There can be a lot of unknowns when it comes to marketing campaigns. Who’s seeing your ads or print pieces? Of those people, who are they resonating with? Are your strategies working? These are all very important questions, that if answered, can lead to valuable insights into improving these strategies. But how can you gain visibility into these in the first place? If these marketing initiatives are designed to drive traffic to your company’s website, you’re already headed in the right direction!

If you have advertisements on billboards, print, you likely already have a web analytics platform selected to measure your site. If not, what are you waiting for? If you are using a platform like Google Analytics, you can mark your campaigns for easy analysis via URL tagging. New to manual tagging? Here are a basic outline so you can get the most analysis out of your campaign data.

  1. Identify Advertising Methods & Locations: The first step is to get your ducks in a row by laying out all of our advertising methods. What type of ads will they be? Where will they be placed? What will the call-to-action be? What URL will be featured on the ad? These are all things that should be considered before proceeding.

  2. Evaluate Campaign Flexibility & Constraints: It is a good idea to identify any strengths and weaknesses with the campaign. Are the placements permanent, or is there flexibility to change the ad up periodically? It is good to know whether or not you will need to prepare additional tags for the different ad variations, be it a billboard or a banner ad.

  3. Create Information-Rich Tags: Now that you have all of the information you need, it’s time to make sure you carry as much of it over to Google Analytics as possible through information-rich URL tags. What do I mean by this? For Google Analytics URL tagging, you have the option of using several different fields for labeling, including campaign source, medium, and campaign. There are also other fields like term and content which will allow you to differentiate even more. You’ll want to make sure you get as much information as you’ll need down the line. The more information there is, the deeper you can drill down for analysis in the future.

  4. Test, Test, Test! This step is pretty self-explanatory, but perhaps one of the most important steps of all. You should the new tags with their URLs to ensure that they send you to the proper page, as well as verify proper data collection within Google Analytics. You don’t want to find out after deployment of these tagged links that something isn’t right!

  5. Deploy & Analyze: And now, the waiting game! Once enough data has begun populating in your analytics profile, you can begin slicing and dicing for deep analysis!

It is important to understand that this entire process can be time-consuming to start, but will serve to be a wise investment as the data comes rolling in. The insights that will be brought forth will be well worth it, as they’ll help you understand how well all of your advertising is performing, regardless of the medium.

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