improve your marketing efforts. Google Analytics will also support you in tracking your offline and social media marketing campaigns.

Doing something different, like implementing Google Analytics is the best way for a novice to achieve objectives in marketing. And doing something different is the most delicious way to enjoy tomato soup!

As always….it’ll make your brains fall out!

Bonnie Massa is Founder and President of Chicago-based Massa & Company, Inc. She works with companies and nonprofits to make the best use of their information about customers, partners, donors and sponsors. With more than 40 years of experience in marketing and predictive analytics, Bonnie is passionate about helping clients make informed, data-driven decisions to increase the value of their customer base. She strongly believes that making pasta and ice cream from scratch are worth the effort, and she spends much of her free time testing and re-testing that theory.

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