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If you’re anything like me you love Instagram (of course you do) but become frustrated when you aren’t able to see if all the effort you make in networking and growing your account actually results in referrals to your site. While creating connections on Instagram has a myriad of benefits, I’m a numbers girl and like seeing just how many referrals from Instagram I’m getting.
When looking at Google Analytics, your referrals from Instagram are shown as direct traffic. Annoying… And while there are ways to set up conversion trackers in Google Analytics these are time-consuming and tend to make me go a little cross-eyed.
You can also switch to a business account and see your analytics from Instagram there, however a lot of people are reporting a significant decrease in engagement since making the switch, so tracking on your personal profile is a must.
And I found an easy way.
Well, two ways actually.
Create an Instagram Specific Landing Page
This is the first and possibly most obvious option. You can create a landing page (or even just a standard page if you want) welcoming your visitors from Instagram and giving them a quick little tour of what you have on offer in your site.
This is a fantastic option if you want to target your referrals from Instagram and lead them to a certain area of your site. You then use this URL as your link within your bio.
However, it has limitations too. This option would mean that you would have to keep updating your page if you want it to have your latest information on it or creating new pages for promotions specifically for Instagram.
The next option is my favourite.
Use a Link Cloaking Tool
A what??? A link cloaking tool allows you to create a chosen URL for just about any URL destination. It is commonly used to make affiliate links look nicer and easier to remember… but, it works amazingly for tracking your referrals from Instagram too.
Here’s how it works.
I’ve created an awesome landing page for an upcoming webinar I’m running. While I can already track how much traffic comes from Facebook and Pinterest for this page, I want to know how many referrals from Instagram I’m getting too.
Using the plugin Pretty Link Lite (it’s free) I can create a slightly different URL for that landing page.
Here’s how that looks… be sure to always keep your option as a 307 (Temporary) redirect.
Also, when creating your Pretty Link, be sure to have the tracking option checked.
You then take your new Pretty Link and add it as the website option in your Instagram Profile.
Then you can promote your page on your Instagram feed and direct your followers to the link in your bio.
Back on your site, within the Pretty Link plugin home screen, you can see how many times that link has been clicked and how many unique clicks it has had.
You can create as many links as you’d like. You can track for a particular promotion, blog post or just even to your blog itself by using a URL such as www.yourblog.com/latest.
Tracking your referrals to Instagram is so easy with this method and it allows you to gain a better understanding of the big picture of your ROI for Instagram too.
I’d love to know how well Instagram works as a referral for your site so be sure to leave a comment or send me an email. It would be great to hear!