Part of the appeal of using web analytics is to be able to determine what is working and tweak what is not. But if you are not able to track everything that drives traffic to your sight, you may be shooting in the dark, with respect to your analysis. Take Pay Per Click (PPC), for instance. Your web analytics will only show that the page was visited, not that it came from your PPC campaigns.
While you can set up some amount of tracking using what is known as actions in your PPC network (and you should), it still won’t show up in your analytics as coming from your PPC. Your analytics will tell you the page that was visited. But suppose you want to use that page across various PPC networks and Facebook advertising? How will you know which one is driving the most traffic and converting?
One way is to set up separate landing pages for each of the PPC networks. If you don’t have many campaigns this may work okay. However, as your campaigns grow you are going to have three or four different landing pages per campaign, or however many networks you use. This can get quite cumbersome over time.
A better way is to tag the URL.
Assume your website is called xyz.com and you set up a landing page. Suppose you set up a campaign called sales in your Google Adwords account. You could tag the URL as follows:
When visitors click on this link via Adwords, this tag will appear in your web analytics reports. If you are using Bing PPC you could use the following:
You can label your tags whatever you want. One caveat is if the URL you want to track already has a ‘?’ in it, this method may not work. You have to check the URL before you add it to your PPC campaigns, or anywhere else you want to use this technique. If you see that the correct page does not come up, or you get what is known as a 404 not found error, then you will have to find another way to track.