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Google Analytics: Collecting Campaign Data

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campaignWhile learning the basics of Google Analytics, there is a very important dimension, in fact, the most important dimension, that often gets missed – measuring the success of the marketing campaign. This is important for many aspects within online marketing because it can link marketing efforts to “actual money in the pocket”, or more technically, revenue and conversions.

When visiting any type of site with a Google Analytics tracking code, Google Analytics takes a few pieces of information about the visitor such as “source” or “medium.” Source is the name of the physical website that directed the visitor to the website, whether that was a link from another site, and email, or even a search engine. Medium is the “how” of this equation. It is the way the consumer got to site. An example of this could be a paid ad on a search engine.

There are three mediums through Google Analytics that will automatically pick-up without any customization:

  • Organic: This comes from unpaid search results.
  • Referral: This is any person that accesses a website not through a search engine.
  • None: As mentioned above this is specifically for direct traffic, which is people who access a website by typing in a URL.

It is obvious that these three categories do not encompass all mediums or all information that might be wanted. In order to customize this process, “link tagging” is the best route to go. This adds extra information to any links that might be found on a website and will enable tracking of all kinds of information that can be tailored to distinct websites. This information is then moved to campaign tags, where its replaces the default category.

For the sake of this explanation we’ve used an in-house example. We have unique URLs on each one of our training course brochures. These contain the below mentioned parameters in order to track how much traffic our direct mail brings to our website and which pieces perform the best.

There are five campaign tags that can be used:

  1. Source- Example: “Direct_mail”
  2. Medium- Example: “Brochure”
  3. Campaign- Example: “April_courses”
  4. Term: Keyword from paid campaign
  5. Content: Used differentiate versions of the ad. Example: “Agile_Boot_Camp”

Term and content in this case is optional, it is more common to see these tools in groups of 3. Without tagging these reports it can lead to incorrect data in a report.

Another tool that can be used is the URL builder, which helps to construct campaign tags and is found in the Google Analytics help center. This process can be defined in two easy steps:

  1. Enter destination URL
  2. Enter values used for campaign tags
    1. Be careful! These are case sensitive
    2. This process is not ideal for a large volume of URLs

It is also essential to know that Google Analytics and Google AdWords are connected; this eliminates having to enter these tags twice. Furthermore, AdWords even uses the five dimensions that were listed above and automatically adds other elements like match type and ad placement domain.

Google even gives marketers an option to simplify reports even more through the different “Channels”. This permits users to formulate rule-based groups of traffic based on a specific campaign, keyword, source, or medium. Here are some pre-established examples of channels that are a part of the predefined “Basic Channel Grouping”:

  • Direct
  • Email
  • Social
  • Organic
  • Display

It is also possible to create unique channels for a website’s needs, just add them to the “basic grouping” or “custom groupings.”

Where do you see Campaign and Traffic reports in Google Analytics?

  • By source and medium, pick the “All Traffic” report that includes all sources and mediums used in tags and default mediums
  • Data and Content tags are located in the “Campaigns” report
  • Keywords will appear in the “Paid Search” keywords report

So after this short explanation, we hope that it enables all marketers to use these tools that are essential for identifying successful and lucrative campaigns. Traffic generates leads, which generates money, so use this blog to build a valuable business model and marketing campaigns.

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