TUTORIAL: How to create Tracking URLs for your marketing campaigns
Tracking URLs are very important because they allow you to determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. You should use tracking URLs when you're pushing traffic to a landing page from somewhere other than a call to action on your own site, like an email blast, PPC campaign, banner ad, and so forth.
*Note: If you are using HubSpot to send your email blasts and/or lead nurturing campaigns, you do not need to create tracking URLs for the links in these emails. It automatically happens for you!
This article will walk you through how to create and implement tracking URLs.
1. Understand what a Tracking URL is
A tracking URL is a normal URL with a "token" attached to the end of a it.
- Normal URL: http://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing-assessment-product/
- Tracking URL (token is bolded): http://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing-assessment-product/?utm_campaign=examples-assessment
When visitors come from a tracking URL, HubSpot's Sources tool sees the token and separates that traffic out so you can see how well it performed. This is what the tracking token "hscm-facebook-ad-master-facebook-10-days-20121101 " looks like inside Sources once traffic is piping through it:
2. Create a Tracking URL for a landing page
A landing page is the most common page you'll use a tracking URL for. First go to Reports > Reports Home.
- Landing Page URL - Automatically populated based on the landing page you selected.
- Campaign Name - Visible to your website visitors in the URL; use a string of text that reminds you what campaign a traffic source is associated with. Also remember to use dashes to separate words in the string.
- Campaign Source - Specify where this URL is being used. This is critical for assigning these URLs to a segment in your Sources report. For example, if you're using the URL an email, type "email." If you're using it in a paid search ad, type "ppc." This way, this traffic will appear in the Email or Paid Search segment of Sources, respectively, rather than Other Campaigns.
- Marketing Action Information - These are like post-its for your analytics. Name your event and select the date the campaign is launching. It will appear as a Marketing Event within the Sources report, so you can see why there were spikes in traffic/leads on a certain day. This is completely hidden to your website visitors.
Once you fill out each of the fields above, click Generate URL HubSpot will then generate a new tracking URL.
3. Implement Tracking URL
Copy the Tracking URL that appears, and use that as the hyperlink in your email, your Google Adwords destination URL, your banner ad, etc. You can choose from the shortened link (perfect for social media) or the full tracking link for other purposes like Google Adwords. You can also generate another URL right from this screen by selecting Generate Another.
4. Manage your Tracking URLs
Once you've created some Tracking URLs, you can easily filter by campaign and campaign source on the main screen.
On this main page, you can access the shortened and full URL and copy it right from there by highlighting the link.
5. Look at your results
Head over to your Sources report and click on the Other Campaigns filter to see how your tracking URLs are performing.
Scroll down the page to see how many visits/contacts/customers you're seeing from individual tracking URLs.
6. Create a Tracking URL for ANY page on your site (OPTIONAL)
Although you'll most commonly use tracking URLs to track traffic to landing pages, there may come a time when you'd like to track clicks to a blog post, your homepage, or some other page on your site from a specific source. Navigate back to your Tracking URL Builder and select Create A New Tracking URL.