When you are running a digital marketing campaign, in many cases you are using multiple tactics on different platforms to deliver the overall strategy. No idea what I am talking about? Here is an example – you are running a March sale on beach accommodation. You have a page on your website where people can book or enquire, and you post content about it on all of your social media properties and link it back to the page. You even boost some posts on Facebook and run some Twitter cards. You also send out a few emails from your Mailchimp account to your database. Sound familiar?
Now the sale is over and you want to know what platform generated the most bookings and enquiries. There is only one problem – you can’t really see what traffic came to the website from those specific posts. Sure, using your Google Analytics account,you can see what traffic came from Twitter or Facebook and if they converted, but you can’t tell if the ones that converted came from those specific posts or not. Essentially, there is no way to know if your efforts for that campaign yielded positive results and good return on investment.
Measuring Digital Campaigns Effectively
Google Anaytics can easily tell you which of your sources gave you the best traffic, but only if you give Google Analytics the tools it needs to be able to sift out the important info from the noise. Enter Google URL Builder.
What the URL builder does is appends the URL you are sending people to with some special tags that tells Google Analytics exactly where these people originated and how they reached your site. Let’s take a look how to works!
How To Use Google URL Builder
You can find the URL builder here. There is some info at the top of the page how to use it (more technical that what you will find here), so scroll down until you see the form.
So the first step is pretty self-explanatory. You need to enter the URL of the page you are wanting to track (your landing page). For our example above we would use a page like http://www.mywonderfulsite.com/specials/marchmadness
The first part of step 2 is specify your campaign source, and this is a mandatory field i.e. you cannot leave it out. This would be where the traffic is actually coming from e.g. Facebook, Mailchimp, Twitter, Youtube etc
You then need to specify the medium (and no, this does not involve Ouija boards or crystal balls). It refers to the type of source e.g. social, email, facebookcpc. This is also a mandatory field
*Quick tip – don’t put any spaces into your terms.*
Once you have entered all of this into the campaign builder, there is a nice, friendly blue button that says GENERATE URL. For our example, lets say we were generating the URL that we wanted to enter into our Mailchimp campaign. Then our URL would look something like this:
The builder tags the URL so that Google Analytics can “read” it and assign the correct data to the correct campaign.
If you go into Google Analytics and expand the Acquisition tab, you will then see Campaigns down the list. If you click into that, you can then see your campaign with all its associated data. Remember, if you are running Google Adwords, your Adwords campaigns will also show up in this section so don’t get confused.
Once you have been using the URL Builder for a while, it becomes really quick and second nature. If you are serious about tracking your online marketing, this is an essential step in your digital marketing strategy.