The Ultimate Guide to Measuring Google Plus

Measuring Google Plus Analytics

Sometimes I feel like I am part of the silent minority when I say that I love Google+, but I can’t help it! As a regular user, I find that Google Plus is the most innovative social network in existence today and the experience just keeps on getting better. My favorite part of G+ is the transparency that you can gain into the activity surrounding your posts. This transparency combined with a host of tools provided by Google to analyze activity creates an opportunity to measure social network activity in a way that has never been available to website owners. But how do you get started and how does one keep up with all of the advances in Google+ measurement? This post is a great starting point, because it will introduce you to:

Choose Your Own Google+ Measurement Adventure

How would you like to learn about Measuring Google+? Do you learn from reading a guide at once or in smaller, more digestible chunks? Or would you prefer to learn through a slide deck or video?

Fortunately for you, this guide is available in several forms of multimedia. Read on to discover your options for learning how to measure Google+.

Measuring Google Plus Video

In August of this year, I presented on the topic of measuring Google+ at an event held by MnSearch. This quick hitting presentation tried to summarize 4,500+ words into a 20 minute presentation. Not an easy task.

Measuring Google Plus Powerpoint Presentation

If you don’t like to watch videos or prefer to glean insights from my slide deck, I have embedded my slides below as well. This is about as concise as I can be on the topic.

Measuring Google Plus Guide – FREE PDF Download

If you prefer to download the entire study at once, I highly recommend that you click on the image below and save the PDF to your desktop, Kindle, etc. for future reading. This 26 page document walks you through the entire methodology for measuring Google+, shares Metrics, KPI’s and more in a concise and easy to read format.

Ultimate Google Plus Guide Cover

Measuring Google Plus Website

If you prefer to read over the web, you will find that all of the content mentioned above is available in three easily digestible pages on Jeffalytics. Each page covers a section of the report and showcases metrics and KPI’s for the topics discussed. The sections include:

Measuring Activity Within Google Plus

This section covers measuring activity that happens on your Google Plus page or profile. Including:

1) Who has You in Google Plus Circles?

Metrics Available

  • Total Circle Followers
  • PageRank of your Google+ Page

KPI

  • Total Circles > 1,000: When I was first getting started with Google Plus, I set a goal to be followed by 1,000 people. Now that I have hit that goal and crossed the 2,000 circles mark, my goal is to reach 5,000 circles.
2) Engagement with Your Google Plus Posts

Metrics Available

  • Total +1′s
  • Total Shares
  • Total Comments
  • Total Engagement (combining +1′s, Shares and Comments)

KPI

  • Total Engagement of 5 Actions Per Post: A good KPI for starters is to average 5 or 10 total engagements per post. Some posts will receive no engagement, while others may receive 100+ engagement actions, so looking at the average will help keep you sane when your posts don’t work as well as you had hoped.
3) Finding Ripples in Google Plus

Metrics Available

  • Total public shares

KPI

  • Generate a Ripple: If you are just starting out with Google+, a good sign of success is that you create a post that actually generates a ripple. As you grow more comfortable in what generates public shares, start to focus on creating content that will generate the most public interest.

Measuring Activity Surrounding Your Website in Google Plus

This section discusses the best way to measure activity associated with your website that may not show up directly in your web analytics package.

4) Total Plus +1′s for a Blog Post

Metrics Available

  • Count of +1′s for a page

KPI

  • Total +1′s > 10: If you automatically post your blog updates to Google+, you should have at least a few +1′s for your site as soon as it is published, so we need to set the bar a little higher. I recommend targeting 10 +1′s for your posts as an indicator that you are on the right track.
5) Followers of Your Google+ Business Page

Metrics Available

  • Total Followers for Google+ Page

KPI

  • Total Followers > 1,000: Having over 1,000 followers to your business page provides credibility, increases your audience reach and may position you as a suggested user in the future.
6) Google Author Stats

Metrics Available

  • Total Search Impressions
  • Total Search Clicks
  • Individual Post Click Through Rate
  • Individual Post Average Position

KPI

  • Search Clicks > 500 in 30 days: While impressions are nice, it’s clicks to our website that we seek, so I recommend setting a goal for driving over 500 visitors to your collective websites from articles that you write. While this may seem like a daunting number to new authors, one or two well positioned articles can help you reach your goal fairly easily.
7) Social Data Hub Activity

Metrics Available

  • Total Conversations
  • Total Events

KPI

  • Start 10 Conversations a Month: If you are engaging with Google Plus and writing compelling content, make it a point to try and start 10 conversations about your content each month.

Measuring Activity On Your Website Driven by Google Plus

Finally, this section discusses how you can track Google Plus activity driven to your website using Google Analytics.

8) Google Analytics Social Media Reports

Metrics Available

  • Top social networks driving traffic
  • Total interactions with your Social media sharing buttons/plugins
  • Conversions from Google+ Traffic

KPI

  • Achieve 100 visits a month from Google+: Set a goal for yourself to have Google+ drive 100 visits per month to your site. If you are active on the network, you can quickly see this grow to thousands of visits a month.
9) Traffic Sources Report in Google Analytics

Metrics Available

  • Visits from Google+
  • Visit Duration and Pages Per Visit
  • Bounce Rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Revenue (for e-commerce sites)

KPI

  • Increase conversion rate from Google+ by 10%: Whatever your conversation rate may be from Google Plus traffic, it is important to understand why you achieve those numbers and how you can work to improve them. Setting a goal to make improvements is the first step in making Google+ behave as well (or better) than other networks.
10) Google+ Powered Blog Comments

Metrics Available

  • Average comments per post before G+ Comments
  • Average comments per post after G+ Comments
  • Average total engagements on posts after G+ Comments

KPI

  • 2X Interactions After G+ Comments: Set a goal for yourself to have twice as many interactions between your website content and Google+ after implementing Google Plus comments. While this may not be the case on every post, successful content should receive more engagement overall.

Why Download This Guide?

This guide was created because I have yet to see a comprehensive listing of the measurement capabilities available in Google Plus – and there are so many reporting features, metrics and ultimately KPIs that a comprehensive guide is needed to consolidate our knowledge into one place. I want to thank +Mark Traphagen and +Avinash Kaushik for offering to contribute  their insights into this post as well. Be sure to pay attention to Mark and Avinash when it comes to Google+.

As you read this post, you may find that some of the concepts covered here have been around for as long as Google+ has been available, while others may be entirely new to you. My goal is to provide a comprehensive guide that will live on into the future and grow as Google+ adds more features and ways to measure performance. Please note that many of these metrics are equally valuable for both your individual Google+ account as well as your Google+ business page. For those features that are only available for individuals or businesses, I have distinguished below.

Want More?

If you read all of the resources above and still want more information on measuring Google+, I suggest you check out the wonderful Google+ Business Insights guide provided by Google. While not as in depth as this post, it gives a nice perspective on how you can measure Google Plus directly from the source.

Your Turn: Measure the Impact of Google Plus on Your Bottom Line

I have written over 4,000 words on measuring Google Plus, recorded a 20 minute video and created a slide deck about the topic. Now, it’s time for you to look at your metrics, establish KPIs and dominate your niche on Google Plus!

Have any measurements that you would like to see added to this list? Leave a comment and I will do my best to research add to a future version of this guide.

Related posts:

About Jeff Sauer

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of Minneapolis, MN in the USA.

  • Graeme Benge

    Terrific piece Jeff. Wish I could be more eloquent!

  • stephaniemanley

    Great post. Very concise with many key takeaway points. Love putting KPIs to out activities.

  • Thomas

    Thank you Jeff, Great Resource!

  • Chris Lau

    This was a good write-up. Thanks

  • http://rodolfogrimaldi.com/ Daniel Mihai Popescu

    Excellent guide, I’m going to study a little the metrics.

    Are you suggesting “G+ Comments” plugin? Before reading the guide itself, I’ve seen your PowerPoint slides…

    • http://www.jeffalytics.com/ Jeffsauer

      I personally did not like g+ comments after installing, but it is something you might want to experiment with. Your mileage may vary.

      • jer kar

        G+ comments would direct commenters profile link towards their google + profile …

        Apart from this, what are the reasons why you don’twant to use it, https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JeffSauer ?

        • http://www.jeffalytics.com/ Jeffsauer

          I did not like them because I did not receive notice when a new comment was posted and I did not like the lack of editorial control over what was said. I prefer Disqus for ease of moderation and spam control capabilities.

          • jer kar

            oh I see.

            Well, as a google plus super enthousiast, I wish google plus comment would not have these lacks.

            I found it so classy to see my comments on for example martin shervington google plus post being integrated into his commenting space on his website : one single place to comment instead of 2, this merging effect was really cool (sounded to me)

            2013/11/12 Disqus

  • Tom

    NIce post.

  • Cody Moulton

    Hi Jeff,
    Great work on this! I have questions surrounding how a visitor becomes a referrer from Google+. I generally work with smaller local businesses and do not see a large number of referrals from G+. What path must a visitor take in order to receive a referral from G+? Does the visitor have to navigate to the Google+ Local page and then click on the website link? Does Google+ get the referral if a user searches “apartments portland or” and then clicks on the business name within the map pack. which goes directly to the website? I guess the question I am trying to answer is if having a Google+ Local page provides more value than the few referrals I am seeing from G+. I absolutely think it does, but am having a hard time proving it. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Cody Moulton

    • http://www.jeffalytics.com/ Jeffsauer

      Cody,

      I do not have a tremendous amount of experience with Google+ local, so I am not positive how it works. My guess is that it would be coded as Google/Organic search as opposed to a referral from Google Plus if it shows up on the google.com SERP.

      For traffic within Google Plus itself, the referral comes from plus.google.com – that’s how you know it’s G+ and not organic search.

      • Cody Moulton

        Jeff,
        I appreciate the response. Your answer did shed some light on the distinction between Google+ and Google+ Local for me. There is a very important added value of Google+ Local boosting organic results that I am on a mission to find out! Thanks for the help

  • http://www.seobooklab.com/ Ram Babu SEO

    Thanks Jeff, now i can track something more clear