URL tagging is a hot topic right now. If you’re creating or sharing content online to drive traffic to a website, it’s essential to know what results you’re getting so you can repeat and refine what works and bin what doesn’t.
It used to be that to tag URLs you needed to use Google’s URL Builder or our own URL Building spreadsheet, but both these URL tagging methods were cumbersome and annoying.
Professor Traffic, the Chrome Extension from Noisy Little Monkey is simple and does pretty much everything for you. Use it and you can see which shares produced traffic to your website (and which shares produced conversions – to either leads or sales) right in Google Analytics. No set up, no mess, no fuss.
Track traffic from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn as standard. If you want to share on another site (or in an email campaign, QR Code, whatever) there’s even a custom setting to track your visitors from pretty much anywhere you can add a link.
So, to start tagging URLs now, install Professor Traffic now and then follow these instructions:
Click on Professor Traffic and he will grab the URL (the bit in the address bar).
The campaign name will show up in Analytics, so make sure it’s something relevant, but not too specific. If you’re not sharing dozens of links to your site every day, I’d keep it simple. Certainly in the first instance.
For instance, if you’re sharing the same link across the big four social sites and it’s not tied to any other marketing you’re doing, I’d suggest calling the campaign ‘Social’.
For the medium, you might want to call it ‘Link’ if it’s just a link. If it’s a banner or badge and you have different designs, then make sure you give each one a unique name so you can measure which is driving the most traffic (e.g. ‘banner-125×125′ and ‘banner-728×90′).
Google Analytics will handily segment your results by site, so there’s no need to include site names (like ‘Facebook’) in the campaign or medium, unless you really want to.
Do not leave these fields blank or use spaces – that’ll screw everything up.
Say you are sharing the link on Twitter. Click the ‘For Twitter’ box (3 times should grab the whole code). Now right mouse click the highlighted text & copy the link (if you really want to be showy, hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key on your keyboard and tap the ‘c’ key – this copies it).
Now, go to Twitter, HootSuite or wherever and paste the link in the relevant place (shortcut ‘Ctrl’+’V’ – this pastes).
If you’re logged into Twitter or Facebook you can just click share and you’ll get taken there.
If you don’t want to use the big ugly URL that Google Analytics needs to track this share, then click ‘shorten’ and you’ll get a much prettier version.
There’s an option to enter custom sites if you need to (this can be any site or email or whatever) , but Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are all covered as standard so you can share the link and track the visitors from all four with consummate ease (or if you’re using the keyboard shortcuts now, maybe that should be consummate vs).
The bit in yellow in Traffic Sources menu is the stuff you’re measuring now…
You can see which sites drove traffic but this doesn’t tell you about the links YOU shared…
But drill down into ‘Campaigns’ and you can see which Campaigns drove traffic.
And which mediums:
And, if you’ve got your goals set up properly – which of these campaigns is driving your profitability:
Professor Traffic was launched after much testing on 18th June 2012 (here it is in the Chrome Webstore). We think it’s fantastic, but if you experience bugs, problems or want functionality added please comment below. We’ll do our best to help.