“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker (attributed)
What can we learn from this quote? Perhaps that John Wanamaker didn’t have Google Analytics installed. Actually, Digital Throttle supplies all advertisers full reporting, but you might still want to track results on your own. For the price (free), Google Analytics is the best tool to use for tracking clicks upon ads and also monitoring your own website.
Why track your campaigns?
Whether you’re spending money on display ads or even video ads, it’s important to know whether your efforts are paying off. By using tracking codes you can determine which campaigns deliver traffic to your site, generate leads, and even get people to provide you their email address.
How do you set up tracking codes?
First off, you don’t need to add tracking code to every incoming link; most inbound traffic is easy to measure by default in Google Analytics. Instead, you should use tracking codes on paid advertising. Not only are these paid spots you want to measure, but most ads appear within ad servers such as our own Cox Digital Solutions or Google’s DoubleClick. While you can see the “referring domain” for inbound links, most clicks on ads will not be attributed to a website unless you use a tracking code. Also, if you have multiple creative ads running, you’ll want a tracking code to measure each ad.
The three (3) primary values you’ll want to monitor through your tracking code are:
Now, if that seems overly complex, don’t worry: Google offers a tool called the URL Builder that will generate your links for you.
Simply enter four pieces of information:
- the website URL you’re linking to,
- the campaign source,
- the campaign medium, and
- the name you give your campaign.
Then click on the “Generate URL” button…Google will provide you with a URL ready to cut-and-paste.
If you want to track a banner ad’s performance, just provide this tracking URL to the website where you’re advertising along with the banner ad.
Measuring Your Results
Once your campaign has launched, you’ll be able to measure your success (remember: failure is just a stepping stone to success) in Google Analytics.
The takeaway is that you need to use tracking codes for your ad campaigns in addition to using our online reports. By measuring your results you can continually improve your ROI and build a stronger, more effective web presence. If you need help setting up your own tracking, or even advice on what metrics you should be tracking, please don’t hesitate to contact us.