Social Media TrafficYou spend so much time on a variety of social media channels but which ones are driving the most traffic and what drives the most conversions?

It’s great to get traffic from social media but if it’s not converting are you just wasting your time on it?

Google Analytics is a very powerful tool to measure your performance.  This article outlines some ways of tracking the benefit you get from social media.

Setting up Goals

Goals within Google analytics are essential.

When you get visitors to your site you ideally want them to do something that helps move your business forward.  This could be to buy a product or service, sign up to your eMail newsletter or just be engaged and read a lot of your content. What is your goal when you get people to come to your site?

Without clearly defined goals it’s difficult to measure value.

One of our goals on the site is to get eMail subscribers.  So we have set up a goal for people to reach the thank you page.  When you subscribe via several of the options on the website you are brought to a thank you page after subscription.  The only way to access this page is through the subscription options.

We know if you arrived on that page that’s an extra subscriber for us.

To set up a goal go to the Admin section of Google Analytics (top right hand corner),  select your profile name (normally your website name) and then select the goals section.

Google Analytic Goal Configuration
Select the goals section to set up your goal

From within this section you enter in your goal name, define your type and give details.

In the example below the Goal type is ‘URL Destination’.  This means that when the visitor got as far as a particular web page(i.e. the thank you page) the goal has been achieved.

There is no monetary value assigned to the goal as we are only looking for email subscribers.  If you have a product or service you are selling you may assign a monetary value even if it’s a lead as opposed to an actual sale.

Google Analytic Goals
You can set up specific goals within Google Analytics and then track these goals.

With this goal we can now track our conversion rate.  How many people come to our website and out of them how many actually subscribe.

Tracking Conversion

Now you have the goal set up you want to start tracking where the conversion comes from and what percentage conversion you get.

If your conversion rate is low you can improve it by making relevant changes to your website or getting traffic from alternative sources.  Conversion would also be high from one particular source and not another (e.g. Facebook versus Twitter) so you can could spend more time on the source of the best conversion.

In Google analytics there is a ‘conversions’ section and this is where you can view the goals.

Google Analytic Goal Conversions
You can track details of the goal to see what level of conversions you get.

Here is an explanation of each section of the overview above:

Goal completions 275 – This is the total number of goals that were completed.  In this case we only have one goal set up so the total is for that specific goal. Over a specific period there were 275 goals completed.  In this case this means 275 people ended up on the thank you page so they subscribed.

Goal value – $0.00 – We did not assign a goal value to this so currently it appears as zero.

Goal Conversion rate – 2.51% – This is the total number of visitors that arrived on the site compared to the people that actually subscribed.  At the moment 2.51% of visitors subscribe.   By monitoring this figure we can start tracking what we can do to improve it.

Total Abandonment rate – 0.00%.  This is zero because there is only one step in the process which is the thank you page.  If you had a shopping process and there was more than 1 page in the process then you could set up your goal to track each page.  If somebody dropped out of the payment page before they got to the thank you page this would be considered an abandonment.

eMail Conversion (Goal 1 completions) – This displays the conversions for each goal, at the moment there is only one goal so that’s why it’s the same as Goal completions.

Where is your conversion coming from?

So now you know how much traffic is converting and you can set up your own goal for improving this.  But where are the conversions coming from?  Is it from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Direct Traffic, Advertising etc?

In Google analytics select the goal underneath the ‘all traffic’ section.

Google Analytics selecting your goal
Select your goal for the traffic to your site

This will display where your traffic comes from and what conversion you achieve.

In the list below direct means that your visitor went directly to your website and was not referred by another site. ‘’ is the web address shortener used by twitter so this is twitter traffic.

Google Analytics Goal Conversion By Source
In Google analytics you can monitor what traffic gets the highest conversion

We have highlighted ‘social media examiner’ in the list above.  This is a blog we write to that has a target audience that is very relevant to us.  Our highest conversion rate is 5.32% from this site.  Based on this result we will continue to guest blog on this site and may also expand our guest posting to similar sites.


It is essential that you track the business benefit of getting traffic to your site.  In particular it is useful to see what social media traffic arrives to your site and what conversion you get as a result of this.

By assigning a value to this traffic this will help you validate your time spent on social media.

What goals have you set up and how do you monitor the results?

photo credit: yewenyi via photopin cc

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