Your Link is Worthless Without Tracking

Attention small business owners, enterprise marketing directors, and social media mavens: the following two words can help you stay in business, get a raise, or bring campaign enlightenment to your efforts.  TRACK EVERYTHING.

NOT easier said than done. This is Legos and hopscotch…what I’m saying is that a kid can do it. (Please deal with my use of caps lock and bold during this adventure, I’m PASSIONATE about analytics.)

Would you blindly hand $100,000 to a search engine? How about $5,000 to an email marketing company? $1,000 on a social media campaign? $500 to print a QR code on your flyers? Then why would you launch ANY SINGLE campaign without analytics tracking attached?

There are plenty of people that are still just sending traffic to a website, hoping that the traffic will do what they want, and the overall website results will be good enough for them to keep their job. This is dumb. We do not live on a single lane street; there are dozens and hundreds of traffic sources sending legitimate traffic to your website.  And when you are paying for that traffic, with time or money, you NEED to be tracking it all the way through.

Enough evangelization; I could go all night on how people are not tracking their campaigns properly.

By appending a small snippet of tracking code to the end of your link / url you will be justifying most of your spend on advertising, social, or whatever other campaigns you use to drive traffic to your website.

Sorry big guys with WebTrends, Omniture or Coremetrics. I’m speaking to Google Analytics specifically from here on out. GA makes it insanely easy to tag a URL in a matter of seconds. The same theory applies to ALL analytics suites.

Simply go here to build your custom tracking URL: Google URL Builder

Or use some examples below to get started.

Email Tracking Examples:
Source = MailChimp  (I like to put the email provider, but this could just be Email)
Medium = Email  (interchangeable with Source many times)
Content = Hero Banner  (could be footer link, product link, etc)
Campaign = Self Promotion Campaign  (name of the campaign)

Facebook Example:
Source = Facebook
Medium = Social
Content = Brand Awareness Banner ad
Campaign = Brand Awareness August 2011

Twitter Example:
Source = Twitter
Medium = Social
Content = Brand Awareness Banner ad
Campaign = Brand Awareness August 2011

Job Posting Example:
Source = Career Builder
Medium = Job Posting
Content = Apply Now Link
Campaign = Job Number 305

QR Code Example:
Source = QR Code
Medium = Physical media
Content = John’s Flyers
Campaign = Tradeshow Milwaukee

There you have it
The above examples should help you get started towards a life full of responsible traffic generation. Because if you are sending traffic to your site without tracking attached, that is just irresponsible, and there is no room at the grown-up table for you.

Happy analysis!

  • Ross Monaghan

    Great post Jordon! Amen on tracking.

  • This is very informative post, it
    provides useful info about the getting the traffic from various sources.