In recent months I have found myself using the Google URL builder tool significantly more across a range of projects, including tracking emails and tagging PPC accounts.
One of the most frustrating things I found about the Google URL builder tool is how time consuming it was and the fact that I was constantly copying and pasting the URL into a spreadsheet to record what was being tracked.
After searching for a simple free tool that would help make this process more efficient, I decided to create a spreadsheet that would do just the job – http://goo.gl/jI1Wd.
Why Track Online Marketing Campaigns
Ensuring that you are tracking all of your marketing campaigns is essential to seeing which channels are working for you and which are not. These online marketing channels could include Email, PPC, Social Media or SEO, to name a few.
When launching a product, a retailer would market the product across multiple marketing channels including online. Online marketing allows you to track how well the campaign has done and can put a ROI on the activity that has taken place, where traditional offline marketing makes this a lot more difficult.
A typical online marketing campaign would include, but not be limited to, PPC, SEO, Email and social media to enable promotion across multiple platforms and ensure maximum visibility. Below shows an example of how tracking codes could be used across different marketing channels promoting the same campaign.
- Email Campaign – ?utm_source=Link 1&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Product Launch
- Social Media Campaign – ?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social Media&utm_campaign=Product Launch
- Social Media Campaign - ?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social Media&utm_campaign=Product Launch
- PPC Campaign – ?utm_source=Yahoo&utm_medium=PPC&utm_term=Product Name&utm_campaign=Product Launch
If your online marketing campaigns are not being tracked then you will not be able to get the data that could be available to you if you had tracked your campaigns.
So I have told you about my recent frustrations with Google URL Builder and why you should be tracking your online marketing campaigns, so let’s have a look at the spreadsheet.
How the Spreadsheet Works?
The spreadsheet works in exactly the same way that the Google URL builder tool works, with the user having to enter the URL into the destination URL cell, followed by filling in the following fields:
- Campaign Source*
- Campaign Medium*
- Campaign Term
- Campaign Content
- Campaign Name*
*Should always be used
Once these fields have been filled in, the tagged URL will be generated within the “tagged URL field”; the URL can then be copied directly into your campaign.
Once your campaign is live you will start to see data filter through into Google Analytics via Traffic Sources > Incoming Traffic > Campaigns. Once your data has come through you can start to tweak your campaigns further to ensure maximum ROI.
The biggest advantage that the campaign tracking spreadsheet has is the ability to create/edit/delete a large number of tracked URLs easily, in a single document. The campaign tracking spreadsheet can then be used as a master document to ensure that all campaigns are recorded and archived.
Campaign Tracking Spreadsheet: http://goo.gl/jI1Wd
The spreadsheet is a very basic concept, but I feel that it does the job well, whilst leaving room for improvement and modification if you require something more sophisticated.
Have a look at the spreadsheet, copy or download it and let me know if it helps you save time and makes tagging URLs more efficient. I look forward to hearing your comments below or on twitter @danielbianchini.
I would like to give my thanks to Tony Sutcliffe who helped me make the formulas as efficient as possible.