A quick guide to creating tracked links

Step one – why we track links

  • Adding tracking parameters to your URLs means you can measure where your traffic came from in Google Analytics
  • This allows you to look at your content, measure which platform performed best and tag individual URLs to particular campaigns

Step two – what to do

There are different tools available which allow you to create tracked links, including URL builder and Hootsuite

URL builder:

  • To use this site, fill in the fields marked ‘Required’
  • Website URL = paste the URL of the page you want to track
  • Campaign source = Twitter
  • Campaign medium = Social media
  • Campaign name = xxx campaign
  • Once you’re ready, press ‘Submit’ and a new URL with an appended query string will be generated
  • Now the new URL is ready to be shortened by pasting it into, for example, Bitly (login to your charity Bitly account)
  • If you’re sharing your link on Facebook as well as Twitter, repeat the process entering Facebook as the campaign source
  • You’ll then have two separate campaign URLs, one for each platform

OR

Hootsuite:

  • Login
  • Navigate to the ‘Publisher’ icon, third down in the left hand corner of the screen
  • Click the ‘Compose message’ bar at the top of the screen
  • Enter your copy
  • Enter your link into the link bar and click ‘Advanced’
  • Select ‘ow.ly’ as the URL shortner
  • Select ‘Google Analytics’ as your parameter setting
  • Enter the Source, Medium and Campaign as in the URL builder example above
  • Click ‘Shrink’ and then test the shortened URL it generates by pasting it into your browser to make sure the parameters have been applied to the query string

Step three – measuring results

  • Login to Google Analytics
  • Select your time period via the top right hand corner of the screen
  • Now expand the ‘Acquisition’ tab to the left of the screen
  • Scroll down and select ‘Campaigns’
  • You’ll see a graph and below it a list of campaign results
  • Type your campaign name in the search bar, to the right of this section
  • View your data
  • Once you’re ready, move your mouse up slightly to the drop down menu marked
  • ‘Secondary dimension’ and click
  • Expand ‘Social’ and click ‘Social network’
  • You’ll now see which views to that campaign came from which social platforms
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