Did You Know Google Analytics is Now Tracking Instagram Referrals - MintSwift

Did You Know? Google Analytics is Now Tracking Instagram Referrals

The other day, I saw something in my Google Analytics dashboard in the real-time mode – someone was visiting my blog post from Instagram.

Wait? What?! How is it possible?!

Turns out that Google Analytics is now tracking Instagram referrals! It’s a great news for those of you who use Instagram for business purposes and to share your latest blog post with your Instagram audience. Being able to track to track user conversions from Instagram to website or blog is important for any business owner or blogger.

Formerly, Instagram referrals, where count in Google Analytics as a direct referral, not as an Instagram referral, which was quite frustrating. Now all you need to do is go to Google Analytics website and you’ll see the Instagram referrals under traffic channels.

Previously, many bloggers used bit.ly links to track the Instagram Referrals. It was the most popular tracking method. Bit.ly allows you to track analytics for their shortened links and shows how many people click on the link in your profile, which will help you understand how many people are visiting your site from Instagram.

However, not everyone clicks on bit.ly links – some people might consider you as spammy because the link itself doesn’t really show where it’s going to take them. For example, original link for my free Pinterest course is http://mintswift.com/pinazing-results/ which is really informative (it contains the name of the course), but I also created bit.ly for Twitter purpose http://bit.ly/2b2gsxP and it doesn’t really tell you what website are you going to visit when you click it. You know what I’m saying? Link from my website looks more trustworthy and less spammy.

Another formerly used method of tracking Instagram referral is creating landing page on your website for Instagram. Basically, you’d have to create an unlinked page on your site name it “Instagram” and include things like your recent blog post, link to your portfolio, services or showcase your products, it really depends on you. That way, you’ll be able to see how many visitors are being referred by Instagram by viewing how many people land on that page in your analytics.

From now on, you don’t need to use any of the two methods presented above to track Instagram referrals. Isn’t that awesome?!


If you want to see if you have any Instagram referrals in your Google Analytics, here’s how to do it:

1. Log in to your Google Analytics account

2. Go to Reporting

3. Go to Acquisition (in the left sidebar)

4. Then click All Traffic

5. Then Channels

6. Click on Social

7. And now, you can see all the hits from Instagram and other social media channels to your blog or website

If you just find out about that Google Analytics is now tracking Instagram referrals, from this post, you’re probably excited as I’m. This feature allows you to see if you should focus on Instagram, so whether it’s one of your largest referrals or not. Thanks to Google Analytics, I discovered that for me Instagram isn’t converting to my website as much I wanted to, that’s why I focus more on things that matter more business wise.

Did you know that Google Analytics is now tracking Instagram referrals or you just find out? I’d love to hear that!

xo Adrianna

Sharing is caring:

You may also like:

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Azia

    Commenting because this was super helpful and I’m appreciative!

  2. Randy Chai

    Hey Adrianna, just like to enquire whats the diff with regards to the IG traffic between
    -> Acquisition -> Channel -> Social -> IG
    -> Acquisition -> Channel -> Referral -> IG

    1. Hey Randy!

      The referral traffic refers to links on someone else’s website (in this case, someone would have to place a link to your IG account) and the social traffic is when someone clicks to your site via IG. In general, I think the Instagram traffic is shown in the Social channel (at least in my analytics). I hope that helps 😉

  3. Miranda Hassen

    This is good to know, especially for someone like me who is still learning the ropes! (Google Analytics is not my strong suit.)

    1. Yes, it’s especially for bloggers who focus on getting traffic to their website from Instagram. Let me know if you have any questions regarding Google Analytics, I’d love to help you out 😉

  4. kristin mccarthy

    Add this to the ever growing list of things I don’t know about G.A.

    1. Google Analytics are essential and I highly recommend to put it on top of your list. I plan to write some posts about them in a future, so stay tuned Kristin 😉

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.