Chiropractic Instagram Referrals in Google Analytics
Instagram is a huge referrer for many websites out there, yet that metric doesn’t show up in Google Analytics even though other social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc.) do. The only sure way to measure Instagram traffice to your website was by using bit.ly short link and check analytics on their site for that particular link.
Have you ever noticed that when you click a link in an Instagram user’s profile, a popup window comes up that asks if you want to open the link in your browser?
When the link opens in your browser, it is tracked in Google as a direct referral (the same classification given to a visit that is from someone just typing your address in their browser or arriving from a bookmark…aka NOT HELPFUL, INSTAGRAM!!). Instagram wants to work as a self contained medium, keeping users within the app. This is why you can’t add a link to a status or tag and why everyone adds “(link in profile)” when promoting a site or blog post (no, that’s not because it’s a cool trend, it’s actually really tedious and not ideal for conversions).Or perhaps Facebook is trying to control how much money you are going to spend on advertising.
This is something that I’m sure the team at Google is working on fixing (they hear your complaints, they know that this is important…Google knows EVERYTHING), but in the meantime, here are a couple workarounds that will help you track your Instagram traffic.
Add an Instagram-Specific Landing Page
Big brands do this all the time for various paid campaigns to direct traffic from specific sources more accurately toward the area that will result in the highest conversion. In this case, you can use it as a way to specifically greet Instagram users AND track the specific page. Example: yourwebsite.com/instagram
If you do create an Instagram-specific landing page for your website, you’ll want to make sure you noindex the page so that search engines will not list it in search results (if people arrive at that page in any way other than via Instagram, there’s no point of the page). To do this, add the following code into the <head> tag of the single page or post you wish to noindex:
OR, if you’re using the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast (my favorite), simply scroll to the bottom of your post/page to the Yoast editor, click the “Advanced” tab, and select “Noindex” from the dropdown menu of the Meta Robots index menu.
*Note: This does not prevent people from arriving at the page if they have bookmarked it or if they know about it otherwise, it just prevents Google from listing it in search results.
The downside is that it forces your users to click through another page before they arrive at the content you want them to see, which might not seem like that big of a deal, but it can (and will) cause many users to give up and drop off before they arrive at the good stuff.
Don’t Do Anything Special, but Be Mindful of Your Other Analytics
Does all that sound like more trouble than it’s worth? Maybe it is, depending on your website, how much traffic you get, and how big of a deal Instagram is to your chiropractic marketing efforts.
If you don’t want to use either of the above methods to track Instagram referrals in Google Analytics, that’s okay. Like I said, I’m sure Google is on it and this will be a moot point soon. So, you can also use the guessing method to track your Instagram referral traffic.
Be mindful of how often your posting and how many people like/comment on your Instagram photos to guess how many people might be clicking through to your site.