Google has updated their analytics products for social measurement, content tracking, attribution and introduces new sharing tools.
This means that Google has placed increased relevance on your website’s social media footprint when rating your website. This is particularly important for companies that are looking to generate leads from their online marketing. These days lead generation is essential.
The consensus for 2012 is that website content is now more important than ever and with the rise of multiple social media channels that directly affect a website’s search engine results, it is important to combine your website and social media in your online marketing strategy.
How does this affect you?
Google has identified 4 areas that affect your social media impact:
1 ) Sources: Where did the person now viewing your website come from? Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google +1, etc. Sources can also tell you which social media channels are working for you and which are not. This information will indicate which social media channels still need more work.
2 ) Conversions: Google tracks the visitor’s viewing of your website and factors in the quality of your social media in directing the visitor to a defined outcome (conversion). How many people visited your website and left? Did any visitors come back and complete the defined action? (conversion – you have to set this up in Analytics). How many visited your website and completed the defined action first time? ( this shows strong social media role in converting). Google also measures your overall social media value in driving traffic to your website.
3 ) Pages: Your website pages are not just viewed by visitors but can also be shared to their contacts ( if you have social sharing configured on your website). Google tracks who shares what and how they shared it ( Blog, email, social media). This means that you have some decent content and this will help your search engine results.
4 ) Social Plug-ins: These are now common place on most websites and allow visitors to instantly share your content. Why is this important? It is a recommendation to the visitor’s contacts that they like your information and they feel that it will add value to others. In an often disconnected world this is almost as good as a face to face personal recommendation, it shows trust, builds confidence in you company, aids conversion and as such that is gold!
Source Google Analytics
Social is increasingly important as a marketing channel. But, how do you measure the impact and effectiveness of your social initiatives? Four elements define your social impact:
- Sources: As your content is shared and people come to your site, it’s important to understand how visitors from different social sources engage with your site.
- Conversions: Shared content URLs become the entry points into your site, driving traffic from social sources. Measuring the conversion and monetary value of this traffic will help you understand the impact of Social on your business.
- Pages: People increasingly engage with, share, and discuss content on social networks. It’s important to know which pages and content are being shared, where they’re being shared, and how.
- Social Plugins: Adding Social Plugin buttons to your site (for example, Google “+1” buttons) allows your users share content to social networks directly from your site. Your social plugin data shows you which content is being shared, and on which networks.
The Social reports allow you to analyze all of this information together and see the complete picture of how Social impacts your business.
The Overview report allows you to see at a glance how much conversion value is generated from social channels. The Social Value graph compares the number and monetary value of all goal completions versus those that resulted from social referrals.
A visit from a social referral may result a conversion immediately or it may assist in a conversion that occurs later on. Referrals that generate conversions immediately are labeled as Last Interaction Social Conversions in the graph. If a referral from a social source does not immediately generate a conversion, but the visitor returns later and converts, the referral is included in Assisted Social Conversions. Looking at both assisted and last interaction conversions is essential to understanding the role that Social plays in business outcomes.
Navigate to Sources to see engagement metrics (Pageviews, Avg. Visit Duration, Pages/Visit) for traffic from each social network. This allows you to see which social networks referred the highest quality traffic. For example, you may wish to increase your investment in the social networks that referred fewer visits but higher quality traffic.
The Sources report is enhanced with off-site data for social data hub partner networks. Click on a partner network to see the URLs that were shared on that site, how they were shared (for example, via a “+1” or “reshare” action), and the conversations that took place about your content (Activity Stream). Read About Activity Stream Data to learn how this data is collected.
Navigate to Pages to see engagement metrics (Pageviews, Avg. Visit Duration, Pages/Visit) for each URL. Sort by Social Activities in the table to identify your most viral content.
Click a URL in the table to see the originating social networks for that URL. For social data hub partner networks, you can also see offsite sharing for the URL: how the URL was shared (for example, via a “+1” or “reshare” action), the networks on which it was shared, and the conversations that took place (Activity Stream). Read About Activity Stream Data to learn how this data is collected.
The Conversions report allows you to quantify the value of Social. It shows the total number of conversion and the monetary value of conversions that occurred as a result of referrals from each network. Click Assisted vs Last Interaction Analysis (just below the Explorer tab at the top of the report) to see how each network contributed to conversions and revenue via assists and last clicks.
- Assisted Conversions and Assisted Conversion Value:
This is the number (and monetary value) of sales and conversions the social network assisted. An assist occurs when someone visits your site, leaves without converting, but returns later to convert during a subsequent visit. The higher these numbers, the more important the assist role of the social network.
- Last Interaction Conversions and Last Interaction Conversion Value:
This is the number (and monetary value) of last click sales and conversions. When someone visits your site and converts, the visit is considered a last click. The higher these numbers, the more important the social network’s role in driving completion of sales and conversions.
- Assisted/Last Interaction Conversions:
This ratio summarizes the social network’s overall role. A value close to 0 indicates that the social network functioned primarily in a last click capacity. A value close to 1 indicates that the social network functioned equally in an assist and a last click capacity. The more this value exceeds 1, the more the social network functioned in an assist capacity.
Note that you must define goals and goal values in order to see data in this report.
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. For example, if you publish articles on your site, you’ll want to know which articles are most commonly “liked” or shared, and from which social networks they’re being shared (for example, Google+ or Facebook). You can use this information to create more of the 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 Plug-in reports show which articles on your site are most commonly shared and which social buttons are being clicked to share them (for example, Google “+1” or Facebook “Like”).
Social Visitors Flow
Social Visitors Flow shows the initial paths that visitors from social networks took through your site. For example, if you run campaigns that promote specific products, you can see whether visitors from each social network entered your site through these product pages and whether they continued on to other parts of the site or whether they exited. Hover over a source (Google+, for example) on the chart and select View only this segment to focus on traffic from that source.