I’m pretty sure it was Don Crowther that put me onto this, but for the life of me, I can’t find the article, even though it was only a few days ago. Ah the perils of massive amounts of information!
The article was about tracking actions on your site from the different promotions you do. As it was Don, the focus was understandably on Social Media.
The basic idea is to track all your links. Obvious? Yep. Do I do it? Yep. I have my own url shortener so I have full control over my tracking and full confidence that all the links I put out there will continue to work, whether or not the tracking company goes out of business (hey, it has happened and will happen again! And then where would you be?).
But Don, being the master he is, ramped it up in a unique way. Ok maybe it’s not so unique, but I’ve never heard of it and I’ve generally got my ear to the ground on these things. It’s an advanced technique/tweak for when you use Google Analytics. It goes like this:
Go to the Google Tool: URL Builder. It will look like this:
Enter the information into the fields and it’ll create a longer url with various paramaters attached. Something like:
The final step is to take that extremely long link and turn it into a much shorter one, using a link shortening service. Either create your own link shortener or use one of the free ones like http://bit.ly or http://tinyurl.com. I know Don uses http://budurl.com – it’s a paid service, but one of the benefits of a paid service is that they are a lot less likely to go out of business than a free one.
I’m going to implement this tweak and see how much of a difference it makes to my understanding of my analytics.