You’ve worked hard to put together a marketing plan and content strategy. You have been busy creating content and distributing marketing campaigns through various channels and you have seen an increase in visits to your website. But, where are these people coming from and which channels are performing best?
Enter Google URL Builder…
Google URL Builder is a free tool thatÂ helps you add parameters to URLs that you can use in your custom web-based or email campaigns. When users click one of the custom links, the unique parameters are sent to your Google Analytics account, so you can identify the URLs that are most effective in attracting users to your content.
Using the URLs built in this tool allows you to test content, see the channelsÂ your website traffic is coming from and see where your conversions are coming from. This is a brilliant free tool that everyone should be using in their digital content marketing. The only catch is that you need to have Google Analytics running on your website in order for the URL builder data to be pushed somewhere (if you don’t have Google Analytics running on your website, stop right now and go get someone to set it up for you).
How to use Google URL Builder
First, you have to go to this landing page.
Step 1: Enter the link you want to track
This is the link to the page that you want people to go to when they click on the built link.
Step 2: Add the parameters you want to track that are specific to your campaign
These are the other fields in the form above that you need to fill out. There are five fields but only three of them are required.
- Campaign source: This is where the link will be placed. For example: the name of your email, the edition of your newsletter, social media, etc.
- Campaign medium: This is the type of channel the source is coming from. For example: email, whitepaper, LinkedIn, etc.
- Campaign term (not required): This is used for paid search to note keywords for an ad.
- Campaign content (not required): This is used for A/B testing and content-targeted ads. For example: you can differentiate between two types of content, two places where you will put the same link, etc.
- Campaign name: This is the name of the campaign and shouldÂ be the same for all links associated with a campaign.
Step 3: Submit the form and copy the generated URL
Once you have entered in all the form fields, click Generate URL and copy the URL. You can then paste the URL in the appropriate area and go back and adjust the form fields to generate URLs for different mediums, or content areas, etc.
How to apply Google URL Builder to your digital content practices
When to use the Google URL Builder
At Marketing CoPilot, we recommend using the Google URL Builder every time you are distributing content via email, social media or on a web page that you want to track sources, popularity or test interest. For example, when Marketing CoPilot sends out a new blog post via email and on social media, we create two URLs under the same campaign name but with different source and mediums. We can then go into our Google Analytics and see if more people viewed the post from social media or from email and can also see which channel (social or email) resulted in more conversions. In an email campaign, if you are trying to test subject lines or what call-to-action people are more likely to click on, you can create Google URLs with different words in Campaign Content to differentiate the URLs and discover what your audience engages with best.
Where do I find my Campaigns in Google Analytics?
After you have started to use the Google URL Builder and your audiences are clicking onÂ the links you created, the data from the Campaigns will begin to collect in your Google Analytics account. To find the campaigns in your Google Analytics account you must go to…Â AcquisitionÂ > Campaigns. If you click on All Campaigns it will give you a breakdown of the number of sessions on your website derived from each campaign, the bounce rate, the time on page, number of conversions, etc.
How do I know if my Campaigns are performing?
Depending on your goals and how you set up your campaigns, there are many ways to interpret the Campaign data. For example:
- If you are testing click throughs on two different email subject lines, you can see which URL resulted in more page views.
- If you want to see if your audience isÂ more likely to read your content via email or social media you can see how many page views from each channel and which channel resulted in a longer time on page.
- If you want to see which channels have a higher conversion rate, you can see how many goals were completed on the various channels (You must however have Goals set up in Google Analytics to see this type of data).
There are many other examples of how to use Google URL Builder and many other ways of interpreting the data but the point of the story is that this is aÂ simple and free way to learn a lot about your audiences, how they interact with your content and determine what resonates and invites them to engage.
Remember that marketing is just communicating without a physical and measurable response.