How to Use Google Analytics to Measure Your Social Media

How to Use Google Analytics to Measure Your Social Media

It’s time to get serious about your web traffic. No more pressing publish on blog and social posts, only to walk away and never understand why people are not converting. I know, there is a lot of information and sometimes it too much to handle, resulting in some serious dataphobia. Let me just say, I am in no way, shape for form a Google Analytics specialist, but I do understand the value in understanding my website data. In this post, I’m going to break down exactly what you need to know to measure how your social media is working for your web traffic and conversions.

To Get Good Results, Ask the Right Questions

If you’re not asking the right questions, chances are that you’ll never find the right answers – meaning conversions for your business. There are a multitude of things that you can report on using Google Analytics, but not every piece of data will be right for your brand. Every business has different goals in mind, and those goals will dictate what you should be reporting on. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Conversions by Source

This is probably the most important metric for many brands, as you’ll be able to efficiently report on ROI for each channel, including social media, email marketing, and affiliates.

Visitor Technology

As mobile browsing becomes more and more popular, knowing your visitor technology may result in more or less leads and conversions for your business. If you’re advertising to mobile users, but your website isn’t mobile optimized, you could be losing out on valuable traffic.

On-Site Social Actions

Often times, much of the focus is paid to social sharing directly on a social network. Brands forget that social sharing can, and hopefully, will come directly from your website. Users that share your content or products to social may have a greater affinity towards your brand than if they shared it from social alone. Track these actions and those influencers, as they may pay off in the end.

New vs. Returning Visitors

Many brands are strongly focused on increasing new visitors to their website, increasing their overall reach. They often forget about retaining their existing following and customers. Remember, research shows that it takes at least seven touches before a follower turns into a customer, so a returning visitor could be much more valuable than new visitors to your website. If you don’t have the traffic you want, learn my tips on why people aren’t reading your blog.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is defined as a user that viewed only one page on your website and left, or only viewed the page for 10 seconds or less. Understanding your bounce rate is crucial in your targeting. If you are noticing a high bounce rate from a particular source, then your targeting may be off. You might also be depriving traffic from other interesting articles or products on your website, causing them to quickly leave. Learn how I reduced my bounce rate by 65%!

Setting Your Goals

To track conversions in Google Analytics, you must first set-up your goals. Complexity of goals really depends on whether you’re running an ecommerce website or completing simple conversions, like a newsletter opt-in. Below is a set-up of a simple website conversion (for my new audio course):

1. Choose Your Goal

First, navigate to the goals section in your admin dashboard in Google Analytics. Start by choosing the type of goal you have in mind (or the conversion that will take place). You may also choose a custom goal if yours is not listed.


2. Give Your Goal a Description

To track your goal, give it a name that you’ll remember. Also note the type of goal you would like to measure. In my case, I’m noting the destination page of the conversion.


3. Enter Your Goal Destination, Value and Funnel

The last and final step includes defining the destination where my goal will be completed, or in other words, the thank-you page. I can also assign a value, if they are purchasing the audio course, as well as the anticipated funnel for completion.


Check out this video to learn more about setting up goals in Google Analytics.

My Favorite Tools That Integrate with Google Analytics

Many of my favorite social media and content marketing apps integrate with Google Analytics, allowing me to efficiently report on web traffic as well as add tracking source data to links. Here are just a few:

My Top Google Analytics Dashboard Templates (Ready for Import!)

Reporting with Google Analytics isn’t as hard as it seems, and often times, only needs to be set-up the one time with minor tweaks along the way.

Social Media Dashboard [Import]

This dashboard helps you to determine viability of your social networks as well as social sharing of your content. Metrics included in this dashboard:

  • Visitor acquisition from social media
  • Read an article + bounce rate by source
  • On-site social actions
  • Most socially shared content (read this to enable)
  • Social visits by technology

Demographics Insights [Import]

This dashboard provides valuable insights into user behavior by demographic. Metrics included in this dashboard include:

  • Female vs. male web traffic
  • Age of female and male users
  • Top traffic sources by demographic
  • Top content by demographic
  • Average value of users by demographic

Blogger Dashboard [Import]

  • Active users
  • Most popular posts
  • Traffic sources
  • Country of origin
  • Mobile vs. desktop traffic + bounce rate
  • Keyword search terms

Visitors Technology [Import]

  • Mobile vs. desktop traffic
  • Conversion rate by browser
  • Conversion rate by operating system
  • Conversion rate by mobile device
  • Operating system
  • Screen resolution

Goal Conversions [Import]

  • Conversions by source
  • Conversions by day of the week
  • Source of conversion

For more dashboards, head over to the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery. You can also watch Google Analytics tutorials straight from the source on the Google Analytics YouTube Channel.

  • Crispin Bixler Nisimyan

    Thanks Afton! This is super helpful. Bookmarking it. 😀

  • Anne Cutler

    good stuff! saw your periscope this morning and landed here 🙂

    • Awesome! Thanks @disqus_WrNXQ2Uyuc:disqus for stopping by!