Track With Custom URLs

Using social media like Twitter and Flickr to drive traffic to your website is a great strategy. But, how effective is it? Use custom campaign URLs to know.

To track the number of clicks that social media efforts generate, use custom URLs in your social media sites. So the URL to a page listed in twitter should be different from the URL to the same page in Facebook. How do you do this?

Two options for generating custom URLs are Google’s URL builder and a URL shortener like bit.ly to keep track of the clicks you generate.

Google URL Builder

The Google tool is especially helpful if you already use Google Analytics to track you site statistics. Google Analytics tracks online campaigns using a combination of five marketing dimensions:

  • Source
  • Medium
  • Term
  • Content
  • Campaign

Source

Every referral to a web site has an origin, or source. Examples of sources are the Google search engine, the AOL search engine, the name of a newsletter, or the name of a referring web site.

Medium

The medium helps to qualify the source; together, the source and medium provide specific information about the origin of a referral. For example, in the case of a Google search engine source, the medium might be “cost-per-click”, indicating a sponsored link for which the advertiser paid, or “organic”, indicating a link in the unpaid search engine results. In the case of a newsletter source, examples of medium include “email” and “print”.

Term

The term or keyword is the word or phrase that a user types into a search engine.

Content

The content dimension describes the version of an advertisement on which a visitor clicked. It is used in content-targeted advertising and Content (A/B) Testing to determine which version of an advertisement is most effective at attracting profitable leads.

Campaign

The campaign dimension differentiates product promotions such as “Spring Ski Sale” or slogan campaigns such as “Get Fit For Summer”.

Bit.ly

Bit.ly offers real-time tracking of each URL you generate at its website.