Over the past year and half Google has been working hard to add new features to their Google Analytics tool.  They recently made two more improvements that I think can have significant impact for nonprofit organizations looking to get more out of thier monitoring efforts.

Improved Social Analytics

Google Analytics Social ReportsGoogle Analytics allows you to see a variety of information related to how social spaces are impacting activity on your website. 

These include:

  • Sources: Where are they coming from
  • Conversions: Connecting visits from social sources to events such as donations
  • Pages: Which pages within your site are getting shared in social spaces
  • Social Plugins: Those handy little share buttons (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and Google +)

Understanding how all these elements are connected and overlap will start to build a solid foundation for how social network activity is providing real impact on your website.  It also becomes an invaluable way to measure if specific efforts and campaigns are having the impact you intended.

For example, imagine you had scheduled a post to go out on Facebok that shared a link to a page on your website where you were announcing the start of a new campaign.  You would want to know two things.

  • Did we get any traffic from that post
  • Did it have an impact on our average number of visits

Here is an example of what that might look like. We can see that it did indeed draw visits and helped drive the highest number of visits for the month.

Googel Analytics Social Visit Relationship

You can get into the nitty-gritty of social reports here.

Automated Reports

Technology truly becomes powerful once we find the ways it can make our work more meaningful, efficient and just plain easier to do.  I don't know how many times I have heard organizations say that they neglect monitoring their google analytics because they "forgot it's there".  Google Analytics now allows you to automate the emailing of reports.

Imagine how much more useful the system would be if you could get it to email you a specific report every Monday just before heading into the communications team meeting on Tuesday.  Especially if you had taken the time to set up a custom report that was giving you the specific information you need.

You can export and email reports in the following formats:

  • PDF
  • CSV
  • CSV for Excel
  • TSV

You can learn more about the possiblities for exporting and emailing reports here.

Have you used the Social Reports yet to evaluate impact for your organization? Any lessons you have learned or would share with others?

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