This is our third post in a series on using Google URL Builder. Our first post explained why you should be using coded links. Last week’s post covered how to construct them and keep them organized – whether you’re building a few or a few hundred.
This week, we’ll show you how to create Goals in Google Analytics to match your URLs and some examples of what you should be tracking.
Setting Goals in Google Analytics
Once you’ve got your links built, it’s time to correlate some goals with those campaigns over in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics should be configured to track both macro goals (signups, sales, etc.) and micro goals (download of marketing collaterals, completed contact form, request for pricing) on your site. Without clear goals in place, you may be misunderstanding the data provided and taking actionable steps that won’t improve your bottom line.
In this case, we’ll be working on URL Destination Goals, which keep track of specific URLs. Each time someone goes to that URL, they trigger the goal. These are ideal for thank you pages, confirmation pages, and PDFs. These are perfect for micro goals, while Events may be better for macro goals.
Goals are found under the Conversions tab in Google Analytics.
To create a new goal, go to the Admin tab > Goals > Create New Goal. Google Analytics provides several goal templates to help you narrow down the options needed.
After selecting an option, add some information to describe your goal.
Finally, add the details of your goal, such as the Google URL Builder link you want to track, and hit save.
Your goal data will now appear in the Goals section of Google Analytics. In future posts, we’ll explain more about other options for tracking, such as Google Tag Manager, and how to import cost data for paid campaigns which can simplify your reporting and help you determine the success of paid ads online.
What Should You Track with Google URL Builder Links?
Here are some ideas for what to analyze now that you’ve simplified the data collection process.
- Using split testing, which techniques for promotion work the best? Instead of lumping all your social network traffic into a few bundles such as “Facebook” and “Twitter,” change things up and track individual posts on the networks to see how variations in your promotion strategy change the results. Examples to compare include the amount of promo text, time of day, day of week, different images, headlines and tagging.
- Which content, media and sources perform the best? Identify what works and expand on those topics and tactics.
- Which medium delivers the most goal completions? When determining where to place ad dollars, look at which medium is delivering the most organic conversions.
- What falls under “direct traffic” and what tools/methods within that segment perform the best? Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of the direct traffic bucket, identify which campaigns are working the best and iterate the winners.
Less Reporting, More Analysis
The added benefit of tracked URLs is the simplicity it brings to weekly or monthly campaign reporting. Instead of spending hours trying to understand how different segments of visitors performed on your site, you’ve automatically segmented your campaign traffic according to variables.With less time spent constructing reports, you have more time for actionable insights Click To Tweet
With less time spent constructing your reports, you have more time each month to find actionable insights and make improvements to marketing campaigns frequently, honing in on what works. Contrast this with the idea of evaluating and improving every quarter or year, and you’ll see that the time spent building the system to collect meaningful data will help your strategy to evolve more quickly.