Let’s leave the nice talk behind and cut straight to the aching point. Instagram is on everyone’s lips. There’s no doubt about its rising popularity. Brands and businesses are lining up to vamp up their profiles and implement creative campaigns on the platform. Anyone who’s anyone is on Instagram, as the platform is so popular that it is impossible to ignore. Sill, while everybody knows that Instagram is of the utmost importance, not many go through the trouble of proving it. How about you? Are you using Google Analytics for Instagram? Or are you basing all your efforts on intuition?

If so, the question becomes: is the Instagram funnel a hot air balloon or does it have real substance? Sure, you might have thousands or hundreds of thousands (millions? good for you) of followers. But is the traffic resulting from Instagram quality or just quantity? Unluckily, it’s not simple to find out. But it’s not impossible either! So let’s see how you can do it!

How Google Analytics and Instagram worked back in the day

Up until not long ago, traffic derived from Instagram didn’t show up in the social section of Google Analytics. Instead, it appeared all bundled up in the “direct traffic” category. How misleading was that? Very. The reason for this was not clear to anyone, but it was sure a nuisance for everyone.

So, back in the day, Instagramers used various tricks to get their content in the “social category”. And while many of those tactics are unnecessarily complicated today, there’s still one gimmick that can be useful from a certain point of view. We’re talking about using a link that’s not so scary to click. Yep, a short link.

When it comes to your Instagram bio, links are going to be changing often. Well, you should change them often to fit your current objectives. We’ve already talked about how to craft a converting Instagram bio, remember? Okay, that means that maybe, just maybe, from time to time, your links are going to be a bit long and scary. Without any reason. So, in those cases, we suggest you turn to an URL shortening service. Bitly is a very popular one, it’s free to get started and it’s also easy to integrate with other marketing tools. Another one is Clicky. And there are a dozen others which can do the job just fine. Most of these tools also have their own analytics, so that’s a plus.

Whether you opt for the easy option of straightening the link with just the click of a button…

…or you choose to create an account, things will be easy.

And you’ll be able to check out the data and statistics that come from that link by accessing Acquisition>Campaigns>All Campaigns.

How to use Google Analytics for Instagram today

If you’re not afraid of long links, there’s another way to go. The new way. The way.

Nowadays, tracking Instagram referral is as straightforward as it gets. You simply need to go to Acquisition>Social or Traffic Sources>Social. Here you’ll find a bunch of juicy statistics that will tell you whether or not Instagram is delivering the right traffic to your website.

The Overview dashboard in Acquisition>Social will let you in the exact number of traffic that comes from Instagram. What’s more, you measure the values of each interaction according to your goal. Be it conversions or e-commerce transactions. From here, you’ll also have the chance to recognize user traffic patterns on your website. That means that you’ll know how your followers behave when interacting with your product and have a clear view of when your funnel gets stuck.

Looking at the Instagram insights from Google Analytics will also have to be done in comparison with the other social networks you’re using. By checking out the data, you’ll have a better idea of how to split your efforts. You might have a faint idea of where most of your converted users come from, but are you certain? This is your way of finding out!

Make sure to also check the audience reports to determine behavior of followers in regard to your website. You’ll also want to know what exact pages your followers are opening and where they spend most of their time (and the least of time).

We recommend you take each section of Google Analytics one by one and extract the Instagram and social media statistics that can help you back up your campaigns or improve your efforts.

What learnings you can draw from Google Analytics

By carefully checking all the statistics and comparisons in the Google Analytics social category you’ll be able to draw some powerful conclusions. Such as:

  • Are your followers converting to customers? How many?
  • How frequently do followers come to your website?
  • What are your followers searching for on your website?
  • How valuable is each interaction that comes from Instagram?
  • How well is Instagram performing in comparison to other social media platforms you’re activating on?
  • What are your followers traffic patterns on your website?
  • How are your landing pages performing in connection to Instagram?

All the answers to all these questions will give you a clear picture about the real value of your marketing on Instagram. You’ll be able to see if your creative campaigns are as creative as you thought or tweak them if you find out they’re missing the mark.

Benefits of using Google Analytics for Instagram 

With more and more influencers popping up on a daily basis, you need to ensure that your brand stands out by focusing on creating an authentic Instagram profile. Google Analytics can help you improve your Instagram strategy by letting you see how much traffic your site gets from the social platform. 

Gives you a competitive edge

Google Analytics allows you to access helpful metrics so that you can understand your followers better. You can see how many of your followers click through to your website and how many convert to being customers from there.  From these types of metrics, you can then analyze how well your landing pages perform and change them up to find what works best. This will give you a competitive edge as you will be able to identify issues within your funnel and fix them more efficiently! 

Saves time

Perhaps most importantly of all, using analytics will save you time and resources. You’ll quickly and easily be able to tell what campaigns your users respond to and which ones don’t perform as well by seeing how much traffic they drive to your site. You can then focus your time and resources on creating campaigns that are more likely to drive traffic and result in higher conversions based on past campaign performance.

Visualize the data

One of the best things about Google Analytics is that it gives you a visual representation of your data. After all, data is useless if you can’t understand it! With lists, charts, graphs, and more, you can easily gain an understanding of how your Instagram profile is performing in comparison to your other social channels. This allows you to see where you need to focus your efforts a little more (or a little less).

Save time with Google Analytics for Instagram

Improving your performance using Google Analytics

While there are many ways to improve your Instagram marketing techniques, using Google Analytics to analyze your traffic and conversions can be very helpful as well.

Analytics are guaranteed to give you important intel about your audience and how they move from your Instagram page to your website where they can become your customers. 

Understand trends and behaviors 

Using Google Analytics for Instagram allows you to take note of your users’ trends and behaviors. You can see how many of your followers actually went from your story or post to click the link in your bio. Understanding how your followers click through to your website enables you to identify trends and habits. This is so important as you’ll be able to see if your audience is engaging with your content and if your marketing strategies are working or not.

Don’t forget about Stories

If you have a business profile with over 10,000 followers, you have the nifty feature of adding trackable links to your Instagram stories! This is a super useful way to tell what types of posts drive the most traffic to your website by monitoring the volume of clicks on each link you post in a story. This will help you to tailor your stories to get the most out of Instagram!


A well-prepared social media manager is going to make the most out of every insight they can get their hands on. From Instagram Insights to more powerful analytics such as Ink361 and the almighty Google Analytics. These will help you better understand your users and if your campaigns are failing or succeeding. We’re eager to hear how you’ve experimented with Google Analytics for your Instagram efforts and what conclusions you ended up with. So, over and out and now to you!


Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

1 Comment

  1. Hey Ilona,

    Absolutely amazing read. Complete and very informative.

    Even if I use Google Analytics every day, I didn’t know how to use it for social media. Thank you very much for sharing this with us.