Social media has become increasingly important to the world of SEO, especially to drive targeted traffic to your site. Google Analytics has reformulated two reports, Trackbacks and Data Hub Activity, to help analyzers digest the results from inbound links in real-time.

Though they existed previously, the updates make them much easier and more practical to use to track your brand across the social Web. Both reports are considered part of the Activity Stream, which previously could be found under the Landing Page report.

If you’ve ever wondered what people are saying about your brand on social media, here’s your opportunity. Google Analytics collects information from their Social Data Hub, which records how people are engaging with your website on social networks and social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Delicious and StumbleUpon. (Click here to see the full list of partnered sites).

It is then organized into a free, comprehensive report detailing what URL from your site was shared, on what platform they shared it, and what was said about it. Trackbacks, which was originally introduced in May 2012, is now in its own standalone report displaying a timeline showing the quantity of visits you received over time in response from inbound links.

In the past, you would have to track off-site activity about your company using individual social sites or Google Alerts, and even then you had to visit each page separately to collect data such as comments, shares and votes in regards to your link. Third-party tools helped bring the information together, but it was by no means comprehensive. While it is still not completely comprehensive, Data Hub Activity is a step in the right direction; it gathers all that information for you in a standalone report so you can get a big picture of how social media is influencing your bottom line. Most third-party data come at a price, while this report is wrapped right into your free Google Analytics account.

Looking for some ways to use the new and improved Trackbacks report? Here are a few ideas:

  • Determine which social sites give you more conversions;
  • Build relationships with bloggers for link building;
  • Monitor social media landscape for opportunities;
  • Provide customer services to negative commenters;
  • Develop reports over time to show progress.

One of the best benefits of the new Trackbacks report is discovering where your social traffic is originating. Once you pin-point those key influencers talking about your company, you can focus your resources toward them instead of spreading yourself thin trying to reach every person on every network.

To access the new Trackbacks report, log into your Google Analytics account and click Traffic Sources > Social > Trackbacks.

If you happen to own a social network or social bookmarking site, it’s easy to get stats from your service included on the Social Data Hub – see if you’re eligible here.


Adrienne Erin is a freelancer who does a little bit of everything, from writing articles on social analytics to how-to guides on using natural repellents around your home.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Google Analytics Expands Activity Stream

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Google Analytics Expands Activity Stream

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