Social Tracking in Google Analytics

By Liam Foy

Continuing on from yesterday’s blog post on how to install social buttons that can be tracked through Google Analytics this post follows up with the analytics side. If you have Google ‘+1’and Facebook ‘Like’ buttons on your site, it’s important to know which buttons are being clicked and for which content.

If you post articles on your site, you’ll want to know which articles are most commonly ‘Liked’ or shared and on which social networks. You can use this information to create more of that type of content that’s popular with your visitors. Also, if you find that some buttons are rarely used, you may wish to remove them to reduce clutter. The Social Engagement reports allow you to see how people shared content from your site via the social buttons.

There are three types of reports:

Social Engagement

This compares the number of pages viewed per visit, average time on site, bounce rate, and other metrics for visits that included and did not include social actions. This allows you to determine whether people who used social actions that are available on your site viewed fewer or more pages. For each page visited that included a social actions, you can compare metrics for each social source/action combination. You can compare whether visits that included a +1 button click had a longer average time on site than visits that included a Facebook Send.

Social Action

This allows you to compare the number of social actions for each social source and social action combination. This means that you can compare a Facebook ‘Like’ with a Facebook ‘send’ on your site or compare the total number of Facebook actions to the number of Twitter actions. This can give you an idea of which social buttons are most important on your site.

Social Pages

This report allows you to see which pages on your site there has been social interactions, once again you can see this information by social source or by social action combination. This enables you to see what pages on your site produce the most social interactions, be it ‘Likes’, tweets, or +1’s. This information is useful for understanding which content is being shared the most and via which social networks.

This post was written by Liam Foy

As Head of Client Services, Liam ensures that all of his clients’ strategies are on track, delivering ROI and coming up with new ideas to drive them forward. Beer makes him tick, reading, learning and drinking it.