Evaluate Post-Click Behavior with Google Campaign Tags
For the uninitiated, Google Analytics is an enterprise worthy measurement tool for your website. It is simple to install and provides an easy-to-use interface to extract important data about your website visitors and their content consumption habits.
By using Campaign Tags with Google Analytics you are able to create even more data points about your inbound links to more effectively measure post-click behavior as consumers reach your site through online marketing efforts or from social media channels.
The tags were initially developed and used to track your Google AdWords campaigns, but they do not need to be limited to just that usage.
A word of advice, before measuring your marketing efforts, and post-click behavior, you must first decide on what you intend to measure. In the case of Google Campaign tags it begins by organizing your links across these five categories.
Required Google Campaign Tags
This should indicate the name of an over-arching marketing campaign, a seasonal campaign or perhaps a identify a yearly campaign.
Campaign Source: In most cases this should identify the originating website our source of the link. For online marketing campaigns it could indicate a website like CNN or Yahoo. For social media campaigns it may indicate more generic sources like a blog, directory, news site, etc.
Campaign Medium: For online marketing campaigns this may indicate the size of a banner like 300×250, for e-mail it may indicate a link type or more generically it may be used to identify offline tracking when combined with vanity URLs.
Optional Google Campaign Tags
For online marketing campaigns this could be used to identify the ad creative or content. For social media campaigns this could be used to identify content categories.
For online marketing campaigns this may be used to differentiate messaging for A/B testing and for social media campaigns it may be used to further identify the content of the post, the date it was posted or other important information.
To see the results of tagging your online marketing or social media campaigns you must login to Google Analytics and click on Traffic Sources > Campaigns or create an Advanced Segment that you can filter against anywhere in Google Analytics.
In the example below you can see that links I have shared on Twitter have gather 73 clicks in the past few days, but people coming from Twitter have spent less time on site, visited less pages and had a higher bounce rate. When applying similar metrics to your campaigns you can evaluate your inbound linking strategy, better identify sticky content and understand what sites within your online media buy perform the best from an engagement standpoint.
The Google URL Builder is a simple and effective tool that should help you in developing links with Campaign Tags. Unfortunately it becomes time consuming when tagging multiple links, like those you may find in a social media content calendar.
Over time I have refined an Excel document that will generate URLs with the proper Google Campaign Tags for your usage. Feel free to download the Google Campaign Tag Excel Document, improve upon it and share with others.
If you have any comments or questions about Google Campaign Tags please leave a comment, or better yet share your experience with using Google Campaign Tags to evaluate post-click behavior.