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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.
As we've seen, there's a fair amount of work and thought that goes into planning campaign tagging strategy for your organization before you ever actually tag up a link. And because once you tag those links and get that data into Google, it can't ever be changed, ever. So it's worth taking a video to pass along some best practices and tools you can use to avoid some of the common pitfalls, especially in this case, where we have teams in North America, South America, different product teams, et cetera, all piling data into the same reports. Now Campaign Tagging is great because it lets us get all of our email blasts, banner ads, and more tracked in Google Analytics.
However, whatever tag you happen to type for your campaigns in that link will be displayed exactly by Google Analytics in the reports, so it's important that everyone tag campaigns in the same way. For example, even capitalization differences can cause Google Analytics to create duplicate campaigns in your reports. Even worse is that in this case it's easy to do the mental math and add them up because I've put them here right next to each other, but usually they won't be right next to each other. They'll be five pages down and the other one will be seven pages down and you have 18 different variables that you're trying to add up in your head.
It defeats the entire point of a tracking system, and it's well worth it to lay out some exact standards ahead of time, including little things like capitalization. So to avoid this problem, a centralized tracking sheet can help keep track of which campaigns correspond to which business initiatives. It's a good idea to plan out what kinds of Source/Medium tags you'll be using, to avoid confusion ahead of time. You can even use a shared Google spreadsheet or a traditional spreadsheet file. In fact, if you'd like to use this one I've already created, I'm happy to share with you all at the link here at the bottom of the screen. Now to get you started, I'll share some ideas of common tracking schemes.
For example, here are some ideas for how to track email campaigns. The source can be the various email lists. The content denotes the messaging used in the email. So in this case, we have some that offer 20% off, some that offer free shipping, et cetera. Now you can obviously customize these however you'd like. Remember, the only one that's somewhat sacred is the medium. You want to see how all your email is doing against, say, CPC or all your organic, so don't necessarily start inserting other things in the Email column. Pretty much want to leave that to just email.
Here's how you might track banner ads. The source would be the publisher, and the content can denote the size of the ad or something else interesting about the ad. This is a great way to test and see what kind of banner ads work for your site. We hear a lot about social media. Does it live up to the hype? Well, here's a look at how we can track social media. The source can be the social network itself, while you can use content to describe what type of social content was seen, i.e. is this the news feed update or is this a link on your fan page, that kind of thing. By tagging your campaigns consistently, you'll make it very easy to analyze your various sources, mediums, and content.
Here we can see how accurate tagging has benefited this particular organization. All these mediums are tracked directly in Google Analytics. Again, a basic system like a shared spreadsheet can help you avoid inconsistent messy data. Trust me on this one. Taking the time to put some standards in place will pay dividends in the long run.
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