Analyzing Social Media Statistics to Understand Your Website Traffic

Whether you are using Woopra, Omniture, or Google Analytics, it is not just the data, but what you do with it that counts. Most successful businesses use a tool to track website traffic, numbers and types of visitors, number of pages viewed per visitor, and the various web traffic sources. Google Analytics is a free tool with innumerable plug-ins to help you accomplish this. It’s a good tool right out of the box, but it still hasn’t gotten quite up to speed with tracking the wealth of data that can be had on social media. As social media began to rise as the premier marketing tool, new plugins and hacks have been created to give you the best datasets available from social media sites and networks.

For example, there is the “Social Media Metrics Plugin” by GreaseMonkey. This extension was created for the purpose of adding a social media layer to the Google Analytics tool. It provides information and statistics on Diggs, delicious bookmarks, stumbles, etc. It isn’t perfect by any means but it is a good jumping off point.

A proactive web owner would set up specific web campaigns that target these social media tools using the custom campaign function within Google Analytics. There are methods such as Tiny URLs that allow you to track specific Twitter campaigns or even Diggs. Establishing email reports for specific social media information is another positive, proactive step. You’ll want the statistics from top social media websites like Digg, Facebook, Twitter, and even Tumblr. As more and more people are feeding their Twitter and Facebook pages with Tumblr blogs it is another means to consolidate campaign information.

Last but not least, you will want to do the actual analysis of what all the statistics you are receiving actually mean to you and your website. There is an art to web analytics. It takes years and dedication to truly understand all the subtleties and nuances to web trending. However, tools like Google Analytics do provide key and critical information to truly understanding how each and every variable affects your website traffic and how even the tiniest of changes can have an impact on “user engagement”. By seeing all of this data in one place, by looking at it graphically you can pick up trends and make tiny changes to your campaigns and website that will have an impact on site traffic, visits, and which products receive buzz.

Google has created a product for the geek in all of us. If you love and crave statistics, or even if you hate them but find them a necessary evil, then Google Analytics is the tool for you. Google Analytics gives you the ability to view all of your website’s statistics in pretty little graphs and charts. The good thing for you is that these graphs aren’t just pretty, they actually mean something. You can find out about your visits and page views (how many folks visited the website and how many pages within it they checked out while there), the source of the visit (what they clicked on to get to you), visits by “new” and “returning” (which visitors are repeat customers and which ones are brand new), and you can also see visits by “Geo Map” (what part of the world visitors come from). These basic stats are enough information to give you a basic understanding of what you need to enhance, change, or create on or for your website to increase visits and hold customer’s attentions while they are there. All of this is provided in the canned “Executive Overview”, however for the solid stat geek Google Analytics doesn’t stop there. If you can think of a report you’d like to have, they’ve probably thought of it, too.

Google Analytics provides a basica understanding of all of the the traffic to and within your website. Using Google Analytics provides you with the best insight into the mind of your customer by allowing you to see exactly what the visitors to your web site are looking at and doing.

One of the things that most site owners want to know is where folks are coming from and who is linking up to your site. The Marketing Summary tool within Google Analytics provides you with the top sites that link to you and it shows you what were the top five keywords that visitors used to find you. You will also want to know where visitors begin and end their visits to your website. The Content Summary tools provides an overview of which of your webpages are the most popular so that you know where to add a promotion, link, product image, etc.

Analytics can help you business by showing you what is important to your customers and what you need to target to bring visitors back to your website.