Google Analytics is a website analytics tool that allows you to track the visitors on your website. It is an invaluable tool to help you measure the success of your online marketing plans and strategies. It’s free too.
Do you have Google Analytics installed on your website? If not, you should.
For more advanced users, Google Analytics can be used to measure the performance of advertising campaigns. If you have a Google Adwords campaign, Google automatically tracks your campaign’s performance if you link the two accounts together. (Instructions on how to link Google Analytics and Google Adword accounts).
However, if you want to track the traffic on your website that is coming from Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, links in email campaigns or third-party website banner ads, you’ll need to take a couple extra steps to make sure Google Analytics is tracking the traffic correctly.
Lets use an example to illustrate how to track an online campaign.
For example, I want to advertise on LinkedIn. I want people who click on the LinkedIn ad to go to www.mywebsite.com.
First, I need to create a custom link (with information attached to it) that tells Google Analytics how to categorize visitors that come from this specific ad.
Here’s how to create the link:
- Go to Google’s URL Builder
- Enter the website URL you want visitors to land on when they click the link. In this case, www.mywebsite.com.
- Enter the field information in Step 2. In this case, I would enter:
Campaign Source: linkedin
Campaign Medium: banner
Campaign Content: ad1
Campaign Name: product
If you are creating multiple custom URLs, make sure the field information is distinct for each URL you create.
- Click the Generate URL button.
- Copy and save the custom URL. It should look something like, http://www.mywebsite.com/?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=banner&utm_content=ad1&
With the custom URL, I can now go to https://www.linkedin.com/ads/ and create my ad. In whichever platform you’re advertising on, paste the custom URL you generated in the field that asks where the ad should link to.
Once the ad campaign has launched, go to the Traffic Sources section of Google Analytics to see how traffic from this campaign is interacting on your website.
This information can be used to judge the quality of the traffic and whether it is providing a good return on investment.