Campaign codes and Google Analytics

Tech Notes

Google Analytics is a fantastic free tool for determining how well your website is performing. It takes a bit of getting used to but the default views are still very useful for determining how much traffic your site has, what they are doing and where they come from. Most of your traffic will come from Google or other search engines. If you are lucky you will see a lot coming in from your affiliates (referrers) and other sites where you are active such as facebook. And you will see a bunch of visitors labelled as Direct traffic. Direct traffic are visitors that either type in your address directly (rather than in to Google) or have bookmarked your address. Obviously Direct traffic will include all of your print advertising including bus stops and posters. There are some more examples of offline promotions at the Connect Arts blog.

Bringing offline online

There are several ways to deal with this. You can publish a new page on your site for just that traffic. The trouble is you might end up adding several pages (one for each publication) with identical content. Google cries when you do this. And puppies die. Our preference is to use Google Analytics campaign tags. This allows you to identify traffic coming from a single campaign (say a Summer promotion) to an existing page. It also allows you to identify which particular media (eg: print rather than radio) and source (eg: bus stops rather than Drum Media). This is the method that Google Adwords uses automagically–also some EDM managers and other products that interoperate with Analytics. The following are required tags

  • Source–where was the advertisement? (2SER, SBS, Google, Drum Media)
  • Medium–what was the platform of the advertisement? Radio, TV, CPC (cost per click online ads)
  • Name –what is the name of the campaign you are running?

And these are optional

  • Term–if you are paying to be advertised against a particular term. For example in the Yellow Pages
  • Content–perhaps you are running a pair of ads in the same journal and the same month but on different pages

You can then build Analytics Goals and Reports around these data sets. By attributing dollar values to goals (or implementing Analytics E-Commerce integration) you can evaluate your offline marketing spend against its online performance. The only trouble with these links is that they are long and ugly and difficult to type. The simple work around is to use an URL shortener to make it quicker to type. Or a QR code. See this post. Short URLs and QR codes If you'd like to talk to us about using campaign tagging for your next print campaign please contact Zina Kaye.