GOALS FOR THIS SESSION
In this session, you’ll learn:
- Why tracking link activity from emails is important…
- How to create trackable links…
- How to see the performance data for your tracked links…
Why Tracking Email Links Is Important
I’ve already mentioned the need to track your website analytics data several times in previous lessons.
Your website analytics gives you valuable information about your visitors, including:
- The pages they visited…
- How long they spend on each page…
- Their geographical location…
- How they arrived on your website…
#4 on the list above is of particular interest because it shows you how well each of your inbound marketing channels working for you.
For example, you’ll see information about visitors coming from search engines, social media, referrals from other websites, paid ads, etc.
For example, in the chart above, you can see that organic search forms the bulk of the traffic for my site.
So far, so good, right?
Right, but your analytics software (Google Analytics or Clicky) can’t distinguish visitors landing on your website directly from those arriving as a result of clicking on links in emails you sent them, or from other campaigns such as a social media message.
Without knowing how well your email links performed, you can’t make any informed decisions about what you might need to change in your email marketing system.
To overcome this problem, we have trackable links.
These are links with certain parameters attached to the end, which can be read by your analytics software and categorized appropriately.
http://mywebsite.com/some-page-or-post/ is a direct link that wouldn’t be tracked properly by your analytics if it were included in an email…
But, http://mywebsite.com/some-page-or-post/?utm_source=source&utm_medium=medium&utm_campaign=unique_name can be tracked because it has a set of unique parameters attached to it that distinguish this link from, say, a visit from a search engine.
It’s a lot easier than you might think to set these up.
Here’s how, and an explanation of what the various parameters mean.
How To Create Trackable Links
I thought it would be clearer, and more useful to you, for me to create a short video on how to set up trackable links for your website.
Here it is.
Here’s the link to the Google Campaign URL Builder I mentioned in the video.
I recommend that you bookmark that link in your browser for future reference because you’ll be using this a lot as you go forward.
For reference, here’s a screenshot showing Google’s explanation for the various parameters:
How To Monitor Your Tracked Links Performance
To see how your campaign links are performing, go to your analytics system (Clicky or Google Analytics, for example).
In Clicky, you can find this information under “Campaigns” menu. If data has been logged for your campaigns, it should look something like this:
As you can see, it lists visitor information for each of your campaigns that you created using the Google Campaign URL builder. It also displays other relevant visitor information for each campaign (not shown in the screenshot).
You can find similar information in your Google Analytics reports by going to “Acquisition –> All Traffic –> Source/Medium”.
You should now be able to send emails to your contacts with links to your posts and pages that can be tracked through your website analytics data, giving you a better idea of how well those emails and links perform as part of your marketing system.