Google Analytics has released a new section into its Traffic Source Section. I have outlined below the new features; the benefits of each and how they can add value to your analytics auditing.
Google Analytics is continuing its push towards social tracking and attribution tools. It now gives you more ways to gauge your social footprint, which will allow you to measure high value channels. It will enable you to also easily track which content is having the most impact onsite, through goals and conversions.
Social Sources: This provides insight into which social networks have been referring visits, and which URLs have been generating the most interest. Although this is top level information, it allows for the evaluation of social performance by channel; this data linked with your onsite social engagement will give a clearer picture of how socially appealing your onsite content is to the users.
Pages: This provides a breakdown of all the onsite content that is socially engaging and gives a clear indication of which channels are pushing this content. Measuring this against the content that is most visited will indicate which content is most likely to be shared.
Conversions: This is almost certainly the best additional feature to the new Google Analytics section. This area gives a concise and clear indication of direct conversions from social media. You are able to see from all your goals which social platforms caused last click conversions. This data will allow you to target your social content more effectively towards the converting goals; resulting in the ability to identify which channel drives the highest ROI. It also allows you to see a breakdown between pure Conversions vs. Assisted conversions.
Social Plug-ins: This area allows you to find out which social buttons are being interacted with onsite. Google + will work automatically but if you have not applied the correct tracking code to your Twitter, Facebook and Linked In buttons, then you will not benefit fully from the Social Plug-in section. This area allows Google Analytics to track all of the onsite social interactions and gives a great indication of which channels your content is being shared on.
Social Visitor Flow: This feature allows you to view each user’s journey from each referring social network. This gives great insight into social user behaviour and their user journey paths throughout a site.
All in all Google are giving social media a massive push; indicating to me the importance of social media to online business as a whole. Could social media be the new page rank? I would be very interested to see if Google Analytics introduces conversion and engagement Key Performance Indicator, which is normally pulled directly from Social Media Channels or by buzz monitoring software products like Meltwater. Finally, I would also like to see a bigger part for attribution in Google Analytics, but that’s another topic…
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