How to Use the Google Analytics URL Builder

By October 25, 2011 Analytics No Comments

The URL Builder is a free tool from Google Analytics that allows you to see more information about your incoming traffic.  Without using the URL Builder you can see general information about a referring source.  For example, you can see on-site analytics data about traffic coming from Facebook, like the time on site, pages viewed, bounce rate, and conversion data.  However, you won’t know exactly how well your Facebook update about your upcoming webinar performed.  Did people click on the link?  Did they spend some time reading about your webinar?  Did they sign up for it?  All of these are unknown without using the URL Builder.

Fear not, with the URL Builder you can track that specific Facebook post and see exactly how people interact with your website once they click that link.  Here’s what to do:

  • Go to http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55578.
  • Fill in the website URL – the exact page on your website where you want to send visitors.
  • Fill in the source, medium, and name.  The source is the website where you are placing your link.  The medium is the marketing medium like a blog, email, social media update, etc.  The name is the unique name of this link, something that will help you remember the subject of the link.
  • Click “Generate URL.”
  • Copy and paste the new URL into your Facebook post (or wherever you are placing the link.)

Now that you’ve put your link out there what do you do next?  You sit back and wait for the traffic to come pouring in to your website!  Then, you check up on that traffic to see how your link performed.

  • Log in to Google Analytics.
  • Click on “Traffic Sources,” then “Sources,” then “Campaigns.”
  • Look for the name of your link, the campaign name you gave it using the URL Builder.
  • Take a look at how many visitors came to your site using your link, the number of pages they visited, the average time they spent on the site, how many of them were new visitors, and how many of them bounced.
  • If you have goals set up you can click on “Goal Set 1,” “Goal Set 2,” etc. to see how many of those visitors completed the goal.

You can use this data to better plan for your next link.  You can see which links worked and which didn’t so you can make your links a little better each time!

About Cliff Karklin

Cliff Karklin is Manager of Web Analytics at Fathom with over 10 years of online marketing experience with an Analytics and Technical SEO focus. In addition to his work across the company, he heads up analytics and technical initiatives for the Consumer Brands and Ecommerce Team.When Cliff isn't at the office developing creative strategies and digging far too deeply into analytics, you can usually find him still connected to the online world, pouring over the latest industry news and testing new tools and processes.Follow Cliff on Twitter @CliffyKOnline

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