Google is getting more social, and its web analytics tools are no exception; Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools have added new tools for tracking the impact of tweets, likes, +1s & more on your website’s traffic.
Google Webmaster Tools now has a “+1 Metrics” section, which provides reports on the impact of the +1 Button on search. The new analytics show how +1s affect your website’s clickthrough rate (CTR). It tracks the amount of +1s on a given page, the CTR with +1 annotations and the CTR without +1 annotations. The new tool also graphs out the amount of annotated impressions and annotated clicks your website receives over time.
Google has also added an Activity report and an Audience report to Webmaster Tools. The Activity report displays how many +1s your website’s pages have received. The Audience report displays geographic and demographic data about users that have +1′d your website’s content.
Even more useful is Google’s new Social Plugin Tracking tool for Google Analytics. The tool compares the impact of different types of social actions on your website. It not only tracks +1s, but it also tracks Twitter tweets, Facebook Likes, Facebook Sends and other social actions.
Social Plugin Tracking generates three reports: Social Engagement, Social Actions and Social Pages. Social Engagement tracks behavior changes (time on site, page views, bounce rate, etc.) for visits from social plugins. Social Actions tracks the number of social actions users take on your site, and Social Pages compares your pages on the number of social actions they are receiving.
These tools give website owners a great deal more insight into the impact of social on their websites. Tracking social just makes sense, especially as social sites drive more of the web’s traffic. We also suspect that Google also wants to encourage more sites to adopt the +1 Button. Raw data showing that +1s increase web traffic is the most convincing thing Google can provide.