How to Track Instagram Traffic with Google Analytics

We all know Instagram is the perfect platform for reaching potential customers. But tracking its performance isn’t easy. Keep reading to find out how to track Instagram traffic using Google Analytics.

Instagram is the perfect tool for top of the funnel marketing. It’s a great way to reach current and potential customers, engage with them directly, and drive them to your website.

If you have over 10,000 followers, you can use links in your stories to push people to a particular page, while the link in your bio is generally static.

Ruler Analytics Instagram account

While there’s no doubt that Instagram is a beneficial tool to have in your marketing arsenal, proving that your Instagram traffic is affecting your overall performance is tricky.

 

Why doesn’t Instagram traffic show up in Google Analytics?

Instagram traffic doesn’t show up in Google Analytics because when you open a link from the mobile application, Instagram opens the link directly on your mobile browser. This results in the traffic being categorised up in the ‘direct’ category of your Google Analytics dashboard.

While you might see some traffic being attributed to your Instagram account, it won’t be accurate.

If you’ve grown your channel to over 10,000 followers, well done! This also means you’ve unlocked the ability to share links in your stories. Again, tracking your Instagram story traffic with stories is tricky as Instagram opens a browser directly in the platform.

So, how can you track Instagram traffic to better understand the platform’s impact on your bottom line?

 

How to use Google Analytics to Track Instagram Traffic

Thankfully, it is possible to connect your Instagram account to your Google Analytics so that traffic pools in correctly.

 

UTM Tracking

The most reliable way to track your Instagram traffic is to add UTM tags. This doesn’t just work for Instagram, it works for any external source that you use to drive visitors to your website.

UTM tagging allows you to set details against a URL, such as the source e.g. social, and the campaign. This allows you to segment your data in Google Analytics and view specific link clicks for one URL.

 

Read our complete guide to tracking link clicks for your website with Google Analytics to understand how to set up every URL.

 

With the UTM tagging, you can make sure that Google Analytics logs traffic exactly as you want it to and that it’s accurate 100% of the time.

Here’s a quick guide on how to set up a tracked link using Google’s URL builder.

First, head to Google’s URL builder.

From there, add your URL into the box called ‘Website URL’.

google url builder - add url

 

For campaign source, you’ll want to highlight the referrer. For example, is it coming from Facebook, Google, or another particular website?

Then, select your medium. This refers to how the user arrived at your link. For example, organic, social, paid etc.

Next, add in your campaign name. This will allow you to group web performance based on a particular campaign name.

google url builder campaign terms

 

You then have campaign terms and content to break down differences between your links further. For example, if you were using this link on a paid post, you might use terms and content to differentiate from an A/B test.

And there you have it, your complete unique URL.

google url builder - new url

 

Then, just copy and paste that into your post or bio, and you’ll be able to view it direct in Google Analytics.

 

Note: You might benefit from extra manipulation of your link, particularly if you’re using it in your bio. Bitly is a great option to shorten and customise your link while retaining the UTM tags.You can also use platforms like Later and Linktree to get creative with your bio link.

But wait, there’s more!

Now you’re tracking your links, but what next?

 

Marketing Attribution

Marketing attribution tools like Ruler Analytics allow you to connect your website, to your customer database, and to your marketing tools.

Let’s break it down.

You’re tracking your links now on Instagram, which is great.

But what if someone swipes up from your Instagram story, then calls your company and becomes a lead, or even a sale?

Track Instagram story example customer journey

 

While Instagram is generally thought to be a TOFU channel, it does support driving revenue.

If you’re not completely eCommerce, or tend to see long sales cycles, then tracking the revenue impact of your Instagram is going to be tricky.

This is where Ruler comes in.

 

track sales leads - closed loop framework - www.ruleranaytics.com

 

Once your tracking links are set up, Ruler can monitor each and every visitor to your website and collect data on their session data and referrals.

When that user becomes a lead, Ruler will pass all of the data held on that user over to your CRM, or whatever you’re using to monitor leads and customers.

Ruler will continue to work in the background, monitoring that user and their activity.

When that user then closes into a sale, Ruler will scrape the revenue data assigned to it and fire it back into your marketing dashboards.

That means, you’ll be able to look in Google Analytics and see a direct revenue number against your Instagram and Stories channels. And even better, you’ll be able to assign revenue by campaign too.

So for any campaign terms you use, you’ll be able to view revenue against them directly in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Revenue screenshot

 

What better way to highlight the impact of your Instagram?

And there you have it. How to track every URL used on your Instagram. Now, you’ll be able to track Instagram traffic directly in GA and understand how the platform is working to drive or influence sales.

Learn more about tracking offline conversions like phone calls, form submissions and more, with our FREE Offline Conversion Tracking eBook. Or, if you would like to see Ruler in practice, and find out how to take the guesswork out of your marketing reports, book a demo with us.

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Written by

Digital Marketing Manager at Ruler Analytics with experience in SEO, content marketing and social. After working both in-house for a travel firm and at an agency, I help people (who used to be me) attribute their revenue to their marketing efforts.