Do you know where all of your social traffic is coming from?
Want more detailed information on social media referral traffic?
The Google Analytics’ Social Network Referrals report gives you a top-level snapshot of social media referral traffic, but it may not show you everything.
In this article you’ll discover how to create custom URLs to find what is called dark social media traffic.
What Is Dark Social Media?
Dark social media traffic is referred to your site when you post a direct link to your content on a social media network and that link is clicked outside of the network.
For example, dark social media traffic happens when you post a link to Facebook and someone clicks on it from within a mobile dashboard app such as TweetDeck, or when someone copies that link and shares it via email or a text message.
Google Analytics can’t track traffic from these sources so it reports it as direct traffic. That makes it hard to know how many click-throughs can be attributed to content posts you make on social media networks.
Google’s custom URLs can help you shed some light on dark social media and begin tracking your content’s performance beyond likes, comments and shares.
#1: Add Web Tracking to Your Website
Hopefully your website is already set up with Google Analytics. If not, getting started is a very simple process.
Visit the Google Analytics website and follow the instructions to sign up for an account and add the property (website or blog) you want to monitor.
The default view of your analytics is unfiltered and shows all report data. If you already have a Google Analytics account for your website or blog, you may need to create an additional view for tracking the custom URLs covered in this article.
Google Analytics supports multiple view configurations; however, the configuration you choose affects what data is available in your reports. It’s very important that you understand how Google Analytics accounts, users and properties work when you create a view.
You also need to set up your web tracking code. Don’t let this process scare you.
Simply click on Admin and select your property from the Account column. Under the Property column, click on Tracking Info, and then Tracking Code.
On the next screen, copy the website tracking script so you or your web designer can paste it into the web pages you want to track.