21 Sep

Marketing Results Through Tagging: How to Get the Specifics

Marketing Campaign Tag has a Source, Medium, and Campaign.
You work hard at your marketing programs email and advertising campaigns and social media engagement. Your investment and hard work make marketing results important to you.

Wouldn’t it be great to know how well those activities are contributing to the specific goals you’ve set; things like:

  • Sales revenue
  • Leads generated
  • Number of new email subscribers

Zero in on What Gets the Best Marketing Results

Data that links marketing activities to outcomes or goals, can help you make better decisions about where and how to invest your precious marketing time and money. It helps you see what’s sparking your customers’ interests, so you can give them more of what they want.

Applications Don’t Show You Complete Marketing Results

If you’re like most, you’ll turn to your email software, social media analytics and even web tracking software like Google Analytics for marketing performance data. But these applications don’t tell you which activities drove which outcomes.

Unless, of course, you’ve properly tagged the links back to your website.

Without this tagging, it’s almost impossible to get the results and trending information you need to guide your marketing efforts, decision or purchases.

What’s a Link Tag?

A link tag is just a set of instructions that tell Google Analytics or other applications how you want click data stored.

When you send email blasts, publish social media posts, or advertise, you usually include a link back to your website. Embedding a tag in those links organizes the click data in Google Analytics so you can accurately assess the performance of your marketing programs.

The Rules for Link Tags

For Google Analytics to organize you link click data, the tag you embed in the link must contain three elements:

  1. Medium: where you promoted the event (email, social media, affiliate websites, etc.)
  2. Source: more specific information about the medium (the email list name, which social media application (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.), name of the affiliate website
  3. Campaign: The specific product, service or event being promoted.

An Example Game of Link Tag

Let’s look at an example how you might use the medium, source, and campaign details:

Suppose you’re preparing for a charity golf tournament fundraiser.

To promote the event, you plan to use email blasts, social media posts (Facebook and Twitter), and perhaps a banner ad on a partner or sponsor’s website.

Each of these promotional items will take people to a page on your website where they can get specific event information such as the date, costs, and reservation forms.

You’ll want to know how many people completed the reservation form after viewing your email, social media posts, and advertising so you can optimize current and future marketing programs.

The table below shows examples how the medium, source and campaign might look for the golf tournament example:

Type of Marketing Source Medium Campaign
Email marketing / list Email List Name Golf Tournament
Twitter Social t.co (Twitter) Golf Tournament
Facebook Social Facebook Golf Tournament
Press release Affiliate Press Release Golf Tournament
Banner / ad on another website Affiliate Website where ad was placed Golf Tournament

Each medium, source and campaign will now appear in your Google Analytics so you can compare performance on many different levels and have data to improve future marketing.


Example of Marketing Campaign Tracking in Google AnalyticsThis structure will ensure that Google Analytics captures data in a way that lets you analyze and compare results with past golf tournaments and even other events. For example:

  • Email performance against other campaigns
  • Social media performance against other campaigns
  • Individual social media performance against others
  • Paid advertising performance against others and against email, social media, etc.
  • Changes in customer behavior

After a few months of tagging, you’ll have a valuable bank of data to guide you in making objective, data-driven decisions about future campaigns, emails, social media feeds and more.

How to Embed Your Own Tags

For a step by step video demonstration and written instructions on how to embed tags into your links, go to my website Birdseyemarketing.ca.

26 Jul

Stop Damaging Your Own AdWords CTR?

We pay big bucks to advertise so naturally we want verification the ads are running as expected. For offline ads we pick up the newspaper to see our ad, or listen closely for our ad to play on the radio.

Boy (3-5) looking at cookie jar on kitchen counterThe Online Temptation

With online advertising it is tempting to verify our ads by doing Google searches.  If our ad appears we have the needed verification. Peaking at our own ads with a Google search can skew data and damage AdWords performance.  Here’s why:

Searching Your Ad On Google Is a Big NO NO!

Unlike offline advertising, online advertising there are statistics for everything, including how many times your ad is viewed.  When your ad is viewed it’s called an impression and an impression gets recorded every time your ad is seen, including seen by you.

Click through rate (CTR) is an important metric uses impressions and the number of times an ad is clicked.  The mathematical CTR formula is: Clicks / Impressions, expressed as a percentage.

Here’s an example; 100 people saw your ad and 20 clicked on it you would have a CTR of 20%.  If 30 people clicked on the ad, the CTR would be 30%.

How Click Through Rate (CTR) Impacts Your Ad Rank

Remember, Google only gets paid when ads are clicked, that’s why CTR is an important ad ranking criteria for them.  Google compares your CTR history against competitive advertisers to determine which ads appear at the top or bottom of their pages.  Ads with higher CTRs have a better chance of getting higher ranks and better positons.

Impressions Without Clicks Reduce CTR

When we go looking for our own ads, we have no intention of clicking on them that would cost money.  Our intent is to verify the ad is showing and perhaps how it is ranked.  Every time we seek out our own ad we trigger an impression without a click and that reduces our CTR.  Every time your ad gets an impression without a click, it negatively impacts your CTR.  Here’s an example; let’s suppose during a month your ad had 100 impressions and 20 clicks.  Your CTR is 20%.  However, during the month you peaked at your Google ten times so your CTR could have been 22% (20 clicks divided by 90 impressions) instead of 20%.

I know that 20% versus 22% doesn’t seem like that big a deal, but if your competitors are not searching their own ads, their CTR’s will be lower than yours… so you go down a couple of notches in Google’s ad rank.

Use the Simulator to Check Your Ad

Instead of searching out your ad on a live Google search and negatively impacting your CTR you can see your ad in the AdWords Preview Tool without triggering an impression.  Just follow the instructions on the next post “How to See Your Ads in Google”.