Analytics, Websites

How to Use Google Analytics

Google Analytics is Google’s robust system for analyzing the data connected to your website. It tracks website visitors, traffic sources, visitor behavior, and more. If your business is data-driven in any way (and we’ve never encountered a business that wasn’t), you need data on your website’s performance just as much as you need data on your social media performance, and Google Analytics is a great way to get it.

So let’s dive in.

How to set up Google Analytics

If you already have Google Analytics set up for your website, feel free to skip to the next section. If not, here’s how to set it up.

  1. Go to analytics.google.com and log in with a Google account.
  2. In the bottom left corner of the dashboard screen, click “Admin.”
  3. Click the blue “Create Account” button towards the left side of the screen.
  4. Fill in the required information, then click “Get Tracking ID.”
  5. Accept the terms and conditions.
  6. You will be taken to a screen with some HTML code. This code needs to be inserted into the header of your website. If you have a WordPress site, there are many good plugins that will insert the code for you. If not, send the code to your webmaster.

Once you have that code in your website’s header, you’re good to go! It may take some time for data to start showing up in the Google Analytics dashboard, but once it does, you’ll have all that data sitting in your Google Analytics account ready for analysis.

How to use Google Analytics

Once you have Google Analytics set up, the next step is being able to find and use the data. Accessing the data is easy – just go to analytics.google.com and log in with the Google account you used to set up. That will take you to the Google Analytics dashboard.

Screenshot of the Google Analytics dashboard

The dashboard has lots of data for the past seven days. The first chart compares traffic over the past seven days to the seven days before that. Other charts break down where your traffic came from (organic search, direct, etc.), how many active users your site has had, your user retention (Yoast has an excellent article about that report), visiting times, user locations, devices your site was viewed on, and most popular pages. Most of these charts have a blue link underneath them to give you a detailed report.

Screenshot of a chart with a blue link at the bottom highlighted

There is also a lot more data in the menu on the left. Clicking on any of those options will expand a list of reports you can get about your website visitors, from audience demographics to conversion data. In fact, there’s so much data that one of the business decisions you’re going to have to make (unless you have an employee dedicated entirely to data analysis) is which metrics are important to you.

Some good options for data to track when you’re new to analytics data are traffic amount and sources, bounce rate, day of the week and time people visit, and conversions. Those will give you a basic picture of how your site is doing and give you an idea of where to focus your future efforts.

Screenshot of Twitter analytics' Tweet Activity screen, featuring charts and graphs about tweet activity
Analytics, Twitter

How to Find and Use Twitter Analytics

When it comes to social media, Twitter is a classic. One of the oldest social networks, this fast-paced microblogging site has 335 million monthly active users. Because Twitter moves so quickly, it can be hard to identify which tweets are doing well and how your account is doing overall. That’s where analytics comes in. So let’s take a look at Twitter’s analytics.

(Note: Since Ely Social doesn’t currently have a Twitter presence, the screenshots are from consultant Jalyn Ely’s personal Twitter account.)

How to Find Twitter Analytics

Twitter does offer both personal and business accounts, but you can access analytics for both types of accounts. Accessing Twitter’s analytics is easy – log into Twitter, click on your profile picture in the top right corner, then click “Analytics.”

Screenshot showing the menu that appears when you click your profile picture in Twitter on a desktop computer

If you haven’t accessed Twitter analytics on your account before, it will prompt you to click a button to activate analytics.

And there you are! You can access all of the analytics available to you in the analytics dashboard.

What’s in Twitter Analytics

The main screen is the Tweet Activity screen. You will see your tweet activity for the past 28 days (you can adjust the date range by selecting a time frame in the “Last 28 Days” dropdown menu). You will see a lot of data on your tweets.

Screenshot of Twitter analytics' Tweet Activity screen, featuring charts and graphs about tweet activity

At the top is an Impressions graph, which shows how many people have seen your tweets in the selected date range and a bar graph that shows how many impressions you got per day (blue bars) and how many tweets you tweeted on each day (gray bars).

Directly below that is all your tweets in that period, ordered by date (most recent on top). You can adjust this view by selecting Top Tweets (which will rank your tweets by how popular they are), Tweets and Replies (which will show both your tweets and tweets you made replying to other people, ordered by date), or Promoted (which will show you how well any tweets you paid to promote are doing).

The right column is line graphs with how well you did in different metrics (like engagement rate, likes, and retweets) per day as well as an average over the selected period.

At the top are a few more options.

Menu of Twitter Analytics, showing the different page options

The default view is Tweets. You can also select Audience to view insights about your Twitter followers (if you have enough followers), Events to see events that Twitter users are tweeting about, and under More, you can select Videos to view analytics about videos you’ve posted and Conversion Tracking to install a tag on your website to track who clicks to your website from Twitter.

How to Use Twitter Analytics

That was a lot! Twitter has really robust analytics for you to use. So how do you use Twitter analytics?

One of the easiest ways to use Twitter analytics is to explore your top tweets over the last few months. Which tweets got the best engagement? What seem to be the patterns or common themes? Or on the other hand, which tweets did really poorly? This will help inform what you should tweet about in the future to get a better response.

You can also look at your impressions graph to see what days your tweets do best. Maybe your tweets seem to get the most impressions on Tuesdays, in which case you should tweet extra on Tuesdays to maximize your reach.

Finally, if you have enough followers, you can look at the Audience tab to get data on them. Maybe you thought you were tweeting for middle-aged business professionals, but your audience turns out to be mostly Millennials. Knowing who your audience is can help inform what you tweet.

There are a lot of things you can do with Twitter analytics to fine-tune your tweeting strategy to get the best response. These ideas are only a few of the things you can do. Explore all the data available to you and see what you can learn!

Screenshot of the Instagram analytics screen
Analytics, Instagram

How to Find and Use Instagram Analytics

Instagram is a hugely popular social media network, especially with the Millennials and younger group. Instagram’s analytics aren’t hard to use, and they can help inform your posting strategy. So let’s take a look.

How to Find Instagram Analytics

Instagram analytics are actually really easy to find. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile. Once there, click the button at the top that looks like a series of four vertical lines.

Screenshot of an Instagram profile with the analytics button at the top highlighted in red

And there you are! All of Instagram’s analytics are right there.

You can also view analytics for an individual post by going to your profile, tapping the post, then tapping “View insights” beneath it.

What’s In Instagram Analytics

Instagram analytics has three tabs for you to look through.

Screenshot of the Instagram analytics screen

The first tab is the Activity tab. This tab shows you how many times your posts have been seen, how many unique people have seen your posts, how many people have interacted with your posts – basically all the standard analytics data you would expect to see.

The Content tab lets you see data about your individual posts, your Instagram Stories, and your paid promotions. This is where you can check how well your stories are doing and compare your posts for the past week to see which ones are doing best.

The Audience tab doesn’t have any information unless you have 100 or more followers, but once you have that many followers, it will give you a detailed breakdown of all the demographics of your followers, including age, location, and when they interact with your posts.

How to Use Instagram Analytics

Like all analytics, you can use Instagram analytics to see which of your posts are doing better than others and look for common themes so you can create better content in the future. These analytics are also good for monitoring how well your account is doing (and for reporting to your boss, if that’s part of your job). Looking at when your audience interacts with your posts can also help you determine the best days and times for you to post for maximum reach and engagement.

Analytics, Facebook

How to Find and Use Facebook Analytics

Despite its recent data scandal, Facebook is still a major social network (and one we recommend to everyone who’s just getting started with their social media presence). So it’s only fitting that the first network we dive into specifics of be Facebook.

How to Find Facebook Analytics

Finding Facebook page analytics is actually really easy. Log into Facebook and go to your page. Then click the “Insights” tab at the top.

Screenshot of Facebook page with the "Insights" tab highlighted in red

And there you are! You can now see all the numbers relating to your page and posts.

Using Facebook Analytics

Now that you have the numbers, what do you do with them?

The Page Summary

Screenshot of Facebook analytics

The Page Summary gives you an overview of what’s been happening on your page. The default view is for the previous 7 days, but you can change it by clicking the “Last 7 Days” dropdown and selecting a different range.

The summary shows nine different pieces of information about your page and the numbers associated with each. Each of the categories in the summary can be viewed in more detail using the tabs on the left side.

The most valuable thing you can do on this page, especially when you’re new and don’t have a lot of likes and engagement, is to look for spikes – spots where the numbers are higher than the surrounding days. For example, Ely Social’s page has spikes on May 11 and May 13. Once you’ve identified the spikes, you can scroll down and see what you posted on that day that got such a good reaction and brainstorm more similar things to post.

The Tabs

We’re going to look at a few of the tabs on the left and highlight where you can get some more valuable information. For a more in-depth look at the tabs, see this article from Hootsuite.

On the Posts tab, at the very top, you can see a breakdown of when the people who like your page are usually online. This can help you get an idea of the best times to post.

The Actions on Page tab will let you know how many people clicked on various things on your page, such as your website address or your call to action button. If your goal is to drive people to take action on your page, this tab will tell you how well you’re doing at it.

The Page Likes tab will give you data about how many likes you have, as well as where those likes happened, so you can see what posts or other activities are driving people to like your page.

Explore

There’s a lot you can do with Facebook analytics, and the easiest way to learn about it is to explore it yourself. Take half an hour, click through all the different tabs and options behind the Insights tab, and see what data there is for you to explore. Not all of it will be relevant or helpful for you if you’re new to Facebook, but there is still a lot of valuable information to be found.

Analytics

Why Should You Use Social Media Analytics?

Perhaps the better question is, what is the value of all those numbers?

The answer is that they can be very valuable, you just have to know what to do with them. And the good news is that you don’t have to be a numbers person to be able to use analytics. We’ll be talking more about specifically how to do these things in the next few weeks, but for now, here are just a few of the things analytics can tell you.

What your audience likes

This is pretty obvious – what your audience responds well to on social media is obviously something they like, which can help inform future social media strategies and even future business directions.

How to make posts that get responses

By looking at which posts did well and analyzing them, you can determine what your audience responds best to so you can make posts (and social ads) that get responses.

Where and who your audience is

A lot of analytics gives you demographic data like where your audience lives, their gender, their interests, and sometimes even things like their income and age range.

When to post

A little experimentation and a hard look at analytics can show you what days and times to post to reach as many people as possible.

ROI

This is probably the most important thing you can get from your analytics – the return on investment for your social media efforts. Even if you can’t directly correlate social media with sales, you can still use analytics to show things like how people think of your brand, your share of voice (how many people are talking about you compared to your competitors), and traffic to your website or sales page.