Tracking internal campaigns with Google Analytics

Most documentation and online tutorials you’ll find for the Google Analytics campaign tracking feature (and I can recommend ‘Introducing campaign tracking‘ from Corey Koberg’s excellent Google Analytics Essential Training course on Lynda.com), concentrate on its use for tracking external campaigns bringing traffic to your site (from sources such as emails, pay per click ads, etc).

We’ve been experimenting with using this feature to track an internal campaign we ran on our own website during Clearing. We used three different formats on our own webpages to direct our users to our Clearing pages:

1. A small graphic on the right-hand side of 970+ pages.

Screenshot of the promo graphic
2. A large banner graphic featured as part of a rotating carousel on 20-30 department and subject homepages.

Screenshot of clearing banner on a homepage
3. And a graphic on all of our coursefinder (online prospectus) entries.

Screenshot with clearing graphic on coursefinder entry

All three formats pointed to the same page, as did hundreds of other pages on the site, various social media accounts and paid campaigns.

We wanted to be able to easily measure the effectiveness of these three formats within Google Analytics. Adding campaign tracking parameters to our links allowed us to do that.

We used the Google url builder to add parameters to our links that allowed us to differentiate between these sources in Google Analytics.

By assigning a shared ‘Campaign name’, we could easily look at their success in aggregate. By also adding a different ‘medium’ for each of the formats, we were able to then differentiate the results, allowing us to see how successful each individual format was. An example of the link url (with the parameters in bold) we used is:

http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/clearing-adjustment/clearing-2014.aspx?utm_source=artsandlaw&utm_medium=departments-homepage-include&utm_campaign=Arts%20and%20Law%20clearing

Here’s an example of how this is then reported within Google Analytics, allowing us to see the differences in behaviour of users clicking through from a department homepage compared to a prospectus entry.

Clearing stats within Google Analytics

We’ll be looking to use this kind of data more in the future to help us improve the movement of users around our site. [EDIT – although the first thing we’ll be looking at is what effect this has on our adword tracking, see comments below]

Billy

Billy

Web Manager for the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham.

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