While social networks have grown incredibly for the last 3-4 years and consequently began driving meaningful amount of referral traffic to websites, tools for analyzing and measuring effectively those social media visitors still remained behind.
Today, Google has announced that over the upcoming weeks it is adding to its site’s traffic analysis tool, Analytics, new set of social media reports which will assist website owners to track and to understand better their social networking activity and integration with their site.
After social networking sites became such a significant traffic source for many websites, for Google Analytics to launch a dedicated set of reports just for social media referrals, it was just a matter of time and some would even claim it has arrived late (me among them). So, what those reports includes?
Overview Of Social Networking Sites Traffic Performances and Stats
The overview report contains the familiar dashboard appearance that showing the number of visits (via social channels) with a break down to specific social networks and also reviewing visually the “Social Value” (money earned through social media traffic).
The “Social Value” segment may finally offer an answer for many marketers, merchants and any other online business owner- How social media traffic is converting. It appears as three different-sized circles combined (from bigger to smaller):
- Total conversions of the site.
- Assisted social conversions- Meaning visitor that didn’t immediately converts but returned later to convert.
- Last interaction social conversions- Visitor that immediately converts.
Basically aligning all the social networking sites traffic in one place. For social networks partnered in the social data hub (marked with an icon) the report can offer a much wider information and stats from the social network ITSELF (outside of the website) such as shares, comments, mentions and more, located under the “Activity Stream” tab.
The social data hub is an initiative by Google where social networks can integrate their activity stream. The current partners are: AllVoices, Badoo, Blogger, Delicious, Digg, Diigo, Disqus, Echo, Gigya, Google+, Google Groups, Hatena, Livefyre, Meetup, Read It Later, Reddit, Screen Rant, SodaHead, TypePad, VKontakte and yaplog.
Most of the big social names like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are still out which is pretty unfortunate because it can really offer great insights about how people are engaging with the site’s social contents. Hopefully more will join in the future!
Deep Conversion Report
Provide a much more thorough gaze about the conversion rate of social media referral traffic. The user can break it down to individual social network conversion (direct or assisted) and of course to the regular breakdown of Analytics (geographic location, browser, language, etc).
By the way, conversion is defined by the goals and their values by the user (the same way as it worked with goals before).
Social Plugins Report
Provide data about interactions with the site’s social plugins such as “+1″, “Like”, “Tweet” and all the follow buttons. This report was already existed until now in some extent, but now it seems to be more through and hopefully it will cover more plugins from other different social networks.
As I stated in the beginning, all those new social reports will become available to all users in the next few weeks!