Another reason to use AddThis and ShareThis
As you know, I mentioned recently I would write more on analytics. For the most part, I focus on Google Analytics because I know for many of you, it’s the easiest (ahem cheapest) way to get analytics. Nevertheless, Google is no slouch. They are really bringing the A game to table. Most importantly, they are making things easier for the average user and small business owner/webmaster. The newest development I have seen is the way the are making it changes without requiring massive code changes to get tracking data. In the past couple of weeks, we have seen them add numerous features to Google Analytics latest version, that improve the data availability, and require little if no coding changes. We can now add another one to the list. The latest announcement from Google this past week was finally making the “Social” tab in the new version of Google Analytics a little easier to use (you can see where you can find it in the image).
I’ll be honest, prior to this announcement, I was actually almost totally ignoring this data. I had no choice, though, as the only data coming in was for Google+. And while I love Google+, not many users seem to really use it (yet). Furthermore, to track a Tweet or a Like was an exercise in figuring out the code, that was not as simple as a couple of lines. Personally, I had better things then to figure it out, as social media data was a “nice to have”, but not a “must have”. I think like most people, the focus is on selling widgets, then trying to customize code. This does not change even if Google Analytics is free. Thankfully, though, Google Analytics has made an upgrade that makes the need for massive code customization a thing of the past if you use ShareThis (like we do–at the bottom of this post), AddThis or AddtoAny. All three services have made themselves work automatically, or with small tweaks with the Google Analytics Social tabs in the new Google Analytics (the image to the left can show you where you can find it). I’m not really here to tell you which service is the best, as I have used all three. Each has its on benefits and downsides, and I am using each of them in different projects. Rather I wanted to highlight this change and that this should give you another reason to use the new Google Analytics. If you have any of these three Social Sharing site/capabilities on your site, now is a perfect time to enable gathering data from them. It also now makes more sense to spend some time looking at this tab for insights as well. Furthermore, now that there is the Multi-Channel funnel reports in the Google Analytics, you can really get some depth quickly on how social activity is helping your business/traffic where it may have been invisible. I really hope the team at Google continues to integrate with third parties in this way.
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