How to Use Google Analytics to Track Your Pinterest Efforts

December 6, 2013

You’ve decided to include Pinterest in your social media marketing strategy to promote your blog. You’re intentionally creating content with eye-catching pinnable images. You’ve created an account and regularly spend time on Pinterest but what is all of this time and effort really doing for your blog?

How to Use Google Analytics to Track Your Pinterest EffortsOne way to measure the success of your Pinterest efforts is by using Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, you can measure:

  • The amount of traffic coming to your blog from Pinterest
  • Which of your blog posts are specifically receiving traffic from Pinterest
  • Which pins are bringing traffic to your blog

These metrics are important to monitor because the data can help you determine how well your Pinterest efforts are paying off in terms of visits to your blog, the number of page views and the amount of time visitors spend on your blog.

For some bloggers these words such as analytics and metrics are a source of confusion and overwhelm. If you haven’t yet started with analytics, Google has an Analytics help center to help you get started. You can also simplify Google Analytics by getting the Become A Blogger Dashboard.

How to measure traffic referrals from Pinterest

Within Google Analytics you can measure the amount of traffic coming to your blog from most social networks including Pinterest.

Step 1: In the top right corner, select the date range you want to measure.

Select date range in Google Analytics

Step 2:From the menu on the right hand side of the screen select acquisition, then click on social.

Find social referrals in Google Analytics

Step 3:Click network referrals.

A screen will appear that lists the social networks referring traffic to your blog.  They will be listed in descending order from the network that sends the most traffic to your site down to the network that sends the least.

Measure social network referrals with Google Analytics

The resulting list will let you know how your traffic referrals from Pinterest stack up against other social networks. If you find that you are putting effort into Pinterest and seeing positive results, keep up the good work. If not, you might need to reassess you Pinterest strategy.

How to measure visits from your blog’s URLs shared on Pinterest

Step 1: From the network referral results list click on Pinterest.

In the example given, Pinterest is the top social network traffic refer, for your blog it might be lower on the list.

How to measure visits from your blog’s URLs shared on Pinterest

Step 2: When Pinterest is selected from the list a window will appear that shows the URLs from your blog that were linked to from Pinterest.

At the top of the list you’ll find the URL of the blog post or page that was most visited from Pinterest for the time period selected.

URLs linked from Pinterest

Having this information can be very helpful in determining what type of content resonates best with Pinterest users. Use this information to help guide future blog post topics and the images used in them.

How to measure which Pinterest pins are bringing you traffic

Each individual pin on Pinterest gets assigned its own URL. Google Analytics tracks how many times your site is visited from each individual pin.

Step 1: From the menu on the right hand side of the screen select acquisition, then click on all referrals.

Measure which Pinterest pins are bringing you traffic

Step 2: A list of all of the places online that refer traffic to your blog will appear.

Find Pinterest on the list and click.

Measure traffic from Pinterest pins

Step 3: A list of links from Pinterest that have referred traffic to your blog will appear.

On this list you might possibly see the link that comes from your Pinterest profile. This shows the importance of including the link to your blog in your profile. It gives Pinterest users a one-click way to get to your blog.

Pinterest pin links in Google Analytics

Link to blog from Pinterest

There’s a small gray arrow next to each Pinterest pin. When clicked, it will open a new widow with that pin.

In this case, the top referring pin for this time period brought 163 visits to my blog. When I clicked on the gray arrow the pin below opened in a new window. I was surprised to see that is wasn’t a pin that was on my Pinterest board it was from another Pinterest account with over 1 million followers. It was repinned 43 times and liked 32 times.Track Pinterest pins in Google Analytics

I was sure to follow this pinner and repay the favor by following her and repinning from her Pinterest boards. Check the pins that are bringing traffic your way and you can find new accounts to follow that have already shown an interest in your content.

A word of caution, growth on Pinterest as with other social networks does take time. If you’ve only been active on Pinterest a short while you might not yet see Pinterest ranking high in your Google Analytics.

If you find that your efforts aren’t paying off after a significant amount of time you might need to reassess your Pinterest strategy. The amount of time varies depending on the amount of content you publish and your niche.

Google Analytics can provide you a wealth of knowledge about what is happening on your blog, taking a quick look to see if what you’re doing for Pinterest is really paying off and which pins are bringing visitors to your blog. You can use this information to learn more about the people who find your content interesting guide future blog posts or the kinds of images to use in your posts.

Do you use Google Analytics to track your blog’s metrics? How has Pinterest been working for you?

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  • HireAWiz says:

    Thank you for sharing
    this. I was unaware about how this works

  • Anil says:

    Nice Post..for social networking analytics..Thanks for Sharing This….:)

  • Cameron Smith says:

    Hi Cynthia,
    I absolutely loved this post – sometimes Google Analytics isn’t the easiest thing to navigate around. I thought it was fascinating how the top traffic source from your Pinterest wasn’t from your board – I guess it’s a good strategy to get noticed by the “power pinners”!

  • Akash Agarwal says:

    It’s a nice topic. I never try this things before. Hope it will be helpful to me. Thanks for sharing such nice idea

  • Felix Brown says:

    This information is just so helpful gives me a new insight on Pinterest and Social Media! Thank you so much I am going to read again.

  • The Writers Social says:

    Thank you so much for your article. We where so surprised to see the amount of traffic coming to our website via Pinterest, it was amazing. We also found that some of our boards had top page ranks on Google search. Once we found those pages it was easy to see that we where not driving the traffic to our website, even though lots of people where visiting the page, because we had the page set up incorrectly.

    Great insight and advice, this was a well written article that I shared with our readers on my website.

    Thank you again for your help.

  • Bonnie Gooch Kirk says:

    The pics are missing from this post. Are the steps detailed here still a valid way to use GA to track pinterest efforts? Thanks!

    • Hi Bonnie,

      Thank you for pointing that out. I’ve fixed it now so you should be able to see the images. And yes, it’s still a valid way to use GA to track pinterest efforts.

  • artemis says:

    Very helpful!! Cynthia & Leslie. thank you

  • Catherine says:

    How come that my pinterest traffic don’t show on my google analytics. I can see all other social media but not pinterest.

    I hope you can help my, Catherine

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