How to track online campaigns using Google tracking URLs

3 minute read

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In this week’s #asktheukdomain video, I look at how you can easily set up campaign URLs to track and understand what activities (banner ads, email newsletters etc.) within a campaign are driving traffic to your website. 

Find out how to create Google tracking URLs and what information you need to include within Google analytics URL builder plus I’ll also explain how to access the traffic data from URL tracking within Google Analytics. 

Video Transcript

♪ [music] ♪ Hello, and welcome to the UK Domain. Today, I’m here to talk to you about how you can use campaign tracking URLs to understand which of your activities within your campaign are driving traffic through to your website. So I’m going to start off with a bike repair shop example.

So let’s say you’ve got a bike repair shop, you’re holding a winter sale, and you’re going to have various activities that are driving traffic to this particular landing page. So if you’ve got a banner on two different websites, you’ve got your newsletter which you’re sending out, which is going to contain a link to the winter sale page. And you’ve got your content roundup, which is also going to contain some links to your sale page. But you want to be able to understand which of these actually sent traffic to your page.

So implementing this is a lot easier than you might think, particularly with the use of the URL Builder Tool, which we’re going to include in the description below.

So you’ll need to create a unique custom URL for each banner or email link you have. And don’t forget you might include more than one link in your email. So you want to understand which of the links was clicked.

First, you need to define the full landing page URL, then the campaign source, which could be the website where the banner’s placed. Other optional parameters include the campaign medium, for example, the banner or email, the campaign name that you can use across all of your activities, so this would be something like winter_sale, and the campign content, which can be used to differentiate your ads. So once you’ve filled out the form, your campaign URL will appear at the bottom. You can then copy and paste this into all of your banners or the links within your email as well.

You can then log into your Google Analytics account and then see the traffic data based on each of the parameters that you set in your campaign URLs. For example, here we can see the campign winter_sale has five sessions, two from banners placed on Bikes R Us and one from a banner from cycleking.co.uk , and also one from the monthly roundup email, and then another from the newsletter email.

We can then drill down further using ad content as a secondary dimension to see which banners or links were clicked. So, in this case, the leaderboard, MPU, and skyscraper banners each had a click, as well as the image from the monthly roundup email and opening the link in the email newsletter as well.

So for those of you that are actually familiar with Google Analytics, you obviously know that you can set up conversions and goals. So, in this case, you can actually understand which of your campaign activities triggered a goal. So if it was a sale, for instance, within your bike repair sale, you’ll be able to say you got five sales from the banner ad on Bikes R Us and two from bikeshop.co.uk. So this can be really interesting to get the actual return on investment that you spent how much you got back.

I hope you found today’s video useful. If you’ve got any other website related questions, you can ask them using the #asktheukdomain hashtag. ♪ [music] ♪

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Sam Gooch is Web Optimisation Lead at the UK Domain. Sam leads the online search strategy, combining both organic and paid advertising to drive awareness around our brands and content, helping small businesses to succeed online.

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