Google Analytics is one of the easiest ways to learn about the visits to your website.
At the purpose, once you couple internet based life information from your site, you’ll have the choice to form a traffic-driving framework for your online properties.
This is not something of an exaggeration. Google Analytics helps you to know exactly what type of content your audience is reacting to and what social networks they favor.
With that information, you will push more traffic and lead to your site — while showing social ROI as well.
With just a few simple steps, you may even use Google Analytics to track critical social media metrics.
This handbook should show you how to do this.
What exactly is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a free platform for the study of websites. You get access to a variety of information about your website and its guests with it.
Think of it like a doctor using instruments to calculate the vitalities of her patients. You’ll be able to measure the overall health of your website with Google Analytics and see places that need to be improved.
Below are only a few metrics and insights you can get with the tool:
- Amount of traffic your site gets overall
- Your traffic websites originated from Individual Page Traffic from
- Individual page traffic
- Number of leads converted
- The websites your leads came from
- Demographic details of visitors (e.g. where they live)
- If your traffic comes from mobile or desktop
1. Audience > Demographics & Preferences
When running a campaign on social media, we need to make sure that we get the right target people to the website.
Not every single click is the same.
When we only look at our analytics on the social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), we only see feedback and clicks from their perspective. In the end, we don’t see what the tourists do when they land on our platform.
Even with our best attempt to target demographics and interests, we are not guaranteed to click through the right people.
Google Analytics lets us see our visitors ‘ basic demographic information, as well as their interests. As a section, we can filter that down to social media traffic.
This is useful knowledge to ensure that our social media targeting actually drives the traffic that we expect and can help with feedback to expand our targeting to similar audiences.
2. Audience > User Explorer
A public user explorer is a great tool for drilling down to see how a number of customers viewed our website to verify what we expect and believe in the customer journey.
While the users are anonymous and we don’t get full details, it is still useful to see how frequent visitors accessed the site, navigated through it, and when they came back.
Use this data to find patterns and question theories about how visitors are interacting with your content.
You can program conversions for e-commerce purchases, lead form submissions, e-mail sign-ups, visits to a particular page session and other self-defined purposes.
As with most Google Analytics studies, we can isolate social media traffic as a category to show conversions.
What is critical to understand is that when we look at conversions in Google Analytics, we see them by default categorized by what source a visitor has accessed the web (direct, SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing, referral, etc.) when they meet the conversion requirements.
This is the attribution paradigm of the “last button” giving credit to the source that the conversion actually happened. This does not take into account when the user arrived three times before moving to the web, and what triggered the first and second visits.
In many cases, we see that social media drives early visits in the customer route even though it is not necessarily the cause of the “last button” that contributed to the migration to the internet.
We do not see the full picture and effect of all marketing channels when we only look at the last button.
4. Conversions > Model Comparison Tool
We can use the model comparison tool for the attribution to help combat the short-sighted last-click attribution data view that Google Analytics resorts to.
This lets you drill down channel-by-channel data into your conversion and transform the pattern to “first button,” “natural,” etc.
You can even import templates from others, or build a custom model of your own.
To learn about the attribution model principles you don’t have to be a statistician and Google has links to some useful content in this field so you can better understand how the different models affect your coverage.
You don’t have to be a statistician to learn about the attribution model concepts and Google has links to some useful content in this area so you can better understand how the various models impact your reporting.
5. Conversions > Assisted Conversions
This is an underused study and statistics. It’s been around for years but until recently it wasn’t as popular until attribution became a buzzword for the digital marketing industry. It may be useful in drawing a complete picture of the effect of various channel sources.
Supported conversions are awarded when a user has had multiple sessions monitored by Google Analytics prior to the conversion.
While the attribution rule for the last-click is applied, it gives credit to sources that a user had used the site in sessions prior to the final one where they took a conversion action.
This is another useful field for platforms like social media where you can track how much social impact you’ve had in the user experience before as a source.
If you have an e-commerce website and sales data from Google Analytics, a real dollar amount can be seen as a source-credited “assist.”
6. Conversions > Top Conversion Paths
While supported conversions are an aggregate status for channels that visited earlier in the customer journey, it is important to know what individual journeys or (as they are called by Google Analytics) session-based conversion paths are.
The study is great when it comes to seeing the different combinations of sources driving site visits and mixture rates.
In this study, you can really see how the consumer experience is playing out.
7. Acquisition > Social reports
Google Analytics added reports that focused exclusively on social media. While in other areas of Google Analytics you can find all of this information by heading into the separate reports and choosing social media as a filtered tab, it is great to have all of these templates and customized to social traffic.
The reports contain:
- An overview.
- Drill-down into unique traffic-sending social media sites.
- The top Social landing pages for traffic.
- Social Media-specific conversions.
- Users move within the site showing how they are interacting with content once they are on your platform.
Such detailed reports offer valuable insight into whether your social traffic reaches your goals once those users are on your site.
While some social strategies concentrate on communication and brand awareness staying on social media platforms, if you focus on getting people to your site, you’re going to want to know as much as possible about what they’re doing when they get there.
In Google Analytics, the benchmarks report is useful as you can compare the traffic metrics with those in your industry.
You can even change the dropdown to various industries and divisions, and see how numbers change.
Whether you’re working in a niche or large category, this method is incredibly useful in setting expectations and targets for progress across various channels like social media traffic.