[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtgIalDV-pE[/youtube]Hopefully by now, you’ve figured out that you need to have an analytics program like Google Analytics installed on your website and blog to track the traffic coming into your site from:

  • Direct traffic (people typing in your URL)
  • Referral traffic (links from other websites)
  • Search traffic (people searching on Google, Yahoo! and Bing)
  • Advertising traffic (pay per click campaigns)

Assuming that you’ve done so and are measuring your marketing efforts, you’ll soon discover that the links you’re putting out to social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook just don’t give you much data.

Google recently added social media settings in your Analytics settings (look under “Admin”), but that only tracks clicks that come back from YOUR social pages.

What happens if you tweet a great blog post, and someone else retweets it? How about if your article gets posted on Facebook, and shared by others? If you look in Google Analytics under “Referral Traffic”, all the clicks from Facebook will just show “Facebook”. Twitter data will typically be completely missing, because of those blasted link shorteners like bit.ly.

How do bit.ly, ow.ly, goo.gl, and many other link shorteners actually work? In essence, they’re just a fancy 301-redirect. So Google Analytics is going to treat clicks from link shorteners as a direct visit to your website. Link shorteners are great, but they don’t give us marketers any data about where people are coming into our website or more importantly, which specific social marketing campaigns are working for us!

Free SEO Webinar

On May 16 at 10:30 a.m. PST/1:30 p.m. EST, I will be demonstrating some tools you can use to track your social media traffic down to the nth degree.

In the webinar, we also provided you with a free tool that you can download and use for yourself or even your client’s benefit that will help you get under the hood with what’s going on in social media.

Watch the recording of the webinar here ยป