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Measuring & Tracking Digital Marketing Ads & Campaigns

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  • 0:03 Campaign Ad Tracking
  • 0:40 Google Analytics
  • 2:38 Custom Campaigns
  • 4:10 Traffic and Content Engagement
  • 4:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Complete this lesson to learn how digital campaigns are measured and tracked so site owners can see which campaigns are working and which are not. Learn how Google Analytics provides these necessary features.

Campaign Ad Tracking

The Internet provides a whole new playing field when it comes to advertising. Now, small and large businesses alike have the same opportunity to reach thousands of potential customers through SEO (search engine optimization), free advertising, and paid ads. With so many options and ways of advertising on the Internet, a company needs to track the effectiveness of each campaign to see what is working and what is not. One little change can translate into a drastic performance improvement.

In this lesson, you'll see how businesses can track the performance of a digital campaign through the use of the tools provided by Google Analytics.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a group of free tools provided by Google to help webmasters track website traffic. Google began offering the service in 2005 after acquiring Urchin Software Corporation. Today, tools include visitor acquisition (how visitors find your site), visitor behavior (what pages visitors go to), referrer (where visitors came from), Adwords performance, custom campaigns (adds custom tracking information), and more.

All these metrics are important for the webmaster to look at as each tells the webmaster who the visitors are as well as what visitors are interested in.

For example, look at this report from the acquisition tool for a site that sells dog and cat collars:


measuring campaign performance


The webmaster, in looking at this chart, sees that the majority of traffic comes from direct visitors. What does this mean? It means Google Analytics was not able to find a referring source. It could be the visitor clicked on a link in an email or typed in the address directly. The visitor may also have clicked on a link through a mobile social media app such as Twitter or Facebook on a smartphone.

Switching to the behavior tool lets the webmaster see just what pages people look at. It tells the webmaster which pages people see first as well as what pages people leave from.

The referrer tool tracks what other websites visitors come from. For example, if a visitor came from Pinterest, it will show up here. Many websites and companies also have a social media presence or account, so knowing whether these social media accounts are working and how many visitors each is bringing in is important.

If a company is using paid advertising such as Adwords, then the Adwords performance tool is very useful. Webmasters can see which keywords are more successful in bringing in more visitors. Combined with all the other tools, webmasters can see which paid keywords actually lead to sales.

Custom Campaigns

Sometimes, webmasters need even more detail in their tracking information. To help with this, Google Analytics also provides a tool to create custom campaigns through the use of the Campaign URL Builder. Using a custom campaign as part of a digital marketing campaign lets you track the marketing campaign to see just how well it is doing.

Tracking a custom campaign requires a webmaster to create a custom URL for each campaign. To create a custom campaign, Google Analytics provides webmasters with five different parameters they can add to their URL:

  • utm_source: identifies the place of the campaign (such as a newsletter, email, Instagram, local newspaper, magazine, etc)
  • utm_medium: describes the type of campaign (such as a text ad, banner ad, or email newsletter)
  • utm_campaign: includes the name of the campaign if the webmaster has one
  • utm_term allows webmasters to tag keywords used in paid advertising such as Adwords
  • utm_content: lets webmasters name links within the same content (such as differentiating between two different links in an email message)

For example, the same dog and cat collar website mentioned before can track the number of people coming from its Instagram account by using the utm_source parameter like this:

  • https://collarsite.com/?utm_source=instagram

Each parameter begins with a question mark and ends with an equal sign along with the name for each parameter.

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