Jim Gianoglio is the manager of insight: social & mobile at Lunametrics, a Google Analytics certified partner that also specializes in social media, SEO, and PPC. You can follow him on Twitter @LunaMetrics or @jgianoglio.
It’s hard to ignore Pinterest‘s explosive growth over the past year. In a very short period of time, the social network has gone from relative obscurity to a top 100 site, with 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors.
But how many referrals does Pinterest generate? Are those visits valuable? Do they convert? Are they engaged? How many people use the “pin it” button on a site? Which pictures on a site are the most pinned and repinned?
Here are four ways to measure Pinterest using Google Analytics.1. Referral Reports
This is an easy way to track how many visits are coming to your site from Pinterest. Go to Traffic Sources > Sources > Referrals Report. From there, if you don’t see pinterest.com (or m.pinterest.com) in your top 10 referrals, search “pinterest” using the inline filter at the top of the table.
To make it easier, create an advanced segment that includes only traffic from Pinterest. I’ve already done that for you, just go grab the advanced segment here. From there, you can make your report more interesting by choosing a goal set and using the comparison view, as shown below.
As long as you have some goals set up in your analytics, this report will let you view how visits from Pinterest compare to the site average. For instance, is the goal completion rate for Pinterest visits higher or lower than the site average goal completion rate?
If you have an ecommerce site (and have ecommerce tracking enabled in Google Analytics), find out whether Pinterest visitors are more likely to purchase, and whether their average order values are higher or lower than other sources of traffic. To do this, just click on the Ecommerce tab (instead of the Goal Set tab) and select one of the ecommerce metrics (revenue, transactions, average value, ecommerce conversion rate or per visit value).2. Custom Reports
Another way to focus your analysis on Pinterest is to use custom reports. Custom reports let you mash up just the specific information you want to see. For example, this custom report will show the pages (i.e. pins) on Pinterest that sent visits, how many visitors came from each page, whether they’ve been to your site before, how many pages they looked at, how long they stayed, whether they bounced (saw one page and left), whether they completed a goal, and the average value of each visit (based on ecommerce revenue). Pin that!
Take it one step further and choose Landing Page as your secondary dimension. Now you know which pictures (i.e. products) on your site are so awesome that people willingly leave Pinterest to go to your site. Show this to your boss and collect your raise.
Dashboards in Google Analytics provide high-level, end-to-end views of your site activities. You can add all the information you need to see on a regular basis just by adding widgets to your dashboard.
When tracking Pinterest, monitor several key areas: daily visits from Pinterest, how many of those visits originate on mobile devices, how long users stay and how many pages they look at, your most popular content, and whether pinners are completing your goals and buying your products.
Dashboards help you keep close tabs on whether your efforts on Pinterest are paying off or falling flat. It can also help you determine which products resonate with the Pinterest demographic, so you can strategize future pin content. The dashboard below (which you can get a copy of here) displays all this info and more.
4. Multi-Channel Funnels
If you’re judging whether Pinterest visits convert (e.g., complete a goal, make a purchase), be careful. The standard reports in Google Analytics use last click attribution, meaning Pinterest will only get credit for the conversion if it is the last source of the visit that converts. In layman’s terms, if I first come to your site from Pinterest, then come back later through an organic search and make a purchase, that purchase gets credited to the organic search. Poor Pinterest gets left out in the cold.
But we can do better. To get a more complete picture of how many conversions can be fully (or partially) attributed to Pinterest, look at the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in Google Analtyics. First, take a look at the Assisted Conversions report. Select Source/Medium as the primary dimension, and filter for Pinterest (see image below).
This will tell you how many times Pinterest assisted with a conversion (it wasn’t the last source before a conversion), and how many times it was the last source before a conversion. It may be that Pinterest primarily drives awareness of your brand/product/site, but people come back later to convert.
Next, to see how Pinterest and other sources of traffic mingle before that final conversion, go to the Top Conversion Paths report (see above). Again, select Source/Medium Path as the primary dimension and filter for Pinterest. Now, you can see cases in which Pinterest drove traffic, users who returned sometime later and converted.
How are you measuring Pinterest? Share your strategies in the comments!
Last month, Pinterest overtook Twitter as a source of referral traffic to sites with the Shareaholic widget installed:
AddThis has also let readers peek into its site analytics, and, perhaps as a by-product of all this sharing, growth from Pinterest continues to skyrocket:
How long until Pinterest is up there with the likes of Twitter?