Step 1: Open Google Analytics. Go to https://analytics.google.com
Step 2: On the left-hand menu, choose Acquisition → All Traffic → Referrals. It looks like this:
Referrals are any websites that contain a link to your website
Step 3: Select a date range.
At the top right-hand corner of the page there is a date section box which looks like this:
Choose a short date range if you want to know what are your most effective Pinterest pins at the moment, or choose a long date range if you want to know what have been your most effective Pinterest pins over the long term. For your most effective Pinterest pins since the beginning of time, pick a date range that covers your oldest data all the way up to now.
Step 4: Type ‘pinterest’ into the search bar.
Looking for the search bar? This is what it looks like:
Don’t forget to press enter or click the search button. This will reduce the list of referring websites to only Pinterest websites. The result will look like this:
You can see that the majority of the successful pins are coming from the pinterest.com site in this case, but your result might be different.
In this case each of these numbers indicates the number of clicks to your website from the Pinterest website.
Step 5: Click on the pinterest link that you want to learn more about.
When you click on the pinterest link the Source column will change to Referral Path.
The referral path is the part of the URL in the browser after the www.pinterest.com host name. You will see a list of your 10 most popular pins now. At the bottom right hand corner there is a selection box that can allow you to see more than 10 results if you wish to see more.
Watch out for duplicates
Unfortunately, out of the box, the numbers of sessions against these pins are not 100% accurate. The reason being that sometimes when a Pinterest user views a pin the Pinterest website puts an / on the end of the link, and sometimes it doesn’t, so the traffic is split between the two different ways of seeing the pin.
See #1 in the picture below – these are actually the same pin but Google Analytics sees it as two different referral paths because one has a / on the end and one does not. So just keep this in mind and look out for duplicates.
It is possible to fix this issue with a custom filter. It is out of scope for this tutorial, but you can contact me if you would like to implement a custom filter to fix this.
If you’re wondering about the row labelled 2 above…
You might have also observed the row that just has / in it, and no pin. This is the number of clicks through to your website that came from the Pinterest homepage, not through a specific pin.
Step 6: Click on the icon to the right of the pin you are interested in.
This is the icon I am referring to: When you click on this icon it will open a new browser window with the selected pin inside.
Something else you need to know…
If you click through to several of your pins, you might observe that some of them appear to be the same pin. This happens when other people repin your pin and so there is more than one pin with the same image, link to your website etc. Essentially you now know which person and Pinterest board brought the traffic to you – it might not have been your pin or your board. If you scroll down you will see the name of the person who pinned it and the name of the board they pinned it to.
So how can you use this information?
From each of these pins you can find out who pinned you and to which board and how much traffic that generated for your website.
If you are set up with Google Analytics goals (and you really should be, but if you are not, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you to set them up as goals are so incredibly important) then you will also know the conversion rate for each pin. This lets you know who your most important influencers are.
Your best influencers will be those whose pins give you a large amount of traffic and/or a higher than average conversion rate.If you see this in your data then you will know that you have found a Pinterest influencer who can really help your business.
Using your savvy networking skills you can befriend this person so they hopefully repin more of your Pinterest pins.
Determining your most popular content from Pinterest
What if you just really want to know which of your blog posts are getting the most traffic from Pinterest, and you don’t care about the specifics of which pin? Here’s what you can do to find out.
Step 1: Go back to Acquisition → All Traffic → Referrals and search for pinterest again.
You’ve seen this screen in the previous tutorial.
Step 2: Click the pull-down menu that says ‘Secondary dimension’.
Here’s what to look for:
Step 3: Type ‘landing page’ into the field at the top of this pulldown menu.
The number of options will shrink to just Behavior → Landing Page
Step 4: Click the Landing Page option for Secondary dimension.
You now have a list of all the actual pages that received traffic from Pinterest. This is made up of all the different pins that click through to the same link to your website.
Perhaps you have a few really popular blog posts whereas others are less popular? The landing pages with the biggest numbers may indicate that your post went viral on pinterest.
So how can you use this information?
Now that you know which landing pages were the most popular from Pinterest, you can presume that either the title or the feature image for those pages appealed to your Pinterest audience. Next time you post to Pinterest try to use a similar style.
If you are responsible for digital marketing you will need to know how to collect and read numbers. This will improve your results and help you to generate more revenue from your online presence.
If you would like even better digital marketing results then I guarantee that I can help you with that. Getting started is simple – just subscribe to my free web analytics training by filling out the form below.