It would be difficult for anyone interested in website promotion not to notice that Google is very focused on the social media side of things, as well as search. The fact they’ve put so much effort into developing Google+ is evidence enough they take this area very seriously.
And it doesn’t stop there. Regular users of Google Analytics may have noticed a new set of reports have appeared entitled “Social”, that seem to offer a very detailed view of which social networks are sending you traffic and which pages those visitors end up on.
I’ve been taking a quick look at the Social reports in Analytics to see how useful they are and just how easy it is for the average website owner or manager to extract the information they need. From this I’ve outlined a few pointers below.
If you want to see the Social reports for your website first thing is to login to Analytics then click on the “Standard Reporting” tab in the orange bar.
Now look down the list of links on the left and click on the “Traffic Sources” link and then near the end click the link saying “Social”. Within this there are 6 further links to explore: Overview, Sources, Pages, Conversions, Social Plugins and Social Visitor Flow.
I found the “Sources” report very useful because it give a quick picture of where all your social media traffic is coming from. “Pages” enables you to drill-down to see which pages social media visitors end up on. “Conversions” is going to be useful if you have goal tracking set up in Analytics, as it enables you to see which social media source is converting well.
“Social Plugins” could be useful, but before you can see any information (other than about Google+), you’ll need to edit the Analytics code on your site, so this may be a job for your develop to do. And finally “Social Visitor Flow”. This is a variation on the standard “Visitor Flow” Report. It works by breaking visitors up into sources, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and so on. You can then follow where most of those visitors go to as they track through the site.
I think these Social Reports could be very valuable to anyone looking to track the value of social media visitors. I am currently working on a more detailed tutorial on it. To make sure you’re the first to know when I publish it, make sure and subscribe to my SEO Tips Newsletter.
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