Is your social media working? (The gold mine of information that’s hiding in your Google Analytics)

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Social media can be a super-important piece in your online marketing puzzle but do you know if all those strategies and tactics are actually helping you achieve your goals? Are you seeing results for the time and energy you are putting in?

Because your real focus on social media should be building relationships (not making a sale directly from a tweet or Facebook post), it can be hard to quantify the direct impact of social media on your bottom line.

There is, however, one key — quantifiable — business-building metric you can easily measure using Google Analytics: Email opt-ins.

You know building your email list is one of the most important priorities in your business and you’ve created an irresistible opt-in offer. Awesome. But how what percentage of people who visit your site actually give you their email address? (That’s your conversion rate.) How many of those conversions are coming from social media? And which social media channels are responsible for the highest number of opt-ins?

Don’t know? No worries. Google Analytics makes answering these important question super easy, you just need to set up a Tracking Goal. (No need to start sweating, I’m going to walk you through it step-by-step!)
 

CREATE A GOAL TO TRACK YOUR OPT-INS

Step 1: Login to your Google Analytics and click on the Admin tab in your dashboard
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Step 2: In the Admin tab, click on Goals
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Step 3: On the Goals screen, click the button to create a new Goal
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Step 4: In the Goal setup section, select Template > Acquisition and then click next
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Step 5: In the Goal description section, name your goal, select Type > Destination and then click next
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Step 6*: In the Goal details section, under Destination specify the page that shows when someone opt-ins to your list, verify you’ve set the Goal up correctly and then click Create Goal!
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*Important notes on this step:

I like to select ‘Begins with’ instead of ‘Equals to’ because sometimes your URL will have stuff on the end of it (like /thanks/ vs /thanks) this ensures the goal captures all the traffic to that page.

This is where you put the URL of the page that shows when someone successfully opt-ins on your website without the “www.yoursitename.com” part (For example on my site the full URL of my Thank You page is “http://jackiejohnstone.com/thanks” BUT I enter only “/thanks” in the Goal Destination field here.)

This Destination can be either the final ‘Thank You’ page (as in the above example) OR the “Please confirm your email address” page that shows immediately after someone enters their email if your email service requires a double opt-in.

When you press ‘Verify this Goal’, anything more than 0% means it’s good to go and you’ve set it up correctly!

And you are done! Your Google Analytics will now track opt-ins to your list and give you all kinds of great information about how your opt-in is performing and where your subscribers are coming from.

You’ll need to wait about a week or so before you’ll be able to see some data on your new Goal. And I’d suggest you wait at least a month to let your Analytics gather enough data before you use it as a basis for any decisions.
BONUS: if you have several different opt-ins with different ‘Thank You’ pages you should set up a goal for each one. This will let you see ALL your conversions and easily compare how they stack up.
 

ANALYZE YOUR OPT-IN DATA

Step 1: Take a look how your Goals are doing under Conversions > Goals > Overview in the left side panel of your Google Analytics Reporting dashboard
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Step 2: In the Goal > Overview view, check out the number of opt-ins (Goal Completions) and what percentage of people who visit your site are giving you their email address (Goal Conversion Rate). Then click ‘Source / Medium’ to dig into where these subscribers are coming from.
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(If you have several opt-ins setup as separate goals, this is also where you can see how they stack up against each other.)
 
Step 3: Analyze the sources of your new subscribers in the ‘Source / Medium’ view to see where people are actually coming from! (This is where the gold is!)
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This breakdown shows you, for the time period selected, where every one of your opt-ins have come from AND gives you percentages so you can easily see which referral sources are responsible for the biggest chunks of your opt-ins.

As you can see in the image above, Facebook referral traffic is actually coming from 3 different places (here’s an explanation of what all these different Facebook URLs mean ) but when we add them all up, Facebook traffic accounts for nearly 25% of all opt-ins! That makes Facebook the #1 driver of opt-ins for this site. Google search is a close second at 23%.

But wait, what about the “(direct) / (none)” opt-ins, you ask? (26%) These people have come from a variety of sources Google can’t reliably identify which, it’s worth noting, includes ALL Instagram traffic from the mobile app (unless you’ve put a work-around in place). However, it’s pretty safe to assume it’s not all coming from one place so Facebook is actually the #1 source of new subscribers for this site.

As far as social media traffic goes, Twitter is coming in a distant second with just over 3% of new subscribers for the last month for this site.

This business owner should therefore be spending the majority of their social media time & energy on Facebook because that’s working best for them.

Easy peasy, right?
 

TAKE ACTION NOW

Because this Analytics data is not retroactive, until you’ve set this Goal up, you are literally throwing away valuable information on your opt-ins. So get this goal setup ASAP! Bookmark this post and schedule some time in your calendar to follow the steps.

Having trouble? Feel free to reach out to me via the Coaching Blueprint Facebook Page and I’d be happy to give you a hand.
 
Jackie Johnstone is a social media consultant for passionate entrepreneurs with an important message to share. She’s on a mission to help you banish tech headaches, reach more people, make real connections and change more lives.

Get your social media brimming with brilliant posts your audience will love! Grab Jackie’s free training here and get everything you need to start using the 4 Pillars of Great Social Media Content in your business.

You can find Jackie all over the social web but she’d love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!