If you have your own website or blog, then it’s likely you have heard of Google Analytics. I have been using Google Analytics for years to track my site’s visitors, but to be honest, I have not been paying as close attention to my analytics as I should be. When it comes to my affiliate campaigns, I hardly take an eye off them and I analyze all the statistics, but for my regular sites and side projects, I barely pay attention. That is, until recently. My new blog design cost me quite a bit so I decided to pay closer attention to my analytics to make sure it was worth it and that the recent promotions I have been doing to drive traffic to my blog are actually worth the money I am putting into them. One tool within Google Analytics that I am using to track the individual promotions I am doing is the Custom Campaign tool.
When you are running an affiliate marketing campaign you use SubIDs to track the different traffic sources you are getting traffic from. With Google Analytics, you can add SubIDs to your site link and then track the statistics for those SubIDs separately within Analytics. It’s pretty cool. I have known about it for awhile, but it has been one of those things that slipped through the cracks and I didn’t look back. Since you are reading this, do not make that mistake. This is a really valuable tool if you use it right!
Create Your Custom Campaign URL
Before you create your custom campaign URL, please make sure you have your site setup properly on Google Analytics and that you have the Google Analytics tracking code on your site. You will not be able to track your statistics without this done first.
Creating your custom campaign URL is very simple and Google has a URL builder tool that can help you create your link.
In the example above, you can see there are 3 required fields (besides your website URL). Those are:
- Campaign Source
- Campaign Medium
- Campaign Name
They are appended to your link with the queries:
The URL generated from the example above would be:
So, by setting up your custom campaign URL using the tool above you would then be able to track your individual promotion efforts within Analytics. You can either use that custom link with the variables in the link or mask the link. Masking your link is not as important because it’s your domain, but I still like to mask it. Now that your link is setup, where can you find your statistics for it within Analytics?
Custom Campaign Report in Analytics
It actually took me quite awhile for some reason to figure out where the statitics for custom campaigns were within Analytics, but it’s actually pretty obvious. Simply login to your Analytics, choose your site, click on Traffic Source in the left sidebar, Sources, and then Campaigns at the bottom of the drop down. If you use Feedburner you will see that your analytics from Feedburner visits have been there all along!
If you have had some traffic on your custom URL you created as shown above, you should also see some statistics for your campaign. I am using a custom campaign URL for a retargeting campaign and it has been awesome to see the results from that campaign compared to my average blog statistics. Being able to compare your individual promotional efforts compared to your overall average is the biggest advantage to using the custom campaign reporting feature. If your promotion you are testing out is outperforming your average user I would say you are doing something right! As I mentioned in my retargeting post, visitors to my blog from my retargeting campaign are reading more pages and have a much lower bounce rate than my average user. I’m going to also be using custom campaigns to start tracking users coming to my blog from my Facebook fan page and Sponsored Stories to see how engaged they are.
Although I think this is very powerful, I do not really suggest tracking your affiliate marketing campaigns using Google Analytics, but it can definitely be very useful if you are developing a website or blog and want to be able to accurately track your progress. Custom Campaigns are a great way to track your individual promotions and by using the information above and Google’s custom URL builder, you should be able to create and optimize your campaign. Good luck!