Think of marketing and data analytics like being fit for glasses. When you first sit down in the chair, everything is pretty fuzzy. Then the optometrist swings that big phoropter and asks you to look through it. Before long, he is flipping lenses and asking you if you can “see better at one, or two? Two or three? Three of four?”
Well, marketing analytics is like a phoropter. And, the Campaign URL Builder is the lens that flips over to sharpen your vision. Working with a campaign URL builder adds a string of parameters to your website URL, in order to feed valuable data variables related to each marketing tactic back into Google Analytics.
First you need to be able to gather the data in order to effectively analyze it and cull key insights that can adjust your targeting and trajectory – maybe even the speed to get to the conversion, and help ensure a positive return on your investments in time, resources or marketing dollars.
In this article, we delve into the opportunities offered by Campaign URL Builder, together with Google Analytics.
But, what’s the benefit to even using a campaign URL and Google Analytics?
- These tracking tools allow you to:
- See where your business leads are coming from
- Determine which marketing tactics are working or are not
- Fine-tune your marketing tactics
- Test different messaging to address target audiences with relevant content
The campaign URL tracks all these different variables, and Google Analytics deciphers them into a report you can view. You will see clearly which marketing efforts are the most (or least) effective, so you can decide where to redirect your marketing dollars.
This offers you multiple data sets to learn from about your business. You can learn what you need to do this year to create more leads, and what you need today to increase leads.
The Campaign URL Builder is a free tool offered by Google that uses UTM codes and tracks the source(s) of inbound traffic to your website. Google Analytics provides information on how people found your site. However, the two do not provide complete information necessary to make an accurate business decision.
What are UTM codes and how do you use them?
UTM codes are simple codes that you can add to a link to your website or blog to provide more information to Google Analytics for more accurate reporting. Once embedded in the URL of your site or blog, a UTM code keeps track of the (custom) source, medium and campaign name. When analyzed by Google Analytics, the codes show you where your site visitors are coming from, and what campaign brought them to your site.
So, what is a campaign?
In this case, we are talking about online marketing efforts intended to drive traffic to a website by asking users to take an action. However, you can also have offline campaigns, like direct mail, that can also include a URL with UTM code that redirects visitors to your site. Tracking allows you to see which marketing effort (online or offline) led the visitor to your site, what pages they visited within your website, and how long they stayed on each page and what they were doing on the website. Ultimately, it’s best to keep a record of your campaigns so you have a reference and comparison for future campaigns. This helps create better consistency and more accurate adaptations as your campaigns evolve.
With today’s marketplace and pace, many businesses run multiple marketing efforts at once. More often, you will set up several online marketing campaigns in an effort to attract lots of traffic to your site. You may have an email campaign, pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google, and a social media campaign running simultaneously. Once you begin receiving traffic, you’ll need to determine the most effective of these methods. These analytical tools will help you evaluate the traffic sources, and help you decide where to put more attention (and marketing dollars).
The Campaign URL Builder goes a step further. For example, if you find that 10 of the people who subscribed to your training product came from Facebook, Google Analytics does not tell you the exact post or the campaign that led them to your website. However, the Campaign URL Builder enables you to pin down to the exact post that got them on board.
With the additional data, your perception of your marketing campaign will change. You will quickly be able to see which marketing tactics are working – and which are not. So, you can more easily decide where to apply marketing dollars. Ultimately, the campaign URL builder and Google Analytics help create better return on your invested marketing dollars because of this clarity. Below, we answer frequently asked questions about using these tracking tools.
How long does it take to get results when using Google Analytics and Campaign URL Builder?
Several factors impact how long it will take to collect quantitative data from your campaigns. If you have already set up Google Analytics, then installing the Campaign URL Builder should take less than 30 minutes. Google also provides great online tutorials for their products, so help is just a couple clicks away. All in all, it does not take much time to set up either of these products from scratch. As for collecting the data, you just need to feed the script into your website to get started. You will need to place the provided code in the HTML of your website. With a CMS, you can typically find a plugin or setting that allows you to easily add the code. For the URL Builder, Google’s Campaign URL Builder has an easy-to-follow set of steps to set up your campaign.
Is conversion tracking something businesses can do on their own?
Most small and mid-sized business owners may not have the time to do all the scripting that comes with setting up tracking and conversions for their website. To better ensure a successful campaign kickoff, ask an experienced programmer to set up your campaign and the tracking tools needed. However, if you have some skills and time to do it yourself, you can easily set up your efforts. And, these best practices can help.
Do these tools work on custom websites, as well as template-created sites like SquareSpace.com?
Both of these tools will work on custom-built websites created from scratch and ones built off of plug-and-play types of templates such as Wix.com, GoDaddy Website Builder, and squarespace.com. The plug-and play builders enable you to add tracking codes, but you may be limited to a certain quantity and restricted to site’s specific requirements.
What are the short-term and long-term benefits of installing the tracking codes?
For short-term, you will be able to determine where your traffic is coming amid multiple simultaneous campaigning efforts. This will help you adjust your marketing campaign by emphasizing or allocating more resources to the channels that are driving more traffic to your website.
In the long-term, tracking, conversions, and analytical data provide trends that are vital for decision-making. For example, you may see a drop-in email open rates and lower inbound traffic from your emails during the holidays. Many people do not open email as often when they are on vacation. These trends can help you spot these dips and adapt marketing plans to use other tactics, like social media marketing or and hosting events.
What is the cost of setting up tracking on a website?
The cost structure depends on which path you take: do-it-yourself or hiring an expert. However, the two are free tools. Therefore, if you install them yourself, you will not have to pay anything. Moreover, if you are working with an agency that is providing your website’s SEO, PPC and social media monitoring for you, they may not charge anything for the service. However, if you hire a web designer to do it for you, you may have to pay $50 to $250, depending on what needs to be done to set up tracking and conversion dashboards.
Once all tools are set, you should start to see the tracking results on your dashboard in a few hours. You can refine this data in the goals section of Google Analytics under the acquisition menu. If you want to do everything from scratch, you will find lots of information and step-by-step instructions in the individual Google product. The instructions are easy to follow and installation is fast, even if you do not know web design or programming.
Data is knowledge. Get accurate and detailed tracking data by using Campaign URL Builder and Google Analytics today to enhance your online campaigns for greater efficiency and better results.