While creating a custom URL is a great way to really understand exactly where your traffic is coming from, there are some additional tips that will help you get the most out of your campaigns—be they social media campaigns, e-mail marketing campaigns, AdWords campaigns, etc.
1. Link your Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts – If you are running a paid search campaign through Google and want to track your data more easily, you can actually link your Google AdWords and Google Analytics accounts. Once you link your accounts, Google will automatically track your campaigns for you, saving you the trouble of manually tagging your AdWords destination URLs.
In order to enable auto-tagging in your Google Adwords Account, you simply have to sign in, click on the gear icon, select “Preferences” under the “Account Settings” tab, and then edit the “Tracking” section. From the tracking section, you can easily enable or disable your auto-tagging by clicking the “Destination URL auto-tagging” checkbox, and saving any changes.
While this saves you a ton of time, keep in mind that enabling auto-tagging only works for campaigns run through Google. This means if you are running a campaign through Bing, and independent blogging site, or other source, you will still need to manually tag your URL.
2. Shorten the link before posting it – Once you have received your custom URL, use an online link-shortening program like bit.ly. This helps keep your link looking sharp and also helps you save space on platforms where characters are counted like Twitter. Shortening the link will simply take the large and descriptive custom URL you have created and make it much easier on the eyes. It will also hide your data tracking information from the public eye.
3. Include a description when posting your link on social media sites– One of the best ways to get people to click on your custom URL is to quickly and succinctly tell them what your content is all about, instead of just posting the link. If you provide a quick and catchy description, you have a much higher chance of compelling your readers than if you simply post your link and hope people click on it.
4. Include an image when posting your link on social media sites – Another great way to draw attention to your custom URL is to add an image. It’s true that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so make sure to add an image to your post.
5. Only use parameter tags that you need – As mentioned previously, there are 5 different parameters Google requests, but you don’t need to use all of them in every instance. A great way to save time and to stay organized is to only tag what you need in order to glean the information that you need to run a better campaign. For example, if you are running a social media campaign, and plan to post a link to the same content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+, you can keep all of the information the same, and simply change the “Campaign Source” field. This will save you time, and yet still help you differentiate which social media platform is bringing you the most traffic from that particular post.
6. Use an online reporting dashboard – It’s important to remember the number 1 reason for creating and sharing a custom URL is to make your analytics reports easier to read and understand. Anytime you can cut down on the time it takes to break down your analytics and really understand your metrics, it can save you time, money, and help you refine your campaign.
Another way to cut down on your analytics time and access information about your custom URL is to use an online reporting dashboard. An online reporting dashboard will help keep your information organized and help you quickly access the information that you need to improve your campaigns.
For more information about creating and analyzing custom URLs, contact us at iSpionage.com today.
Chris is an online marketing and content strategist here at iSpionage building awareness and engagement within our target markets. Connect with Chris on Google+ or on Twitter.