Tracking Social Interaction in Google Analytics

You have probably already bought into the idea that social media matters to your business. If you haven’t you may just be living under a rock. For those of you who aren’t still living in the stone age and would like to gain a better understanding of how social interaction is having an impact on your business and website, please be sure to check out Social Plugin Tracking in Google Analytics from the official Google Analytics blog.

They explain how to track social interactions and how if you add the Google +1 button to your site¬†and have the latest version of Google Analytics implemented, you will gain access to new Social reports from within the Visitors section of Analytics. ¬†Currently, the Social reports are broken into Engagement (what percent of your traffic is “socially” engaged), Action (e.g., have visitors clicked on your facebook “Like” button or the +1 button) and Pages (which pages did a visitor carry out a social interaction).

I believe these reports will give your business some new insights so if you haven’t already, make sure you have your site configured to capture all of these interactions.


Tracking Social Interaction in Google Analytics by

Dynamic, passionate Director of Paid Search and Analytics with over 10 years of experience in web metrics, analytics and web marketing. Proven leadership ability in driving actions and optimization based on insights from metrics. Excellent communication skills and experienced in both technical and non-technical projects.


  1. Dear,

    YES,these reports will give my business some new insights and I will have a try later.Thanks!

  2. Well, I’m now go into my routine rant about analytics which I wish they would fix before they extend.

    I like to look at the percent of my traffic that comes from natural search vs say direct. Natural search suggests that they use some keyphrase but then up on my site (bless them).

    But over half of the “natural seach” that Google reports is people entering some derivative of my domain name into the search bar as a lazy-mans way of getting to my site. So the data becomes meaningless until I manually massage it.

    While this is not so intellectually exciting as analytics for social media, I’d like Google to help me out here.

  3. Hi John – There are options for you to take out variations of your “branded” terms. You could set up an advanced segment that excludes the terms that you don’t want to see in the report.

    A better solution is to use the _addIgnoredOrganic() argument to your google tracking code. This will take out all the traffic that is generated by a search on the keywords that you define and Google Analytics will count that traffic as “direct”.

    You would add a new line for each keyword that you wanted to track as direct. For example, at Virante we might do something like the following:

    _gaq.push(['_addIgnoredOrganic', '']);
    _gaq.push(['_addIgnoredOrganic', '']);
    _gaq.push(['_addIgnoredOrganic', 'virante website']);

    Search visits with keywords matching “”, “” or “virante website” would be counted as direct traffic.

    You would add these new lines of code before this line: _gaq.push(["_trackPageview"]);

    Hope that helps!

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