In last week’s post, I made the case for building specific and trackable URLs with Google URL Builder. This week, I’ll show you how to craft those URLs using three different tools. Next week, I’ll provide examples for what you should be tracking with your newly acquired skills.
Our primary goal here is bringing the Pareto 80/20 principle to analytics, where only 20 percent of your time goes into building analytics systems, and 80 percent remains for analyzing and implementing changes in strategy based on actionable data.Our goal is Pareto for analytics: 20% gathering data, 80% analyzing and action Click To Tweet
How to Build Coded Links – Three Options
There are several different ways to build coded links, and their advantages depend on how many links you need to create.
Google URL Builder
Google URL Builder allows you to add up to six unique identifiers to a specific URL. Three – campaign, source and medium – are required.
- Enter the URL that you want to track.
- Add the three required parameters to make the link unique:
- Campaign Source: This identifies where traffic originates – for example, Social+Media for a range of links shared on social networks
- Campaign Medium: This distinguishes between the variety of links – for example, Facebook and FBAds might be two options to differentiate between organic and paid traffic from Facebook
- Campaign Name: A unique name to identify the series of links you’re sharing – for example, the name of a blog post.
You can also add two other parameters – Term and Content – to distinguish between types of ads or keywords used, which is very helpful for A/B split testing.
- Copy the link created which has your parameters added to the end.
Code and Shorten Directly in HootSuite Pro
If you’re using HootSuite Pro for your social media management, you can also add Google URL parameters and shorten the links directly within the Dashboard.
Click the gear symbol to add parameters.
Add unique parameters as needed. When you’re done, click Apply Parameters at the bottom right.
You can now shorten your link and share your post while maintaining all of your tracking parameters without ever having to leave HootSuite.
How to Create and Track a Lot of Links
Several tools now make it easier to create and track a lot of links all at once.
In a post at Kissmetrics, the team shares access to a wonderful spreadsheet that allows you to tag and automate your campaign tracking with Google URL Builder parameters and Google Analytics. While it takes a bit of time to understand, getting used to the layout will save you a ton of time if you’re having to generate more than a few coded links for each campaign.
Keeping Your Campaigns Straight
While the three options above will solve your technical approach to creating URLs, you’ll still need a naming strategy to keep things organized, especially if you are implementing this across a marketing team. Jane Morgan’s post at Search Engine Land details how to build one.
Join us next week as we show you how to build Goals in Google Analytics to accompany your trackable URLs and look at some samples of what to track with your new analytics knowledge.