Google Analytics and Social Media Analytics Assignment
Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.
Project #2: Web Traffic & Social Media Analytics
Comm 435: Communication Research
Due Date See syllabus
Turning In 1 Team member turns in the report to Sakai
Purpose: To teach common web traffic analytics and
social network analysis; experience creating such
Method: Digital analytics tools; social network analysis
Notes: Group Assignment; We will do data analysis in
class and jumpstart the writing of your methods and
results (see syllabus); There is a Group Report Card
after to evaluate your participation in the group.
Things You Will Learn:
• Intermediate research report writing
• Write a problem statement and research objective.
• How to use Google Analytics software.
• How to conduct social network analysis with Netlytic
• How and why organizations do sentiment analysis, and
• Writing Secondary Research and Methods sections
• Interpreting Data
- Title Page
- Problem Overview - Includes problem statement, campaign goals & objectives, research objective &
research questions/hypotheses. See the guidelines on p. 3 below.
- Methods - ~3/4 of a page (See “Social Media Analytics Methods” for requirements)
▪ Please see the “Info for your Methods” section at the bottom of this document. You
have 3 different data sources.)
o Measurements: To answer each RQ, what will/did you measure and what does that mean?
▪ For example, how is sentiment calculated? How is share of voice calculated?
o Method of Analysis: Provide an overview of what tools were used to perform the analysis.
- Results - length: as needed (see Handout)
o Organize by research question – the research questions are towards the bottom of this
o Use graphs and/or charts and/or tables generated from your research to visualize every main
finding. Provide a sentence or two describing the result underneath that visual if needed.
- Implications & Recommendations – We’re not going to do a discussion section. This will take its place.
o This is where you explain to your client your interpretation based on your analysis and what you
recommend they do to improve. Here’s how:
o Based on your results, what are 5 key takeaways or insights the client should know?
▪ Be specific, citing examples from your results to back up your statements.
▪ You’ll need to conduct independent research (such as course texts from this or past
classes, articles from this syllabus or the social media class, independent articles) to
support your reasoning to the below questions:
• Based on your findings, is the client meeting their web traffic objectives?
Provide evidence to support your reasoning. In so doing, be sure to address:
o What types of stories do you recommend producing more of, given
o What locations both domestically and abroad should the client
consider targeting with future paid promotional efforts?
o What social media platforms should the client spend more effort on to
drive traffic to their site? Why?
o What recommendations do you have for the client to improve their
site (e.g., among mobile users, international users, etc.)?
• What recommendations do you have to this organization to engage in the
o What conversation clusters should they be aware of?
Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.
o Who are the influencers you recommend engaging with?
o Which persons could help the organization bridge into different
• What other recommendations do you have?
- References – An alphabetic list of your references
We’ll use APA formatting in this class. Rely on the “APA Research Paper Template” on Sakai when writing your paper. You can
type directly into it.
When citing, rely on the APA Quick Guide template for in text citations and reference lists (also available via Sakai).
The Information Below is a Collection of Information That You When You Write the Above Sections. That is, it
fits into the appropriate sections above.
(note: there is a guide I will give in class to help you write methods, results, discussion. The below info will help
you answer questions, and thus write your paper)
Info for your Problem Overview
Problem or Opportunity: THE CLIENT moved to an all-digital presence several years ago. As a result, readership
took a hit. The organization is aware that their website traffic can be monitored and that this information could
help it create content that will help grow and maintain readership. THE CLIENT is also aware that social media
network analysis can help them better identify their audience and its needs. THE CLIENT wants to know how their
articles are performing, how people are finding its site, and information about its visitors. THE CLIENT wants to use
this information to drive traffic to its website and identify topics that its audience cares about. However, the
organization does not have the staff or funding to do so. It has thus turned to the Comm435 Agency for help.
Campaign Goals and Objectives: 1) To grow THE CLIENT’S online audience. T2) To better serve the information
needs of THE CLIENT’S audience.
Objectives for the first quarter of this year (January through March):
1. To have stories filed in the “REDACTED” category of THE CLIENT’S website be the majority of the 5 performing
articles on WEBSITE [desired outcome]
2. To have at least 15% of visitors to THE CLIENT’S website be return visitors. [desired outcome]
3. To have at least 15% of traffic to THE CLIENT’S website be from outside of the U.S. [desired outcome]
4. To have at least 20% of traffic to the website come from social media. [desired outcome]
5. To increase engagement with Twitter communities to build credibility of the client as a social media education
expert. [desired outcome]
Research Objective: The purpose of this study is to perform a website and social media analytics audit of INSERT
CLIENT NAME [subject of study] in INSERT TIME PERIOD using Google Analytics and social network analysis
software [method] to understand INSERT CLIENT NAME’S current web traffic and social media and provide insights
and recommendations for enhancing their website and social media presence [variable of interest: too many to list
here, you’ll see them below] to meet their campaign objectives.
Research Questions: (I provide them below, you’ll need to modify their text a little. I have organized them by
platform that we will use):
Google Analytics (We’ll go over in class. Here’s the lab guide: http://bit.ly/435_googleanalytics).
1. What has the overall web traffic been like since the start of January?
2. Are more U.S.-based English-speaking people coming to the website from a desktop, a tablet, or a mobile
3. How do the mobile and desktop sites compare in terms of bounce rate, pages / session, and average
Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.
4. For the top three cities the traffic is coming from, what are the total number of users, total number of
new users, number of sessions, bounce rate, and average session duration?
5. What countries does the client have a growing audience in and may want to consider advertising in
outside of the United States?
6. How is the client performing in terms of driving returning visitors to its website?
7. In order of most to least, how are the different channels performing in terms of driving users to the
8. Which sources / mediums are producing the lowest bounce rate for our site?
9. What are the best performing and worst performing social networks in terms of website sessions?
10. What website page (URL from the website) received the highest number of sessions from what social
network with the highest average session duration?
11. What pages get the highest page views?
12. What search terms are driving the top 25% of traffic to the website?
Social Network Analysis Data: (We’ll go over in class. Here’s the lab guide: bit.ly/435_netlyticlab)
Depending on what your networks are, you’ll need to choose from the RQs below. Choose all that are appropriate.
Feel free to create your own. Discard the rest.
For networks that analyze hashtags or search terms:
1. What users are popular (i.e. have high in-degree) in this network and how often is each popular account
2. Which influencers are hub influencers?
3. Which influencers are bridge influencers?
4. What users mention others or RT others a lot in this network (i.e., have high out-degree)?
5. What unique clusters exist in this network?
For networks analyzing mentions of your client
1. What 3 Twitter accounts mention your client the most? How often does each mention your client (i.e., how
many out-degree from those accounts to your client)?
2. What clusters are talking about your client?
Info for your Methods
Data – where your data was obtained from:
Note, your data is not all necessarily from the same time period. So, it is important to note the dates the data is
from for each of the below.
• Google Analytics data is collected through Google Analytics on the client’s website. Be sure to report the date
• Social Network Analysis Data: The social network analysis Tweets will come from your choice of either Tweets
within a 5km radius of a location, or mentioning a hashtag, keyword, or Twitter account (You’ll set this up in
Netlytic.org when you create your account). The time period will depend on your parameters. Be sure to
Methods of analysis:
1. Client Social Media Profile & Engagement Analysis
a. We’ll use Pivot Tables to explore your client’s posts on social media and analyze their overall
engagement. For example, we’ll determine the top posts your client has made that have gotten
the most likes.
2. Analyzing Trends:
a. We’ll use Microsoft Social Listening Center to monitor and analyze the conversation surrounding
3. Social Network Analysis
a. We’ll use Netlytic.com to build social networks and analyze them.
Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.
Some Sources That May Help
Google Analytics Terminology Handout (on Sakai)
Details about Google Analytics Metrics - https://www.ocreativedesign.com/interpreting-google-analytics/
More details about interpreting Google Analytics - https://wpbuffs.com/how-to-read-google-analytics-reports/
Tips for analyzing Google Trends - https://www.optimizesmart.com/analyze-interpret-report-data-trends-google-
About Bounce Rates - https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009409?hl=en
Google Analytics Beginner’s Section - https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/