Internet Marketing

Align your Google Analytics Channel Groupings with your marcom plan

by Kelly Kubrick on April 17, 2017

Cast your mind back to Planes, Trains and Automobiles, the Steve Martin / John Candy comedy where those modes of transport were to deliver the travellers home. Media has a similar concept with sources, or channels, that deliver prospects to us. Traditionally, those channels included direct mail, radio or TV, and newspapers or magazines.

Today, we have “new” media sources like Google and Bing (search), or Facebook and Twitter (social). When rolled up into categories like Search or Social those categories are known as Channels. However, sources are increasingly fragmented (how many social networks are out there today?), distracting us from knowing which channels are working for us.

Are you confident you know which marcom activities are worth continued investment?

Picture a busy but under-resourced marketing communications team challenged with finding prospects for a new brand. From the get-go, this team has done everything right. They undertook comprehensive market research and used it as the foundation for their strategic plan. That plan led to multiple outreach tactics / activities:

  • Forming strategic partnerships with established, aligned, non-competing organizations
  • Creating relevant, valuable content to be shared across multiple social media networks
  • Publishing relevant blog posts to encourage community engagement
  • Producing a monthly educational email newsletter (with just a hint of promotion) to efficiently leverage their blog
  • Purchasing advertising to to uncover potential pockets of customers
  • Launching an affiliate marketing program to entice bloggers and other websites to promote their message for them

Further, the team put together a measurement plan with established targets, and set Google Analytics up correctly to ensure they captured ‘clean’ prospect data. And, gold star to them – they were executing comprehensive digital campaign tracking to measure the impact of their individual activities.

However as the time requirements for juggling that many activities increased, the available resources did not.

Increased pressure to undertake more (and more) activities without additional resources

Within a few months, everyone wanted to know if all the activities were worth the level of effort required to support them, or if some could / should be cut. However, even as the data flowed in, Google Analytics seemed disconnected from the team’s activities and their reports didn’t support decision making. For example:

The team regularly reviewed their Google Analytics’ Channels report, labelled in the Google Analytics interface as “Default Channel Grouping”.

Default Channels Grouping

Google Analytics Default Channels Grouping Report

If you aren’t familiar with it, Google explains that the Channels report displays

“rule-based groupings of your traffic sources, [showing] your data organized according to the Default Channel Grouping. Default groupings are the most common sources of traffic, like Paid Search and Direct.”

And, according to Google, this allows “you to quickly check the performance of each of your traffic channels.”

The problem is that Google’s Default Channel Groupings aren’t necessarily how organizations might describe their Channels internally. Further, Google’s language labelling the individual Channel might not even exist in your organization’s vocabulary.

Even with measurement best practices, it can be hard to prioritize

So, although the concept of Channels makes sense in theory, typically, the Default Channel Groupings only make sense to the person familiar with your Google Analytics UTM code naming conventions. And, as with many organizations, the majority of the marketing communications team members weren’t familiar with the UTM name/value pair naming conventions (how are we counting paid social? is our email traffic really captured correctly?).

This meant team members weren’t confident in knowing which activities were captured in which Channel. And, if there’s a lack of confidence in the data, people start disregarding it.

Frustratingly, even when this Google Analytics savvy-team used advance reporting features such as expanding their report view to include Source/Medium as a second dimension of data (see screenshot below), the volume of data still obscured any insights to help them prioritize their efforts.

Google Analytics Channels report by Source Medium dimension

Google Analytics Channel report with Source/Medium as a secondary dimension

What does (Other) mean?

One of the frustrations of Google Analytics is the (Other) line item found in many of its reports. In the Default Channel Groupings report, it’s particularly difficult to discern what (Other) contains. Even when used with a second Source/Medium dimension applied, the underlying data still only makes sense to those familiar with the original UTM campaign parameter naming conventions. Even then, Other can take a lot of digging.

Instead, what if (Other) could be eliminated and the remaining Channels sorted into buckets labelled in a way that makes sense to your team? That way, colleagues would have much more confidence interpreting what the reports are showing them.

What to do? Take charge of the Channel rules

Fortunately, instead of using the Default Channel Groupings provided by Google Analytics, you can create your own, reflective of your own marketing-communications activities. Google Analytics provides a useful, and relatively friendly, “make your own rules” tool that allows you to override its ‘system-defined’ rules.

Thus, instead of hoping Google attributes your email traffic correctly, you can ensure your Email traffic does in fact land in the Email channel. Or, instead of having Google lump all your social traffic into Social, you can segment it into paid versus organic.

The ‘Custom Channel Groupings’ tool is in the Admin section of your reports, by View, under Channel Settings > Channel Groupings. With it, you can create a custom set of your own business rules to define Channels, and then toggle between it and the Default Groupings View. This screenshot below illustrates how you can toggle between the two:

Toggle between Default Channel Groupings and your customized channel groupings

Toggle between Default Channel Groupings and your customized channel groupings

 

Six steps to customize your Default Channels Grouping

You can create a Custom Channels Grouping report for your team using these step by step instructions. It’s time to take control of how your traffic sources are attributed in your Google Analytics reports!

1 Review your historical Google Analytics “All Traffic” report, ideally for a minimum of 3 months of data.

2. Look carefully at the “Other” group, and categorize it according to your organizational lingo. Do the same for Sources and Medium, identifying consistencies in both – by determining ‘typical’ sources and mediums (media, for the grammatically inclined). How do those compare to your activities? Which are the sources / mediums of traffic that represent your traffic driving activities versus sources of traffic you’re receiving ‘passively’?

3. In your TEST Google Analytics View (not sure what a TEST view is? See Why you want multiple Views in your Google Analytics), create a new custom Channel Groupings (View Settings > Custom Channel Groupings > + New Channel Groupings) report. In it, define your rules. For example, create a rule that states:

a) If “Medium” exactly matches “organic”, attribute that traffic to the Channel “Organic Search”; or

b) If Medium contains a string of characters generated by your email service provider, attribute traffic to Email

4. Leave your traffic to accumulate for at least 1 week in the TEST view. Go look to see where your traffic has ending up, by Channel. Is it where you expected?

5. Regularly refine the rules and with the intent of squeezing your ‘Other’ bucket to insignificance. Rinse and repeat to identify, classify and refine traffic as it materializes on your website in your TEST view. This is why it’s critical to build the report in TEST; it’s a safe place to refine your rules without affecting your production data.

6. Once you are happy with how your traffic is being attributed by Channel, re-create the same report in your Master View (again, see Why you want multiple Views in your Google Analytics). However – excellent news – instead of needing to recreate it manually, Google Analytics offers a wonderfully efficient way of “sharing an asset” within your own Google Analytics account, via email. In a matter of seconds, this feature allows you to ‘import’ your beautiful new Channels report into your Master View.

Once you’ve imported the new report in your Master View you can now choose to view data using your custom channels. Ta dah!

Below is a final screenshot that shows the difference in traffic attribution between the Default and the Custom Channel Groupings. Take note of a few of the items noted on the screenshot itself:

  • Red circle: Notice how (Other) has been reduced from 16.39% of the traffic to a mere 1.11% of the traffic? This helps eliminate confusion about what (Other) represents;
  • Navy blue circle: Notice how Referral has been broken out in to 2 Channels – MLL Brands and MLL Partners? For this particular team, Partners represents their organization’s strategic partnerships, showing them exactly how much traffic is coming from organizations whom they have formal agreements with (instead of mixing their traffic with other random websites that might be sending traffic). MLL Brands equate to this teams suppliers and represents a different expectation / relationship to the organization (known only to and meaningful only to that organization).
  • Yellow circle: Notice how Social has been segmented into 3 channels – “Paid Social” where paid media buys drove social traffic; “Organic Social (driven by MLL)”, representing traffic originating from their own organic, UTM tagged updates distributed through their own social media networks, and finally, “Organic Social (received by MLL)”, representing social media traffic they have received without sending out updates.

Default vs Custom ChannelsThis Custom Channel Groupings report offers the team much clearer insight into the impact / effectiveness of their efforts. This allows for faster decision making about which activities to pursue.

I strongly recommend you consider implementing it in your organization’s Google Analytics account.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how to implement this at your organization, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. It would be our pleasure to put together a proposal for your review.

Have fun!

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Kelly KubrickAlign your Google Analytics Channel Groupings with your marcom plan

Activate Your Silent Salesperson with Digital Retargeting

by Kelly Kubrick on October 31, 2016

Have you ever been tempted to taste a new wine because the offer of wine overcomes your resistance to trying something new? Then gleefully bought a case of said wine?  Me too. That’s what this is about: offering your prospects content that is so irresistible that you can entice them further into your conversion funnel, willingly.

First published through the Canadian Home Builder’s Association (CHBA)

Now that we’re well past the era of questioning the value of including a website in the marketing toolkit, today’s business concern is ensuring the digital content produced, actually contributes to the larger sales funnel.

Once a business has put its contact and product information online, the challenge becomes justification for continued investment in driving awareness and usage of the website. To date, low-hanging fruit included launching additional digital channels such as a blog, an email list and social media.

What happens when sources to stagnate?

Digitally, it used to be good enough to make sure you’d sorta-kinda made your website search engine friendly and populated your company’s social media account(s) profile pages with updates. But, if asked, your marketing team will likely admit that your website reach has stalled or that Facebook’s “people-reached” update performance indicator is declining. Now what?

As lead generation sources dry up, where will sales come from?

It’s no longer enough to merely hope that digital reach will continue to grow as it has in the past. What if you could efficiently reach new people likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to customers you’ve had success with previously?

More importantly, what if you could reach that audience in a way that both personalizes your interactions, while automating them, so there’s efficiency of effort? The concept is called a ‘lookalike’ audience and is available through a combination of advertising networks – like Facebook – and your existing website.

Activating your silent salesperson

The consumer packaged goods industry talks about a product’s packaging as a brand’s “silent salesman”. When a consumer buys a product and places it on a household shelf, the packaging dutifully reminds buyers its presence.

There’s a similar concept in digital, called re-targeting, also referred to as re-marketing. Digital publishers provide their advertisers with a small piece of computer code, often called a “pixel” – similar to a cookie – that won’t affect your visitors’ experience or your website performance, but is unique to you as an advertiser. By publishing your pixel on your website, you activate your silent salesperson.

Put your digital content to work

Next – instead of merely launching a sales-oriented advertising campaign, you use that pixel to build a new prospect list through irresistible content. Using Facebook as an example, here’s a big picture visual of how re-targeting works:

Activate your silence salesperson - digital re-targeting cycle

With that cycle in mind, it’s time to get granular. An effort like this has a lot of moving parts, but done right, your marketing team gets access to a rich source of digital leads.

Ten Steps of Digital Re-targeting

Using Facebook as an example, here’s what your marketing team will need to do:

  1. Create a Facebook Ads account for your organization and generate your Facebook pixel from within it. Publish that pixel to all pages of your website.

2. Define a specific buyer persona, with unique interests, such as ‘eco-friendly living’, or ‘vintage motorcycles’ that your company wants to pursue. Research and quantify those interest groups on Facebook – called Audiences – and then narrow that audience further by geographic – all of Canada? Or only one province / territory? and demographic ( age and gender) targeting.

3. Create a unique piece of irresistibly good content, written purely for that persona’s concerns, and publish it on your website. Provide enormous amounts of added-value information – imagine content that answers every question unique to that buyer persona, without the pressure of any kind of a sales pitch. Establish your subject authority while assuring the reader of your goodwill.

4. In parallel, create a digital advertisement that promotes the educational nature of your irresistible content, and run it on Facebook – but only show it to the unique interest groups identified in step 2.

5. As your advertisement is shown on Facebook, interested individuals will engage and click through to read your irresistible content, causing your Facebook pixel to activate.

6. However, in advance, you will have made your initial content even more irresistible by offering another piece of even higher added value information – enticing information (perhaps by providing a critical check list, a list of unique resources, a countdown calendar, or how-to instructions?) unavailable anywhere else.

7. That additional, enticing content will only be accessible in exchange for the visitor’s willing, forward movement into the sales funnel – say, in exchange for an email address. However, since most first-time visitors will shy away from giving you that information on the spot, because of the pixel, you can let them go without worry.

8. After an appropriate interval, your marketing team runs a second advertisement on Facebook, only shown to (or ‘re-targeting’) those who visited your irresistible content but didn’t convert to a lead by giving up their email. The second ad will offer a gentle reminder of the fabulous extra content they have missed out on, enticing them back to your content, this time with a higher likelihood to convert to access your higher value content.

9. As you identify the right audiences and use the right creative to entice them towards consideration, the automated – yet more personalized than a mass-media ad buy – process repeats until a lead converts. This allows you to engage with the lead on an ongoing basis through your existing qualification process.

10. As you identify the audiences most likely to convert, Facebook is able to give you access to ‘lookalike’ audiences – other people with profiles and behaviour that match those you’ve successfully converted – that you can now offer your irresistible content to. And the cycle repeats…

To access a lookalike audience on Facebook, organizations need to have a Facebook Ad Account, which provides tools to create your pixel, advertising campaigns, and Audiences, including lookalikes. In Facebook, lookalike audiences can be modelled from ‘source’ audiences including specific on Facebook, people who’ve liked your Facebook page or your own customer lists.

To create these lookalike audiences, Facebook looks at the common qualities of the people in your source audience and then finds people who “look like” your source audience on Facebook for a country. Organizations can choose the size of the Lookalike Audience during the creation process.

This combination of using technology to target the interests of buyer personas you can uniquely help, without even knowing who they are – while using automation to re-target them later – can be a powerful tool to help drive your lead generation efforts.

Although tactically, this ‘silent salesperson aka pixel’ approach may feel very far from how you’ve sourced leads in the past, my hope is that you will consider adding re-targeting as an arrow to your marketing quiver.

Questions? Ask away!

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Kelly KubrickActivate Your Silent Salesperson with Digital Retargeting

Homebuilders and Renovators: Stop Overcomplicating Social Media

by Kelly Kubrick on February 28, 2014
First published in the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) membership email newsletter, February 2014

Ever tried to do business with an unlisted phone number?

In 2007, I met with a group of Canadian Home Builders Association members to talk about making the most of the Internet. I suggested trying to do business without a website was like trying to do business using an unlisted phone number. Seven years later, the analogy holds true for social media as well.

Think of social media as a channel

Stripped down, social media is simply a channel. Like all the other technologies you’ve adapted to over time – phone, email, web page, blog posts, texts – social media is simply another way to communicate with prospects, customers, suppliers and employees. It’s another way to answer questions people have on their path to conversion:

  • What homes do you have available where?
  • How much does a bathroom renovation cost?
  • How do I get to your sales centre?
  • What floor plans are available?
  • Can I change them?
  • Can you give me some design ideas?
  • Is the upfront cost vs. energy efficiency trade off worth it?

Name the home-owning topic and someone is looking for information about it through social media. And yes; as with commercial search engines, you can quantify demand through social networks.

Why do we support different channels?

It’s simple. From a demographic perspective, different prospect and customer segments prefer different channels. We all know that some people are phone people, others are email people, and others are in-person people. Now, some are social people. For now, put aside which kind of person you are and think about what your prospects are. By demographic, how would they prefer to get information?

Different social media networks support different types of people

Similar to preferences by channel, people have preferences by content type. Some are text people, some are picture people, and some are video people. Think about social networks the same way:

stop-overcomplicating-social-media

Please note that although there are many other social media networks, the first four listed above dominate from a market share perspective (Facebook in particular). Although research indicates Google Plus has low adoption right now, it may have a significant influence on search engine visibility later.

I included LinkedIn as I firmly believe that creating your LinkedIn profile is critical for each of you to test the waters of social media for yourselves: if you’re unwilling to put your own professional history online today, how will you lead the way for your company’s larger presence in social media tomorrow?

Social media excels at the new way to sell: content marketing

Added bonus: every year, more data emerges that social media, in conjunction with your website, can allow you to provide critical information at a much lower cost per conversion than traditional media. Why? Scale. Social media excels at assisting home builders and renovators to shift from traditional sales methods towards ‘content marketing’.

What is content marketing? What your best sales folks have always done: provide educational content at the right point in your prospects’ moment of information need. Only today, social media lets you do it at scale. Find the right combination of content type for the right social media channel for your prospects and customers, and the data will prove an exponential impact on your reach.

Biggest Challenge: Feeding the Machine

Regardless of which social network(s) you choose to participate in, be aware that each one demands ongoing care and feeding. You’ll need to allocate resources to creating content, curating content, responding, replying and measuring the impact of your efforts. Ask yourselves:

–    Which types of content could we shine at producing?
–    How could we adjust resources to produce that content on an ongoing basis?
–    Is it possible, from the start, to produce our content for multi-channel distribution?

For now, don’t let your internal discussions to get tangled up in the “which social media network” question. Instead, talk about whether your prospects and customers might need you via a different channel than you offer today. And always, always, remember the generation coming up behind you. Don’t let them dismiss your expertise at answering their questions as they cross the threshold into becoming home owners themselves.

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Kelly KubrickHomebuilders and Renovators: Stop Overcomplicating Social Media

How to track digital campaigns using Google Analytics utm codes

by Kelly Kubrick on November 27, 2013

“Tagging” Credit When Credit Is Due: Understanding Digital Campaign Tracking

Imagine a website…It’s a good website. It deserves visitors.

 

 

 

 

 

Those responsible for it agree, and the marketing / communications plans initiate:

  • Press / news releases are issued
  • Advertising is purchased
  • Keywords are bid on
  • Emails go out
  • Social media gets conversational

Good news! Website visitors start showing up…

 

 

 

 

 

Lots more visitors…

Image credit: Penguins sculpture, by Nao Matsumoto

Image credit: Penguins sculpture, by Nao Matsumoto

And right in the middle of all the celebrations, you get the dreaded question. Someone asks you which marketing or communication effort did the trick.

They start pummelling you with questions – which effort brought the visitors? Which didn’t? How did the efforts compare? Which should we do more of? Less of? Should we double down on any of them? Or discontinue any of them?

And once they hit you with all the ‘quantity’ questions, they then want to know the ‘quality’ questions: which effort(s) brought the right visitors for the campaign objective?

And you slowly back out of the room…

I am pleased to tell you there is good news – you can answer all those questions, and with flair and panache. The bad news is that it does take some advance planning.

Campaign tracking is about taking – or ‘tagging’ – credit

Web analytics tools attribute visitors to 1 of 2 ‘default’ traffic sources: the “Direct” (aka No Referral) or the “Referral” source:

“Typical” split measured as by web analytics tools - Direct vs Referral

“Typical” split measured as by web analytics tools

 

 

 

 

 

Direct is traffic a measure of brand awareness

Direct traffic website visitors are those who arrive by bookmark or memorized domain or URL. Think of this source of visitor traffic as a measure of brand awareness; visitors must have had previous exposure to your brand or URL,  to recall or type it into a browser window and / or bookmark it.

Referral traffic is closer to publicity

By contrast, the Referral traffic source ‘refers’ (get it?) to visitors arriving via a third party website. However, to make Referral more useful, we immediately segment those third parties into more specific organic (or unpaid) sources. Examples include:

  1. Search: traffic from commercial search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN/Bing or About
  2. Social Media: traffic from social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram
  3. Publishers such as online newspapers, magazines or bloggers
  4. Institutions such as universities, hospitals or government websites

Think of these referral sources as a kind of publicity (for good or bad). And, as wonderful as all that referral traffic generally is, it can be challenging to secure, and it can be unpredictable. When it does show up, it is fabulous. And when it dries up, it can be scary.

To combat the unpredictable nature of referral traffic, we have another category of traffic source, known as “Campaigns”.

Campaigns are sources of traffic that you have defined in advance of your effort / spend

The definitions are unique to your organization’s marketing / communications / advertising efforts. When those definitions are aligned with your digital campaign tracking efforts, you’re able to isolate those visitors and report on them separately. You can answer questions such as”

  • Do particular campaigns bring more new leads vs. other sources?
  • Are those visitors of a higher quality? Do they read more content? Do they exhibit higher engagement?
  • Do they convert at a higher rate?

Campaigns are sources of traffic unique to your organization’s efforts to drive traffic

Campaigns might include:

  • Emails sent to your newsletter subscribers, prospects or customers that drive traffic back to your site
  • Display advertising (banners, buttons or other ad units) you purchased or traded for
  • Keywords you bid for via networks such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads
  • CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per thousand) or CPA (cost per action) media buys from publishers
  • Social media updates posted to your organization’s profiles / feeds
  • Press or news releases distributed to your networks
  • Affiliate / partner websites where you negotiated placement; and even
  • “Offline” efforts such as print or radio ads (where you included a unique, or vanity URL)

As they typically require additional effort or cost, campaigns are those sources of traffic you’d like to measure return on, compared to the default direct and referral traffic sources. To do that, we need to isolate campaign visitors from Direct or Referral traffic sources.

But how do we isolate campaign visitors?

By tagging those sources of visitors:

 

 

 

 

 

Like marine biologists who tags wildlife to identify an animal later, or farmers who tag livestock to identify animals in a larger herd, digital analysts ‘tag’. We tag sources of visitor traffic to identify different segments in a larger herd of visitors to a website.

It’s just that we do our tagging via campaign tracking tags, otherwise known as “utms” codes in Google Analytics. FYI, ‘utm’ stands for Urchin Tracking Module. Urchin was the predecessor technology to Google Analytics, and the legacy term has stuck.

Examples of tags

Picture of a penguin tag

Penguin tag

Animals are tracked via physical tags that are attached to them. And digital campaigns are tagged via ‘extensions’ to the URLs we send visitors to.

Every digital analytics tool has a unique set of extensions available to track campaigns.

As a result, the specifics of campaign tracking implementation differ depending on whether your organization uses Google Analytics, Webtrends, Adobe Analytics or another tool.

Below, I’ve provide campaign tracking tags for Google Analytics vs Webtrends:

Google Analytics campaign tags

utm_source=source1
utm_medium=medium1
utm_campaign=campaign1

Webtrends marketing campaign or paid search tags

WT.mc_id
WT.srch=1

Web analytics tools recognize their own campaign tracking tags

When visitors arrive at your website via URLs that contain your campaign tracking tags, your digital analytics tool will recognize them as belonging to particular segments of traffic, and will attribute their arrival to the correct segment for you. Here’s how the magic happens:

When you create content that drives visitors to your website, you typically provide a link: http://www.mysite.ca

In digital analytics, we consider that an “untagged” link. And, regardless of which analytics tool you use, visitors who arrive via untagged links are attributed to the “Direct” source of traffic.

If you want to attribute visitors to a different source of traffic, you need to tag the link accordingly. To tag links, you ‘extend’ the link with extra information. And – the best part is that the extra information does not interfere with the way the web page is displayed to visitors.

Here’s an example of a tagged link:

https://www.onlineauthority.com/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=signature&utm_campaign=2013

What makes the link above special?

image of a question mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously. It’s the question mark.

The question mark signals that the link is what’s knows a ‘parameter’, and in the case of particular parameters, they are contain messages recognized by particular technologies, and ignored by others. So web servers ignore campaign parameters. Internet browsers ignore campaign parameters. And thus, there’s no impact on the user’s experience of your content.

Parameters have a particular structure: a question mark followed by an ‘equation’ separated by an equal sign:

?parameter-name=parameter-value-decided-by-you

So, if the parameter name were “source”, then you might decide the parameter value is a publisher or your house email list.

Or if the parameter name were medium, then you might decide en the parameter value is a banner or a particular email edition or issue.

Or, if the parameter name were campaign, then you might decide the parameter value is a campaign name like thanksgiving or rrsp-season-2013.

Examples of untagged links:

onlineauthority.com/digital-analytics-courses/

onlineauthority.com/digital-analytics-courses/learn-google-analytics

Examples of those same links, tagged:

onlineauthority.com/digital-analytics-courses/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=adwords&utm_campaign=2013

onlineauthority.com/digital-analytics-courses/learn-google-analytics/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=adwords&utm_campaign=2013

Notice how there are actually three parameters in there, all strung together by ampersands?

Examples of those same links, tagged in colour:

In the first URL, I’ve shown the parameter name in blue:

onlineauthority.com/digital-analytics-courses/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=segment-a&utm_campaign=2013

And, in the second URL, I’ve shown the parameter value in red:

onlineauthority.com/digital-analytics-courses/learn-google-analytics/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=segment-a&utm_campaign=2013

Once you’ve tagged your URLs with campaign parameters, or utms, and distributed them via email, social media, or as the destination URLS for your display ads, those visitors will appear in your campaign reports.

Where do the tagged visitors appear in my reports?

Look for them in your Traffic Sources, or Acquisition reports:

Screenshot to show where campaign-tagged visitors show up in your Google Analytics or Webtrends reports.

Campaign-tagged visitors are found in campaign reports in Google Analytics, Webtrends or other digital analytics tools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each parameter represents one report. Thus, the values of your campaign parameter utms will will appear in your Google Analytics campaigns report:

 

 

 

 

And, your Source and Medium parameter values or utms will will appear as secondary dimensions in your Google Analytics campaigns report, and as a stand alone Source/Medium report.

 

 

How do I tag my emails with Google Analytics utms?

Example of an HTML email with links circledIn the code of an HTML email, an organization can include links to their website. And those links can be extended, inside the HTML, with campaign tracking tags or utms.

So, again – instead instead of attaching a tag to an animal…we tag the link inside the HTML code in the email that brings visitors to the website. The tagged links inside this email might look like:

cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/trades/apply-who.asp/?utm_source=bulletin&utm_medium=email_03&utm_campaign=aut2013

cic.gc.ca/francais/immigrer/metiers/demand-qui.asp/?utm_source=bulletin&utm_medium=email_03&utm_campaign=aut2013

 

How do I tag my social media with Google Analytics utms?

Social media screenshot with shortened linkIn a social media update, organization can include links to their website. And those links can be extended prior to being shortened, with campaign tracking tags or utms.

How do I tag my display advertising banners with Google Analytics utms?

 

 

 

 

When providing creative to your agency or to the publisher you’ve purchased advertising with, you also provide them with the URL you want them to link to. The button and banners above might have the following tags:

digitalstrategyconference.com/ottawa/2013/?utm_source=publisher-a&utm_medium=250×250-ros&utm_campaign=dscott13-eb

digitalstrategyconference.com/vancouver/2013/?utm_source=publisher-b&utm_medium=728×90-biz&utm_campaign=dsvan13-reg

In the examples above, the value of the source parameter is the name of publisher where the button ran (publisher-a vs b), the value of the medium parameter represents the size of the ad unit (250×250 vs 720×90) and its placement (run of site vs business section) and the campaign name represents the offer: the city and pricing codes.

How do I create my utms?

You can certainly create utms and tag URLs manually, using something like Google’s URL builder:

 

 

 

 

But, it’s far more efficient to do it via a spreadsheet, which will help you create and organize Source, Medium and Campaign naming conventions. That way, over time, you’ll maintain consistency, adding more value to your reporting and analysis efforts. In addition, you can use very simple formulas in Excel to automatically build the URLs and thus eliminate potential tagging errors.

Below is an screenshot of an example spreadsheet I created for my clients:

 

 

 

 

And with that – congratulate yourself! You’re now ready to ‘tag credit’ for your brilliant campaigns!

And of course, you’ll be annotating your Google Analytics reports throughout to provide context to the changes in traffic, right?

If this intrigues you enough to begin developing your organization’s digital campaign tracking strategy, contact me to request my campaign tagging spreadsheet template.

When you and your team are ready to roll up sleeves and dive in, we would be happy to provide a proposal to provide your team with training or consulting to implement digital campaign tracking for yourselves.

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Kelly KubrickHow to track digital campaigns using Google Analytics utm codes

Looming Deadline for SMX Session Pitches

by Kelly Kubrick on December 14, 2009

Toronto’s April 2010 Search Marketing Expo (SMX Toronto) session pitch deadline is December 15th, 2009. For anyone new to this conference, SMX Toronto runs alongside eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit.

If you or an organization you work with would like to talk about a search (search engine optimization, marketing, analytics and onsite search) project you’ve completed of late, the conference organizers would love to hear from you:

Read about planned session tracks and submit your pitch

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Kelly KubrickLooming Deadline for SMX Session Pitches

Web Usability for Business Results

by Kelly Kubrick on November 25, 2009

Our next OCRI Zone5ive Marketing Forum has been announced – join us on Thursday December 10, 2009 at our new location, the Travelodge Hotel Ottawa and Conference Centre in the Greenery Room. Our speaker is Dominira Saul, Director of User Experience Design, Akendi.

Session Overview: If you’re responsible for a website, whether you work with outside agencies or do everything internally, you need to understand: what drives good usability; how to recognize poor usability; and how to work with your external and internal partners to get what you need.

It’s common knowledge that the easier a website is to use the happier users will be. This can translate into increased sales, greater brand awareness, and decreased support costs among other benefits. In today’s web-driven world, usability is more important than ever.

In his talk, Dominira Saul will outline what we should all know about web usability; the right questions to ask; and what steps you should take to ensure a better user and brand experience.

Register Online

Thursday  November 10th, 2009
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – registration and lunch
12:30 p.pm to 1:30 p.m. – presentation

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Kelly KubrickWeb Usability for Business Results

Prepare to Defend Your (site) workshop goes on the road

by Kelly Kubrick on November 1, 2009

CASLIS, Canada’s Association for Special Libraries and Information Services is sending Online Authority’s “Prepare to Defend Your (site)!: Website Performance Measurement” workshop on a cross-Canada roadshow.

Join Kelly Kubrick this fall in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa or Montreal for an entertaining workshop on Internet Performance Measurement. Learn how to:

  • Prove you are using your website to offer better service to clients;
  • Ensure your website remains accountable; and
  • Secure resources to improve the website going forward.

It’s an Internet call to arms!

This three hour workshop will be offered by the following CASLIS chapters:

  • Winnipeg, Manitoba – November 3rd, 2009 – 2:00 pm
  • Edmonton, Alberta – November 4th, 2009 – 12:30 pm
  • Calgary, Alberta – November 5th, 2009 – 9:30 am
  • Ottawa, Ontario – November 12th, 2009 – 1:00 pm
  • Montreal, Quebec – November 24th, 2009 – 1:oo pm

Register for your preferred city at each chapter’s website, or contact Online Authority for assistance.

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Kelly KubrickPrepare to Defend Your (site) workshop goes on the road

Customer Engagement through Social Media

by Kelly Kubrick on September 25, 2009

On behalf of the OCRI Zone5ive Marketing Forum programming committee, I’m pleased to share details about our ‘season opener’ which will be held on October 8th, 2009.

Our speaker is Natasha D’Souza, Founder of Virtual EyeSee, who will be presenting Customer Engagement through Social Media:

If you are like many organizations, you have likely begun to add some elements of social media to your marketing tactics. But how do you leverage these new channels to truly engage customers in meaningful conversations, and to gather and respond to market feedback?

In this Zone5ive session, you will learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Blogs to listen to and engage your audience, and to build your own online community using open source tools and hosted services.

Some of the takeaways will be:

– skills to help you learn to listen to your customers
– approaches for successful customer engagement
– crowd sourcing your product development; and much more.

Natasha D’Souza from Virtual EyeSee will take you on a social media adventure and inspire you to engage with your customers. Whether you are on a shoestring, moderate or large budget there is solution for everyone.

Date: Thursday October 8, 2009
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Ben Franklin Place, Council Chamber – Main Floor, 101 Centrepointe Dr.

Register online or by contacting Tanya Calvo, Conference Administrator at 613-828-6274 ext. 224 or tcalvo@ocri.ca.

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Kelly KubrickCustomer Engagement through Social Media

The MHC Online®: Get the Electronic Edge!

by Kelly Kubrick on September 8, 2009

The Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute (CMHI) and Online Authority are pleased to announce the newest Manufactured Housing Consultant (MHC)® workshop.

The MHC® Online: Get the Electronic Edge! will be offered in Ottawa, Canada on Saturday, September 19th, 2009 in conjunction with CMHI’s Semi-Annual Meeting.

This new workshop was created for salespeople seeking perspective on the value of the web as a lead generation tool. In particular, this course is directed at Registered Manufactured Housing Consultants (MHC)® and manufactured housing and factory-built sales people, marketing staff and business owners.

Interested in attending? Visit CMHI for meeting and workshop agendas as well information about how to register.

If you have any other question, feel free to contact CMHI or Online Authority for more details.

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Kelly KubrickThe MHC Online®: Get the Electronic Edge!

50 Ideas on Using Twitter and LinkedIn for Business

by Kelly Kubrick on June 8, 2009

Looks like it’s going to be a great OCRI Zone5ive Marketing Forum session this week! Andrew Milne of bv02 Inc. will be moderating the following panel:

Kelly Rusk, Manager of Marketing and Communities, MediaMiser Ltd (Go Kelly!)
Scott Lake, Founder, ThinkSM and SWIX
Luc Levesque, Founder, TravelPod.com

Entitled “50 Ideas on Using Twitter and LinkedIn for Business” the pitch is:

“Listen to and engage this panel of social media experts to determine how, when and if you should be adding some of the world’s most influential social media networks to your marketing and communication mix. Benefit from their experience and research and discover how both local and international brands are succeeding, or failing, with the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter. Covering topics such as How to Build a Social Media Plan, Social Media ROI and Social Media Tools you’ll leave the session armed with a checklist of things to do and investigate.”

Date & Time: Thursday June 11, 2009 – 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Ben Franklin Place, Council Chamber – Main Floor, 101 Centrepointe Dr.

Register here

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Kelly Kubrick50 Ideas on Using Twitter and LinkedIn for Business