Here’s how to easily use your Google Analytics account to track and analyze the most important Pinterest traffic metrics, like pageviews and top pin images. Include Google Analytics in your Pinterest marketing strategy and learn how to find your business’s top pins, pages, and Tailwind Communities traffic!
Why you should use Google Analytics for Pinterest Marketing
As soon as you set up your Pinterest business account, you gain access to the Pinterest Analytics tool. This might sound like the perfect tool, on the surface, but taking a deep dive into it, you’ll find it can be being glitchy, and oftentimes, the numbers being reported are inaccurate.
So much in fact, that eventually you’ll need to seek out alternatives that provide a clearer, more reliable glimpse into your Pinterest marketing efforts and whether or not your chosen strategy is paying off for your business.
Enter, Google Analytics. The best platform for tracking important Pinterest metrics! Best of all, it’s totally FREE! ?
How to set up Google Analytics
As long as you have a Gmail email, you can easily set up your Google Analytics account. Follows the instructions below to get tracking and analyzing!
- Sign in to your Gmail account through Google Analytics.
- Create your account — you’ll be asked to provide account details, such as your account name. I use my business’s name for this.
- On the next screen, you’ll be asked whether you want to measure traffic for web, apps, or web & apps — select web only.
- Next, you’ll fill in your Property details — website name, URL, industry, and reporting time zone.
- After agreeing to Google Analytics’ terms, you’ll receive your Google Analytics tracking code. Copy the code and use it to finish installing Google Analytics on your website builder of choice. I use WordPress.org.
How to set up Google Analytics for WordPress
With your tracking code in hand, the simplest way to add it to your WordPress site is through the free MonsterInsights WordPress plugin.
After installing and activating the plugin, fill in the needed information on each screen before adding your Google Analytics tracking code. Here’s a great tutorial to link your WordPress and Google Analytics accounts together with MonsterInsights.
Success! You now have access to any and all traffic being driven to your website!
How to set up Google Analytics on other website builders
Not a WordPress user? No problem! Here’s how to set up Google Analytics on popular alternatives:
- How to set up Google Analytics on Squarespace
- How to set up Google Analytics on Wix
- How to set up Google Analytics on Ghost
How to set up Google Analytics for online sellers
If you’re an online seller, you can still take advantage of Google Analytics’ tracking and reporting tool by linking it to your online shop. Here’s how:
- How to set up Google Analytics for Etsy
- How to set up Google Analytics for Shopify
- How to set up Google Analytics for WooCommerce
The most important Pinterest metrics to track
Monthly views used to be a made-up number invented to make you feel like you’re a pinning master. However, recently, Pinterest made an update to its terminology to give a clearer idea of what this number means.
Monthly views are the total number of times all your website domain’s content has been on a Pinterest user’s screen in the last 30 days.
Having the monthly views number displayed on the front page of our Business hub gives the illusion that it’s key to our success on the platform. Unfortunately, we anxiously watch that number rise and fall and pin even harder to have it rise again.
It’s also the number that most people get up in arms about when they begin seeing a drop in Pinterest traffic.
If you want to go viral on Pinterest, you need to be tracking and analyzing only important Pinterest data in Google Analytics to see what’s working for you and what’s not.
What are the most important metrics to track? Let’s take a look, shall we?
Tracking year-over-year Pinterest growth is key ?
You can really psych yourself out when you’re constantly checking and rechecking how much Pinterest traffic your website is getting each day. It’s not worth the stress and anxiety that comes with obsessively tracking traffic. Period.
With that said, I prefer to measure my success (and the success of my clients) on Pinterest by analyzing year-over-year growth. Sure, I still check month-over-month Pinterest traffic, but I don’t lose my mind if traffic is down.
There could be any number of variables as to why month-over-month has dipped, maybe I’m not scheduling seasonal content appropriately or the seasons are transitioning. Pinterest has started giving video and story pins a boost in their algorithm and if you’re not pinning diverse content, that could also be why you’re seeing a dip in month-over-month traffic. It could be any number of factors!
When you’re seeing year-over-year Pinterest traffic growth, dips in month-over-month traffic are not cause for alarm.
How to track year-over-year Pinterest traffic
Now that you know year-over-year Pinterest traffic is key to your sanity. How exactly do you track it in Google Analytics?
From within your Google Analytics dashboard, navigate to Acquisition>Social>Network Referrals>Pinterest
Here you’ll be presented with the total number of sessions and page views you’ve received in the past 7 days, however, that’s not what we’re looking for. We want to know how Pinterest traffic from the last year compares to the previous year.
To do that, navigate to the far right corner of your Google Analytics dashboard and set the “date range” from January 1st of the current year to today’s date. Check the “compare to” box and use the drop-down menu to select, “previous year”.
Ta-da! You should now be looking at your year-over-year Pinterest traffic. Hopefully, you’re in the green! As you can see below, my client’s Pinterest traffic has grown 99.89% compared to last year! Wow!
How to track top pins
Another Pinterest metric that’s important to track and analyze is your top pins. Again, I prefer tracking year-over-year performance, but if you schedule seasonal content, it’s worth your time to pinpoint exactly when pins leading to a certain URL became popular last year to get an idea of when to pin new pins for that URL this year.
Tracking year-over-year or only current year top pins are an excellent way to decide which pin design templates worked for you and which didn’t. That way, when it comes to creating your next batch of eye-catching pins, you’ll have an idea of where you should focus your efforts.
To track your top pins for the year, simply navigate to Acquisition>All Traffic>Referrals>Pinterest.com
Here you’ll see all of your top-performing pins. To be clear, these are the top-performing individual pins, not an accumulation of traffic from the many Pinterest URLs leading to one of your website’s URLs.
Take the image below, for example. That Pinterest URL leads to one instance of that pin design (which leads to the URL designated for it). Other pin designs leading the same designated URL produce their own pageviews.
How to track Tailwind Communites content
If you’re using Tailwind to schedule your pins, (if not, I recommend you start!) then you’re also likely using their wonderful Tailwind Communities feature to increase the number of saves and click-throughs your pins are getting.
You can easily track clicks coming from your Tailwind Communities content by navigating to Acquistion>Campaigns>All Campaigns>tailwind_communities to stay up to date with how well pins added to your Communities are working for you. You can also track and analyze how much Pinterest traffic you’re getting from all of your Communities’ content.
Why you should use a Google Analytics dashboard for Pinterest
Now that I thoroughly explained how to use Google Analytics for Pinterest, I’m going to share a secret with you:
You don’t have to memorize how to navigate to where each and every important Pinterest traffic data lives on Google Analytics. Some smarty at Google came up with the idea to allow users to create custom Dashboards within the Google Analytics dashboard. ? Yup, it’s a thing, a very beautiful thing, indeed.
Wait, it gets better. Another smarty by the name of Kristie Hill offers a FREE Pinterest dashboard for you to add to your custom dashboards on Google Analytics. She even has a wonderful Pinterest Masterclass to get you started on learning how to use the dashboard like a pro. Score!
I love her Pinterest dashboard so much that I even included it in my 12 best Pinterest marketing tools for bloggers!
Rather have a Pinterest marketing strategist handle your account?
If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of managing your Pinterest account alone, it may be time to hire a Pinterest manager.
When you hand over your Pinterest account to a professional, you can rest assured that your account is taken care of by someone dedicated to growing your business and who’s passionate about your brand.
On the first of every month, a customized to your business, Google Analytics Pinterest monthly report will appear in your inbox, like magic!
Great blog! GA can be very daunting when starting out navigating it all. I am looking at potentially adding GA setup for my Pinterest clients as an add-on, as I can see this been a total gamechanger for them in the long run but also like you say, will have more accurate information that one can gather.
Do you mind me asking why you say to only select ‘web only’ when setting up the GA account? Would you not want to track traffic from social media platforms and other sources, especially if you aren’t just using Pinterest as part of your marketing plan?
Hi, Sam! Selecting ‘web only’ means tracking only the data coming to your website from outside sources. The other options are for anyone who owns a mobile app. Since mobile app data it’s not necessary for Pinterest marketing, I advised to only select ‘web only’.
You can track and analyze all your social media channels from within Google Analytics ‘web only’ following the instructions I listed in the post for tracking year-over-year traffic. You’ll notice, you can also track and analyze Facebook, Instagram, and more this way.
Thanks for your comment. I think I’ll clarify in the post my reasoning behind why you should select ‘web only’.