Tracking Traffic from Pinterest with Google Analytics

It’s not easy to ignore Pinterest’s rapid ascendancy in the social media world. To put Pinterests rise into perspective, the website was the fastest standalone site ever to reach 10 million monthly unique visitors in the United States. 2012 proved to be an exceptional year for Pinterest. In the US Pinterest saw a 15-fold increase from 9.2M in September 2011 to 139M a year later. Pinterest is now the third largest social networking site and the fourth largest traffic driver on the web (beating yahoo). The question for businesses interested in pinterest as a marketing tool is: How effective is pinterest in referring users to their sites? How engaged are the users? What kinds of conversion rates can be expected and achieved? Which types of content get pinned and repinned the most? In the interest of providing reassurance it may worthwhile to share just a couple more facts and figures. Pinterest users, as it turns out, happen to be some of the more affluent members of the social media community; nearly a third of Pinterest users have a household income of $100,000 or over. 50% of Pinterest users are parents and about 70 percent are female. This translates into visitors from Pinterest spending 70% more at ecommerce sites than visitors referred from other sites. But let’s cut to the chase – This is a guide to and summery of four tools within Google Analytics to help you measure and quantify Pinterest activity.

Referral Reports

Referral reports allow you to track the number of visits coming to your site from pinterest. To review this feature go to: Traffic Sources > Sources > Referrals Report. Once there, if you do not see in your top 10 referrals you can search “pinterest using the inline filter at the top of the table.

To make things easier, create an advanced segment to display only traffic from Pinterest. You can add a deeper level of analysis to your report by choosing a goal set and using the comparison view. If you have some goals set up, this report will reveal how visits from pinterest compare to the site average. For those of you with an ecommerce site (provided that you have ecommerce tracking enabled in Google Analytics), you can compare how likely pinterest visitors are to make a purchase and what their average order values are as compared to visitors from other sources of traffic. Click on the Ecommerce tab and select one of the ecommerce metrics (revenue, transactions, average value, ecommerce conversion rate or per visit value).

Custom Reports

Another way to focus your analysis differently is with custom reports. As the name suggests, custom reports simply allow you to isolate just the specific information that is interesting to you. For example, you can choose to show the pages on Pinterest that sent visits, the number of visitors coming from each page, whether or not they have been to your site before, the number of pages they looked at, the duration of their stay, whether or not they bounced, whether or not they completed a goal, and the average value of each visit (ecommerce revenue). Take it one step further and choose Landing Page as your secondary dimension. Now you know which pictures (i.e. products) on your site are so awesome that people willingly leave Pinterest to go to your site. Show this to your boss and collect your raise.

To take it further, choose landing page as your secondary dimension. This will allow you to see which pictures on your site are so captivating that users leave pinterest to visit your site.


Dashboards in Google Analytics provide high-level, end-to-end data of your site activities. Information is included in the dashboard in the form of widgets. When tracking Pinterest, be sure to regularly monitor certain key areas: daily visits from Pinterest, how many of those visits originate on mobile devices, average duration of a user’s visit, how many pages they view, most popular content, and whether pinners are meeting your goals.

Dashboards are a way of assessing whether your investments into pinterest are providing positive results. They can also shed light on which products are resonating with Pinterest users, which, if taken advantage of, will help you to produce more targeted pinterest content.

Multi-Channel Funnels

If you would like to accurately judge whether or not Pinterest visits convert there is one more thing you must consider. The Standard reports in Google Analytics use last click attribution, which means Pinterest only gets credit for the conversion if it happens to be the last source of the visit that converts. To clarify, if a user comes to your site through Pinterest, then revisits your site later through an organic search and makes a purchase, that purchase gets credited to the organic search.

To better assess how many conversions can be attributed to Pinterest review Multi-Channel reports in Google Analytics. Take a look at the Assisted Conversions report. Select Source/Medium as the primary dimension, and filter for Pinterest.

This function will reveal to you the number of times Pinterest assisted with a conversion (rather than being the last source before a conversion) as well as the number of times it was indeed the last source. This will make it clear to you whether Pinterest drives sales directly or is more effective as a driver of awareness for your brand.

Leverage Pinterest for your Marketing Campaigns with Wishpond’s Pinterest Contest app. Run a Pinterest contest to engage fans to submit and vote on Pinterest boards, on Facebook, Twitter, Websites, and Mobile Devices.

Written by Nick Steeves

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