Tracking advertising can be one of the most challenging tasks for marketers to accomplish.
However much a pain it may be at times, it is most definitely one of the most important facets of your marketing strategy.
Without knowing how your marketing investments are performing, you’ll have no way to keep budgets allocated towards winners and away from losers.
When doing pay per click advertising it is imperative that you use tracking phone numbers if you are measuring the success of your campaigns from phone calls. Google offers local tracking numbers as a part of their Conversion Tracking interface. This will work perfectly as a solution for just starting out, however as you get more advanced, you can check out more advanced solutions such as Call Rail. If you’re an experienced PPC marketer with AdWords or Yahoo/Bing, you can get into more advanced call tracking with breakdowns by Ad Group and Keyword.
There’s no reason every different print ad you do shouldn’t have a different tracking number. If you’re in more than one magazine you need to have a different phone number for each magazine. If you have the budget, use a different number for each different ad size within the same magazine. Most print publications these days will offer free tracking numbers to help prove their ROI to your business. But if not, feel free to use Google numbers or Call Rail again.
You can also take advantage of tracking or “vanity” URLs. This is easy to do as you set up a URL that automatically redirects to the main page you want prospects to land on. For instance, I might put the URL WeaverCommunications.us/incmag if I’m advertising in INC Magazine and want to track the website traffic from that source. The downside to this method, however, is that a large number of people won’t go through the trouble to put in the vanity URL. However, if I were to offer a special free consultation that’s only available through that link, you’ll see the vanity URL get much more action. It’s always a good idea to use these vanity URL’s if you’re advertising on TV, Radio, or in Print, just keep in mind that they won’t tell the whole story.
Radio, TV & Billboards
Phone numbers and tracking URLs. Not much else to say.
Social Sites & Review Sites
When placing links in your social posts you can use Google’s UTM String Builder to build special links that will allow your social traffic to be more accurately reported within Google Analytics. You can also use these UTM strings in your URL’s in your social bio/profile pages, as well as your business profiles such as Yelp.
(for a guide on building your own Google tracking URL’s you can read here)
The advantage here is that you will be able to see what major websites that you spend time building profiles on are sending you the most or best traffic.
Linking Your AdWords and Google Analytics
If you haven’t done this yet, do it right now. This will immediately begin giving you insight into the behavior of your search and YouTube campaigns, invaluable information for adjusting and optimizing your budgets.