Once of the fundamentals of any online marketing activity, is to test your campaigns. If you are trying a number of different campaigns, different methods to get users to your website, you need to understand which is working. If you’re spending advertising dollars, then you need to ensure that your dollars are being spent where the success is coming from. In this tutorial I’m going to feature one of our plugins ( Campaign Tracker for WordPress ). Using it, you can track some very useful information through your website that will help you make decision on where your marketing dollars should be sent.
Strap in to learn! Let’s gets started.
Use campaign URLs
If you’re not familiar with campaign URLs let start by explaining how they work. If your website is http://example.com/ you would normally use that address when linking to your website from an advertisement (or from your social media post etc.. ).
If you instead use campaign URLs you can embed important information in the URL that we can use later. Information like the source (where the visitor came from). Maybe if you have two different version of an advertisement you can embed which version the user clicked on. The visitor can still land on any page of your website but when they do this additional information is available to track.
The idea is that we store the additional information, then when a user does something important we can recall that information. We’ll get to this shortly!
Google has a standard set of parameters that has become a bit of a standard when creating these URLs. However, you don’t have to stick exclusively to these. You also just define your own.
An example campaign URL
A URL might look like this:
The structure of these URLs is important. You add to the end a question mark (?) then the name of the parameter (in my example ‘source’) and then a value. These two examples might be used so I can see when a user is coming to my website from Facebook versus a visitor that might be coming from an advertisement that I’m running.
Even though this example is simple, it can give me the information that I need. Is the traffic coming from Facebook as good or better than the traffic coming from the advertisements?
A quick point on these URLs. In the example here I am landing the user on my example home page. If you wanted to land the user on an internal page within your website, that works in much the same way. Look at this example:
Google has a free tool that helps you create these URLs, bookmark this tool here. I won’t get into all of the parameters if you’d like to read more about this, check out my article An Introduction to Google Campaign Tracking.
Well so far we see that we can understand where a user came from when they hit our website. Visitors read pages and then they do things. They might buy something, join your email list or make an enquiry. It’s when they do these things that we can use what we’ve learnt so far. It’s these interactions that are important. How many join my email list when they come from Facebook. How many join my email list from the advertisement that I’m running. These are the answers that we’re seeking.
That’s where our plugin comes to the fore.
When you use campaign URLs, either the simple ones like my example here or the Google campaign URLs the plugin will store that information for each visitor to your website. Then when they join your email list, or they submit an enquiry, the information is retrieved and quietly send along side the data they submit. The result is that you receive an enquiry and you know right away; this came from a user that clicked on my XYZ advertisement. And this is where the power is. Over time, if you see that 8 our 10 enquiries come from your ad and only 2 come from Facebook, you know exactly which of your marketing channels are working.
Check out campaign-tracker here, there’s a video walk through on the product page too. If you have a question about this, drop it in the comments below!