For anyone who has a website, being able to know where your traffic is coming from is important for your online marketing efforts. It lets you know who is visiting your site, where they are coming from, and how they found your site. If you use social media as a method of marketing, as many businesses do, it is extremely helpful to know just how much of your website traffic is coming from social media. There are many different tools available to help you track your website traffic, some specifically for tracking social media. But one of the most helpful tools available for tracking your website traffic, as well as many other aspects of your website, is Google Analytics.  Google Analytics will help you to track the majority of the traffic your website gets, including the traffic that comes from social media so you can see where they are coming from and whether they stay to engage with your content or immediately leave. Google Analytics also lets you set goals that match with your business goals and will measure whether your visitors meets those goals. So just how do you use Google Analytics to traffic social media traffic to your site? First, make sure you’re using the latest version of Analytics and then follow these simple steps.

1. Determine Goals

As mentioned, you can use Google Analytics to set goals. So set some objectives and goals for social media. They should be part of your overall social media marketing plan and in line with your broader marketing strategy. If you want to use social media to increase your traffic, set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

2. Tracking Code

Once you have your goals figured out, you need to go to your Google Analytics and set up a tracking code. You need a tracking code in order to gather tracking data for your website. There are two ways to do this. One is to use Google Tag Manager and the other is to add the tracking code to your site directly. Tag Manager is preferable since it simplifies tag management on your site. Otherwise, you will have to add the code directly to your site, which involved editing the HTML of your site.

3. Traffic Sources

You will want to know what social media sites are bringing you the most traffic so you will know where to focus your efforts. To see which sites are bringing you traffic, go to the Traffic Sources section, select Sources, and All Traffic. You will see all the sites that are bringing traffic. Identify the social media ones and keep the first three in mind.

4. Segment

Once you’ve identified the social media sites sending traffic, you can set up advanced segments for each one. Then you can segment the traffic to individually analyze your visitors.

5. Set Goals

There’s more to tracking traffic than just keeping track of page views and visits. To really know if social media is working for you and your ROI you want to set goals and track metrics such as product signups, leads, downloads, newsletter signups, and other measurable things.

6. Report

Google Analytics offers eight different social reports to help you understand how effective your social media efforts are being. These reports include Overview, Network Referrals, Data Hub Activity, Landing Pages, Trackbacks, Conversions, Plugins, and Users Flow.

As you can see, it’s relatively easy to use Google Analytics to track your social media traffic to your site. If you’d like to learn more about using Analytics to track and measure your social media traffic, you can check out this article, this article, and this article.

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