How to use URL tagging

Background

URL tagging helps analytics software such as Google Analytics and Calltracks understand how a visitor arrived at a website.

It is not a requirement for every link, but without it, many sources that send traffic to a website will simply appear as “Direct Traffic” and not detail the correct information including the “Source” or “Medium”. A good example is a link from an email that has not been tagged.

Google have documented how they recommend to overcome this using URL tags, and have a “URL Builder” to help generate these tags to allow for effective tracking in Google Analytics:

http://bit.ly/13LrgCk

Like many other third party platforms Calltracks will accept URLs with the utm parameters Google recommends, allowing you to get accurate reporting, and to attribute the correct number of leads and sales to your marketing efforts. 

Which URLs should you tag

If possible you should always[1] tag a URL, as it will allow you to do more in-depth reporting in your analytics and Calltracks.

For example when you send an email out to a list of clients or customers, you will want to track how many of your clients click to your website, and then call up. Tagging will allow you to see that the caller originated from the particular email campaign allowing you to really understand how effective the email was.

Google Adwords

As Google own the Adwords platform they have built an option for users to link their accounts from one to the other. This enhances the reports in both, and removes the need for users to manually tag URLs for Google Adwords adverts. Instead Google will now take care of this automatically – this is called Auto-tagging and is switched on by default. 

Unfortunately the way Google link the accounts when this function is enabled is by using a unique alphanumeric string that only Google themselves can interpret. This means that Google hide the utm parameters and instead all the Calltracks software will be able to see is the medium and source. Google will not let the Calltracks software know the full detail of the visitor, for example by hiding the campaign name and keyword that the visit is linked to.

To get round this it means a user will need to add additional tags to the ‘destination URL’ if they want more information to appear in the Calltracks UI.

To add to the complication Google do not recommend using their utm tags if auto-tagging is enabled as this can lead to duplicated reporting. See more information from Google here https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1012047. 

Calltracks have designed an additional set of tags for users to add to their URLs if they want to keep auto-tagging enabled or as an alternative to other tagging conventions to work with the Calltracks software.

Calltracks Specific URL Tags

Generic default tagging options available to use in the Calltracks UI are:

  • wnd_traffic_source=Insert_Source
  • wnd_campaign_medium=Insert_Medium
  • wnd_campaign_name=Insert _Campaign_Name
  • wnd_content=Insert_Content

Google Adwords default tagging options available on top of the generic options are:

  • wnd_ad_group=Insert_Ad_Group_Name          
  • wnd_keyword={keyword} or kw={keyword}
  • wnd_match_type={matchtype}

Bing Ads default tagging options available on top of the generic options are:

  • wnd_ad_group=Insert_Ad_Group_Name          
  • wnd_keyword={keyword} or kw={keyword}
  • wnd_match_type={MatchType}

To use these tags they are added to the end of the destination URL. For example if Calltracks wanted to link to their homepage, www.calltracks.com, it would look like this:

http://www.calltracks.com/?wnd_traffic_source=google&wnd_campaign_medium=cpc&wnd_campaign_name=Call_Tracking&wnd_ad_group=International&wnd_content={creative}&wnd_keyword={keyword}&wnd_match_type={matchtype} 

Bits highlighted in red are the tags that need adding, for example, into your Adwords destination URL.

The bits highlighted in blue can be user defined. You can call these what you like. The Keyword & Match type will be dynamically inserted when someone clicks an advert from Google Adwords or from Bing Ads but in order for this to work you need to use the curly brackets as per the example above. Feel free to cut and paste these tags.

Obviously for your paid search marketing such as Adwords the source & medium will be the same for all adverts, it will only be the wnd_campaign_name and wnd_ad_group that needs changing.

Minimum Requirements

Google always recommend at minimum with their utm tags that source must be defined. Without this the other tags will not work. With Calltracks tags you can pick and choose which tags you want to use, but we recommend you utilise all the tags to get the best results.

Additional Tagging Options

There are additional tagging options that can be enabled in your account on top of the default options listed above. For example you may require extra Google ValueTrack parameters, Dynamic URL insertion, or you may already have a custom set-up for your own tracking purposes. If you would like these enabled then please inform your Calltracks account manager.

[1]There are two exceptions to this Google Adwords (if accounts are linked) and any URL being used for SEO purposes.

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