You may have used Instagram once in your lifetime, similar to 1 billion other users, and it is known to be one of the most popular image-sharing Social Media platforms available in the market. As Instagram has a wide array of audiences, it allows multiple Businesses to promote their products/services and use their resources efficiently. Businesses use this platform and try to develop followers resulting in awareness and hype about the product.

Businesses use Instagram to engage with their followers and gather clicks and visitors from the promoted posts, story links, profiles links, and many more. Integrating Google Analytics with Instagram Traffic is one of the best ways to gain insights and Analyze data in such a way so as to improve the overall performance of the website and generate valuable leads. Setting up Google Analytics with Instagram Integration correctly and efficiently will result in making strategic decisions and gaining valuable insights from your customers.

This article will give you a step-by-step guide in setting up Google Analytics with Instagram Integration. It also gives a brief introduction to Google Analytics and Instagram and explains their features. Furthermore, it will give an idea of steps to improve the insights for Instagram Traffic.


Before you Set Up Google Analytics with Instagram, you need to have the following:

  • Instagram Business Account.
  • Google Analytics Account.
  • Basic Understanding of an URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and UTM (Urchin Tracking Module).
  • Basic Understanding of Report Generation.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics Logo
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Google Analytics is a free tool from Google that Analyzes your website performance and Generates valuable results related to it. Google uses the data collected from websites in the form of cookies, browser code, and JavaScript codes to Analyze various parameters regarding their website. The tool looks for the Number of Visits, Dwell Time, Source of Traffic, Keywords used, and Mobile-friendly Nature to Analyze and produce insights on how well the page is performing in terms of Traffic.

Google Analytics uses JavaScript code present in the webpage to track users from the time they enter your website to the time they exit it. The data collected is represented in various formats such as Graphs, Pie Charts, and other Statistical representations to get an understanding of how well the website is performing in terms of acquiring customers.

 The 3 main steps that are performed by the tool are:

  •  Collection of Data
  •  Processing the collected data into an Understandable Format
  •  Generating the Reports

Key Features of Google Analytics

Google Analytics houses a wide range of features that make it a popular choice among other alternatives. Some of those features include:

  • Traffic Reporting: It reports the number of people visiting the website in a unit period of time.
  • Conversion Tracking: This metric measures the people converting from visitors to customers.
  • Keyword Referrals: This metric determines the keywords that are mostly used to search for a page and determines its SEO ranking.
  • Third-Party Referrals: It shows all the third-party websites that have sent the traffic to your website.
  • Dashboard Generations: Based on all the data collected reports are generated.

In the aspect of this article, the data generated from the Integration of Google Analytics with Instagram traffic helps in gaining valuable insights and influences the development and promotional cycle of a product. Google Analytics helps in calculating the ROI (return on investment) on the page or the product. These key insights provide the Business with a plethora of options to self-assess and give an idea of where to increase the investment to gain maximum profits.

To learn more about Google Analytics, click here.

What is Instagram?

Instagram Logo
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Instagram is known to be one of the most popular Social Media platforms ever to be made. It is a platform that allows users to share images and comment on their thoughts about an Image. It was acquired by Facebook in 2012. This platform allows users to upload, view, and edit photos and short videos that can be viewed by other users as well. The Instagram application allows users to add captions to their images and use hashtags and location-based geotags on the content they share.

Key Features of Instagram

Some of the most popular features of Instagram are as follows:

1) Direct Messaging

Allows users to chat with each other privately free of charge. Direct Messaging can be used to send a message to another Instagram user in text form or in the form of a picture or a video.

2) Video and Voice Calls

Allows users to video or voice call each other anytime free of cost.

3) Stories

Allows users to post casual moments from their daily lives that are deleted automatically after 24 hours.

4) Live Videos

Allows users to stream live videos to all their followers through their Stories. These Live Videos can also be joined by other people using Instagram after approval from the user that started the Live Video.

5) IGTV 

Instagram TV (IGTV) was first introduced as a separate application but was then integrated with the main Instagram application. IGTV allows users to share videos of duration up to an hour.

6) Instagram Business

Allows businesses to create their own professional business profile for Marketing purposes.

Introduction to Using Instagram for Business

This platform is not only used by individuals but also by businesses. Instagram offers free Business Accounts to companies to promote their products and gain followers. More than 1 million people use Instagram to advertise their products. Business Accounts provide metrics like Engagement and Impressions Calculations. The Engagement metric defines the relationship quotient by looking at how people are reacting to the posts, how many likes it gets, and how engaged they are regarding the product profile. The Impression metric defines how well the followers are growing and determines the impression the product has on potential followers.

Coming to the aspect of this blog, the traffic generates data that is Analyzed by Google Analytics with Instagram Integration. The reports are generated by Google Analytics for Instagram Traffic. The Instagram Traffic consists of the data related to the number of users visiting the website directed from Links on Instagram. Usually, Google Analytics considers Instagram Traffic as “Direct Traffic” or “Referral Traffic”.

To learn more about Instagram, click here.

Introduction to Direct Traffic

Direct Traffic Logo
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Direct Traffic is defined as the users who directly visit a website by accessing its URL. It is also generated from bookmarks. Usually, Direct Traffic is considered good for a website as it shows that the users themselves are visiting the website, instead of being influenced by any Advertisements or Posts.

The Direct Traffic can represent how popular the website is by representing how many people directly access it. For example, when we talk about Amazon or Flipkart, people directly use the URL and visit the pages, very few people use advertisements or marketing campaigns to redirect to the website.

When you see a post on Instagram and you click on a link to a website, it redirects you to the website. Integrating Google Analytics with Instagram classifies these users as Direct Traffic. Instagram doesn’t track the data of the users. Hence, this data cannot be utilized on Google Analytics, and it is finally classified as Direct Traffic. Due to this, there is large inflation in Direct Traffic, which can influence the results in a biased manner.

Google Analytics classifies the Social Media Traffic as Referral Traffic; hence it becomes difficult to put a finger on the proper Source that generates maximum Traffic.

Why should you track Instagram traffic? 

Instagram is one of the most popular and effective platforms for establishing a presence for your firm. With nearly a billion monthly users, it’s easy to discover your target demographic and build a community around your brand. It is widely regarded as the most popular platform for sharing videos and images, and as a business, tracking your key metrics is extremely crucial. This allows you to create optimized content strategies that you know will work best with your fan base.

For many businesses, using Instagram is important for brand awareness as well as increasing traffic to other important channels such as their website. Whether you are an eCommerce store looking to increase sales or a service provider hoping to increase contact tickets.

However, tracking the exact amount of traffic that Instagram or other social media outlets deliver to your website is difficult. Especially if you want to know exactly what aspects of your profile are working the strongest.

You’ll be able to track traffic from your Instagram profile using Google Analytics. The data can then be compared with other channels in one place, allowing you to focus your marketing budget on the right channels.

Why doesn’t Instagram traffic show up in Google Analytics?

Instagram traffic does not appear in Google Analytics because when you open a link from the mobile app, Instagram opens the link in your mobile browser. As a result, the link and all traffic are transmitted to your analytics profile’s ‘direct‘ category.

We’re not going to get into the reasoning. Rather, the solution is more important for progress. Whether you’re new to Google Analytics or a seasoned pro, you want to reduce the amount of ‘direct’ traffic you see in your analytics dashboard.

Methods for Integrating Google Analytics with Instagram

Now that you have a good idea about Google Analytics and Instagram, this section will give you a comprehensive guide to Set Up Google Analytics with Instagram Integration. Google Analytics has started tracking Instagram Traffic. In the earlier iterations of integrations for Google Analytics with Instagram, mobile Traffic from the app was not supported. 

Google Analytics with Instagram Integration now regards this as general Traffic but is still tricky to master as Instagram opens links in a browser and confuses the Google Analytics tracking metrics. To Integrate Google Analytics with Instagram Traffic, connecting the Google Account to the Analytics Pool is the foremost requirement. Using the UTM ( Urchin Tracking Module) tags for proper utilization of Analytics service is required.

Given below are the methods to Integrate Google Analytics with Instagram:

Method 1: Optimizing and Integrating Google Analytics with Instagram Traffic for Referrals

When you try to track the Instagram visitors and Traffic, Google Analytics tries to break down the Traffic into and where ‘L’ stands for Link Shim. Link Shim is a window that appears when a user clicks on a link, and they are redirected to an external link. The user needs to confirm the dialog box in order to visit the external website. The division of a single source into multiple links hinders the insights we need and increases confusion. By unifying all the links under a single source, valuable insights can be generated.

Instagram Traffic Types
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Below mentioned are the steps that are required to Integrate Google Analytics with Instagram using the Optimal Referral process:

Step 1: In the ADMIN section, select the view for which the filter is being applied and select the filter in the column as shown by the below image.

Add Filter Image
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Step 2: Click on the ADD FILTER and select a relevant name.

Step 3: Set the Filter Type to Custom and select the Search and Replace option.

Step 4: Set Filter Field to Campaign Source.

Step 5: Enter (.*.|^)?[I|i]nstagram($|.com) in the Search String field.

Step 6: In the Replace String field, enter Instagram.

Search and Replace Field
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Step 7: Click SAVE to apply filter.

Method 2: Using UTM Tags for Integrating Google Analytics with Instagram

UTM Tags are the most reliable method to track Instagram Traffic. This method is used to track many other similar platforms, which are classified as Direct Traffic. You can track the Traffic of your Instagram profiles on Google Analytics by choosing the type of UTM parameter Tags required, and perform an analysis on whichever type produces the best results.

Introduction to UTM Tags

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. It is a piece of code that is attached to the URL in order to track a source, medium, or campaign name. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where searchers came from as well as what campaign directed them to you.

There are 3 different types of links that can be tracked by using UTM Tags:

  1. Profile Link: This type of link is usually put on the  Instagram profile and may represent a website URL. The number of users accessing this website can be tracked using the Profile Link Tag.
  2. Post Link: If posts are a requirement to promote your product, Post Link UTM would see the number of visitors accessing the website through the link on the post and its description. The Post Link Tag allows finding the efficiency of a post in such a way that it helps in promoting the product.
  3. Campaign Link: Many Businesses use Instagram to develop hype about their products by setting up Campaigns. This method not only increases the awareness about the brand but also increases the awareness of the product. The extent of Brand-Awareness and popularity of the product can be measured by utilizing proper UTM Tags on the links of the website.

With the recent update, Google Analytics property 4, which was formerly known as “WEB + APP”, now provides universal Analytics. Google has tried to provide a few easier methods for Integrating Google Analytics with Instagram Traffic and acquire reports. Google Analytics with Instagram Integration portrays many important parameters such as the Number of people visiting the website, giving an idea on which source to capitalize on getting the most out of it.

Google Analytics Instagram reporting can be utilized by invoking the Google Analytics Social Media reports section and a multi-channel funnel that can be used to isolate Instagram as a source. To get even more accurate results, you can add UTM Tags,  use the Google URL builder tool to build links that can be put up on posts, stories, profile pages, advertisement images, and many more.

Given below are some of the UTM Tags that you can use on Instagram: 

  1. UTM Source:
  2. UTM Medium: “Social”, “Paid Social”, “Stories”, “Post”, “Highlights”.
  3. UTM Campaign: “ig-coupon-sale21” .
  4. UTM Content: Differentiate between posts or stories.

Steps for Utilizing Google Campaign Builder to Set Up UTM Tags

Google’s Campaign Builder is a tool that helps in creating URLs and adding UTM Tags to them. It contains various different parameters, as depicted by the image below.

Google Campaign Builder
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The image below represents a brief description of all the parameters present in the  Google URL Builder.

Google Campign Builder Parameters
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Step 1: Open Google’s Campaign URL Builder and add the parameters that are required/mentioned. After filling in the information, Google will self-generate the links that can be added to any part of the Instagram profile.

Step 2: The generated URL may be very long. This may often be classified as spam. The shorter URL makes the profile look professional and sophisticated. To do so, select the option of convert URL to short link option. Google will automatically create a simplified Account.

Step 3: Use attribution reports in Google Analytics to measure Instagram contribution. It is the easiest way to find the impact of Instagram on valuable Leads and Sales.

Step 4: Review last-click conversions and also assisted conversions. The conversions represent a condition where a visitor is referred from Instagram initially but generates a lead or a sale on a later visit referred from other media such as search. This can give Insights into a Capitalizable Source.


This article gave a step-by-step guide to help you Set Up Google Analytics with Instagram Integration. It also gave a brief overview of both methods that can be used to integrate Google Analytics with Instagram.

While Integrating Google Analytics with Instagram Traffic is insightful, it is a hectic task to Set Up the proper environment. To make things easier, Hevo comes into the picture. Hevo Data is a No-code Data Pipeline and has awesome 100+ pre-built Integrations that you can choose from.

 Hevo can help you Integrate your data from numerous sources like Google Analytics for free and load them into a destination to Analyze real-time data with a BI tool such as Tableau. It will make your life easier and data migration hassle-free. It is user-friendly, reliable, and secure.

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Share your experience of learning about the methods of Integration Google Analytics with Instagram in the comments section below. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Integration of Google Analytics with Instagram!

Arsalan Mohammed
Research Analyst, Hevo Data

Arsalan is a research analyst at Hevo and a data science enthusiast with over two years of experience in the field. He completed his in computer science with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence and finds joy in sharing the knowledge acquired with data practitioners. His interest in data analysis and architecture drives him to write nearly a hundred articles on various topics related to the data industry.

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