- What is the Google Analytics Tag and why should you care
What is the Analytics Tag?
While a ‘tag’ is short for ‘link tag’. It does not refer to the html <link> tag BUT RATHER something you add to your link to pass more information
Example of a Link Tag
For example, if you’re sending out a newsletter and directing readers to www.MySite .com, then you can use the following link to later find (and analyze) how many visitors that newsletter drove:
Why do you need the Analytics Tag?
Tagging links allows you to monitor the performance of your marketing activities. Google Analytics, like other vendors, use a link tag to match the user click various indicators such as country or origin of the user, time on site, number of pages visited, and so forth. In the above example, Google Analytics uses utm_src to match all newsletter clicks with the above metrics.
How to set up analytics tagging
- If you’re seeking to link your Google AdWords links (your destination URLs), simply use auto-tagging and you’re set. As a result, you’ll be able to log on to your Google Analytics account and see richer details about your AdWords keywords and costs.
- Otherwise, for all other links you want monitored for performance via Google Analytics, you can use the Google URL Builder with the specified fields, appended at the end of your URL (order of fields does not matter)
Example URL Built with the Google URL Builder
If I’m sending out a newsletter to my readers and am using a banner at the bottom of that mail to link to my latest post on Affiliate Summit West 2012, then my link (destination URL) may look like this:
- Campaign Medium (utm_medium) “email”, “banner”, “PPC”, etc., to distinguish the “high-level medium” you’re using.
- Campaign Source (utm_source) used to specify the channel (e.g., google, newsletter3, etc) or referer. To distinguish from “source” below, note that you would use “email” for utm_medium and “newsletter#7″ for utm_source
- Campaign Content (utm_content) Used to distinguish links that point to the same landing page, but appear more than once on a page, one of two banners on a newsletter, etc. Note my example with utm_content=bottom_banner
- Campaign Name (utm_campaign) The name of the campaign. If you’re driving traffic from different sources, but it’s all part of the same ‘campaign’, then use a consistent campaign name for all traffic sources. Then, once you logon to your Google Analytics account, you can monitor the performance of the campaign across all tracked traffic sources.
- Don’t force it, you don’t have to populate all the (six) fields of the URL Builder. In fact, you typically need to use only Source, Medium, and Name
Important Pointers for Using the Google Analytics Tag
- Once you’ve decided on a name when tagging your links, stick with that name and stay consistent, so you’re able to group these together later in Google Analytics. You don’t want to use “email” within utm_medium=email but “e-mail” within utm_medium=e-mail. Rather, to track your email medium, choose one version of the name, and stick with it.
- If your funnel enforces the user to browse across more than one subdomain on your site, or you might take the user from one of your domains to another, then a common mistake made by anyone setting up Google Analytics is the improper setup of Google Analytics Tracking. Regardless of the URL Builder, in this case, use Google’s Help on tracking subdomains and tracking multiple domains, to get it right.
The Google Analytics Tag,