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In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.
So in the intro to campaign tracking video we defined campaign information and talked about how to divvy up our visits into these buckets, so to speak. But how will this be used by Google Analytics, and how do we get it in there? Well, lots of reports use campaign tracking, but the two we most commonly think of are the Campaigns and there's All Traffic Sources report. Here we can see our dimensions are Source/Medium. So the first word here is going to be all the different sources that we've got: google, yahoo, doubleclick, bing, et cetera. On the right side, we're going to see all the different mediums that those brought: cpc, organic, referrals.
So in this case, we can see that the google was a source twice, but the mediums were different. On the organic side, it brought us 21,000 visits, but on the cpc medium, we have 4,600 visits, both from the same source, just two different mediums broken up. We also see up here we have our (direct)/(none) bucket. Remember, when the source is direct and there's no medium, this means Google wasn't able to determine any information about that. It doesn't know what the source was, and it doesn't know what the medium is, but we still have to account for that visit. So it gets under the bucket of (direct)/(none), which is pretty much the absence of any other information. We also have a dedicated report just like campaigns. We click here.
We're going to see all the different campaigns listed out and all the visits associated with those campaigns. Remember, this is the overall umbrella of campaigns, meaning the sources and mediums are all going to be rolled under there. In this case, we have a campaign that was targeting the Google Store that targeted the English and the Americas. We also have one that was targeted towards coffee shops. And it's going to be the aggregate of all the different things underneath it, so all the sources, all the mediums, all the ad versions are all going to get rolled up into those larger buckets. And as far as how Google populates these reports, it does its best to figure out as much as it can on its own.
So things like organic search engines are going to automatically detect when a visit comes from a search engine. It's even able to pull out the keyword from the referring source, anytime we link from one web site to another as long as we're using sort of a plain-vanilla HTML link. And it's able to figure that out. It can actually look inside the request and see where it came from and make sure that it gets into the appropriate bucket. Of course, direct visits are also able to be detected because direct visits are the absence of information. So if we can't figure anything else out then it's going to go into the direct bucket.
And I put Google AdWords here as being auto-detected, and this is true only if you have Auto-Tagging turned on. If you turn on Auto-Tagging in Google AdWords, it's going to automatically apply all these campaign tags so that Google Analytics understands exactly where it came from, which campaign it was a part of, which keywords were used, which ad version was shown, et cetera. All the other things you're going to have to manually tag in order for Google to understand which buckets those should go into. So most cost per click. We said Google AdWords has the ability to do auto-tagging, but if you're using other networks, you're going to have to actually manually tag each one of those destination URLs so that Google Analytics can understand the campaign information associated with those.
Same thing with emails. When we send those out, we need to make sure we tag our links, banner ads, offline ads, and pretty much everything else other than the ones that we listed here to be auto-detected, especially the ones that you pay for. It's a little bit ironic that some of the most important information to track, the links that we're actually paying for, are the ones that Google Analytics is least able to track on its own without this extra tagging information. So this is how this campaign data is going to appear in the reports. But now we need to talk about how to get it from an idea in our head into Google Analytics so it can actually create these reports. Let's walk through an example.
Let's say that you're the Acme Box Company and you want to put out a campaign for your small red cardboard boxes. Part of this campaign is to put banner ads out on different web sites across the web that are going to point back to your small red cardboard box landing page. Of course, when someone is out, visiting a web site that has this banner ad, if they were to click on that banner ad, it would take them to this page and Google Analytics would run. Now unfortunately, almost all banner ad systems use tracking systems that will send several redirects and strips out all the usual tagging that Google Analytics would be able to use to figure out what site it came from.
Even if it didn't, if it was a direct link from the other site onto your page, you would be able to get that referral information, but Google Analytics would have no idea what kind of campaign you want to track this under. It wouldn't know which version of the ad was shown. Basically, we need to get more information somehow into that link so that Google Analytics understands which campaign variables you want this particular visit to be tagged as. Since we'll be doing the tagging, we get to make that decision. So let's think about this first. Campaign name. Well, this is my red boxes campaign so we're simply going to call this redboxes as the campaign name, all one word, all lowercase.
The medium is going to be a banner ad, so we'll just call this a banner. The source is going to be where this actual banner ad is displayed, in this case boxafficianadomag.com. And if you have different versions of this ad that are displaying, you can put that here. In our case, this is the one with the red gradient, so we'll just call that redgradient, all one word, all lowercase. We want everything the person does in this visit to be tagged under each of these buckets. So we want to know if this person goes ahead and checks out and buys lots of red cardboard boxes, we want to know that the campaign, redboxes, had some success.
We also want to know that it was the banner that drove it. We want to know that it was boxafficianado magazine that was the source of that. So we want all of the things for that visit to be tracked under each one of these buckets. The way we're going to get that information in Google Analytics is by tagging. So if the normal URL that someone would go to be Acmeboxes.com/redboxes.htm, we're still going to put that as the link where the banner ad goes. Go down to the end of it. We're going to put these campaign variables here. So in the query string here after the question mark, we're going to put these query string parameters. So under utm_campaign we're going to put the campaign name, redboxes.
And under utm_medium, we're going to put the medium, banner. Under utm_source, we're going to put the source, boxafficianadomag.com. And under utm_region content, we're going to put redgradient, which is the version of the ad that we showed. So the basic idea here is to transfer the information we want the visitor to be tracked under by populating these query string parameters with the appropriate tags. But if you're skeptical about creating these tags on your own, there is a tool that can help. Let's switch over to the web and take a look. To find this handy web-based tool, just head on over your favorite search engine and type in "google analytics url builder." Click on the first link that comes up here and we'll see a tool designed to make this process a little easier.
The first thing it's going to ask us for is what's the page we want to land on when someone were to click on that link. In our case, it was the boxes. Okay, we've got our standard URL there. Now we just have to populate each one of these variables. The Campaign Source we said was boxafficianadomag.com. The Campaign Medium we said was banner. This wasn't a pay-per-click campaign. No one was searching on keywords here, so we're going to leave that blank. Instead, the different version that we saw was the redgradient one.
So under the Content, we're going to put redgradient. Under the Campaign Name, this was the redboxes campaign, so we'll fill that in, redboxes. After we filled in all of our variables, we click Generate URL, and it's going to generate that URL for us. This is the actual URL we're going to use as the destination for when someone clicks on that banner ad. Okay. So that's how we created this URL down here, the tagged URL that's going to fill in all that information and allow Google Analytics to track this appropriately. This was the case with the banner ad, but let's look at another example.
What about we send out an email? We said it was incredibly important to track email so that it didn't pollute the rest of our reports and so we can properly track how successful our email marketing is. In this case, let's say we're sending out an email here about the seminars. It's got a link here where you can register, and we want to track how many people are coming to the site and registering. The first thing we need to do of course is lay out our different campaign parameters. In this case, the campaign that I want to track under is Seminars. So our utm_campaign variable is just going to be seminars. Now the source is a little trickier on email because it's not a source coming from a web site. Generally speaking it's a good idea to put the source here or something that will make sense to you, such as a particular database of emails that you're using to populate this email or something else that's going to indicate how this customer is associated with your site.
In our case, we're going to call this the newsletters4s and the medium is going to be email. I do suggest you don't differ too much here. Generally speaking, we want to keep the medium of email as email. So under the actual link itself, when you click on the Register Now button, we want you to go to this page here, websharedesign.com/GoogleSeminars, but I need to populate all those different query string parameters with the information up here so that Google Analytics knows to track it under these buckets. So the actual tagged link address would be this, websharedesign.com/GoogleSeminars, and then we fill in all of those query string parameters here.
Now optionally, we still have this Content field that we didn't fill in. Remember, we used that to show which version of the banner ad we showed, the redgradient versus the non? We can use that here to actually figure out things like did they click on this Register Now link or did they click on the Register Now button? Everything else is going to remain the same, but I could fill in one link where utm_content would be button and the other link would say utm_content=link. And then I can figure out from my Google Analytics tracking which version of that was clicked more often, the button or the link. Or if I send out two different versions of this email, maybe one with a black header up here and maybe other one has a white header up here, I can use this to figure out which of those versions was more successful getting people to click and sign up.
Okay, let's go look at how we would use that tool to help build this URL. Switching back to the tool, we're going to delete our old entries and fill in the new ones. Here we had the page that we were going to visit, websharedesign.com/GoogleSeminars, and we're going to fill in each one of these here. For the Source, we said this was our newsletters4s database, so we just type in newsletters4s here. For the Medium, we said this was email.
We're not using a term. The Content, for this particular one, we're going to use this for the link for the button, so I'm just going to type in button. And the Campaign Name we said was tracked under the seminars campaign. We use this, click Generate URL, and now I've got the URL that I'm going to put as the link that happens when you click on a button. Now for the link that happens when you click on the link version, I just changed this up here to link, regenerate the URL, and now I've got the link that we're going to use on the link. Let's take a look at an example, not an email or banner ad, but an actual CPC campaign.
So if we were doing pay per click, let's say in this case we're doing one on Yahoo! Remember, Yahoo! doesn't use auto-tagging per se, so we're going to have to tag these manually. Our campaign here is still seminars, except now the Source, instead of being the newsletter database, is going to be yahoo. And the Medium, instead of email, is going to be cpc. We're still going to use the same URL here; we're just going to change the destination URL to be the tagged link. So we go back to the tool and we change our Source from newsletter here to be yahoo, our Medium from email to cpc, and our Content, we can put if we're running different ads.
So maybe in this case, we're going to say learnfromtheexperts because that was the name of this particular ad. You don't have to fill this in if you don't have it. Campaign Name remains seminar, we click Generate URL, and now we've got the actual URL that we're going to use as our destination tagged URL. So we'll follow the same process for any links that we put out on the web pointing back to our site that we want to track under these different campaign variables. Campaign tracking is critical to using Google Analytics effectively, and we'll use these basic concepts introduced here throughout the rest of the course.
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