The search for traffic to your website you start sharing links on different pages. Maybe you use social networks, forums, comments, publish content in your blog or other people or even make email marketing campaigns or cold emails. But how do you know if any of them are having an impact on your traffic?
To identify the traffic generated by those links you share, you can use custom Google Analytics campaigns. These are the same ones used to identify the results of the AdWords campaigns, except that Google allows you to use them for your benefit by adding certain parameters to the links you share.
You may think that reviewing referral traffic in Google Analytics is enough, but sometimes you can have different links on different sites and you need more detail.
How to create links with custom campaigns tracking?
In our case in Toky we use the Google Analytics campaign tracking URL to identify the traffic generated by our blog, even we get the exact post that generated the traffic. This data is very useful to define which content to optimize for conversion. To make this tracking, every link that leads from the blog to our main site www.toky.co, has some parameters as follows:
In this example we see some of the parameters that you can use for campaign tracking:
- utm_source: This is the website from which we expect to have traffic, in our case is our Toky blog, blog.toky.co but in your case could be your own blog, the blog where you shared the link etc.
- utm_campaign: This is the name you want to give the campaign and you will use it to identify it in Google Analytics. In our case it is "text-link", this is because of all the call to action on our blog, are text links; but in your case, you can select the name you want.
- utm_medium: It is the medium from which the campaign is generated. It can be a banner, a link, a PPC campaign in a portal, a link on a blog etc. In our case, we decided to put "CTA" because it is the Call to Action that we included in the posts inviting the readers to learn more about our service
- utm_content: It is the content of the ad tracked, it serves to differentiate within the campaign where the click was made. We could use this parameter to track each link within a content to determine which is most effective, but for simplicity only leave the last part of the post URL.
- utm_term: We do not use this parameter, but you'll see it a lot in AdWords campaigns where you'll have the keywords that generated the conversion.
You can learn more about the customized Google Analytics campaigns in this link
If you do not want to create your links by hand, you can use the Campaign URL Builder and by just entering the values you want it will generate the link and you only have to copy and paste it where you want.
If you do not want to display the tracking parameters of your campaign, you can use a URL shortening service such as bit.ly and even keep track of click count. We prefer this option when you perform cold email campaigns.
Where can you see the custom campaigns in Google Analytics?
When you enter your Google Analytics account you can find the campaigns if you go to:
3. Click on All campaigns.
Then you can look for the text you add in the utm_campaign parameter in the campaign list. There you will see the visits registered in that campaign. In our case "text-link"
When you click on source / medium you could check the source of the visit. These are the parameters you add as utm_source and utm_medium.
Then, if you want to see the ad content with is in our case the URL of the blog post you click on the source/medium. The ad content value is that you add in the utm_content parameter and you can add it as a secondary dimension as Ad content.
How to verify if you did it all right?
To validate if the campaign is tracked as you need we use in Toky, the Real time view in Google Analytics. While entering the link with campaign parameters in one browser window, you can check the real time view inside Analytics in another window. When you see the Traffic sources option you should be able to see the source and medium values that you added as utm_source and utm_medium.
What can you do now?
You must be able to share your link and evaluate the effectiveness of each of the campaigns you do, using campaign tracking and maybe Google URL Builder, and you can discover which link is generating more traffic. I recommend using custom campaigns on the links you share in:
- Email signatures
- Cold email campaigns
- Blog posts
- Guest posts
Finally, if you want to learn more about our cloud phone system, we invite you to try Toky free for 14 days