Link Tracking with Google Analytics

Link Tracking with Google Analytics


– In this video, we’re gonna talk about how you can track links with
the help of Google Analytics. All the more coming up.
(lively song) Hey there and welcome
back to another video of measureschool.com teaching you the data-driven
way of digital marketing. My name is Julian and
today we wanna talk about how you can track links with
the help of Google Analytics. Now, we have several
videos on this channel actually already telling
you how to track links and other interactions with the help of Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, but this question of how to
track links and specifically comes up quite often still in the YouTube comments down below. Why? Because it’s actually not that trivial of how you can track links
with Google Analytics because there are actually
two kinds of mechanisms that are most often used. This is all about where your
link actually originates. So if you have a link that
actually points to your website, it’s on a different website
or it’s an advertising or it’s a link in a newsletter, that will be differently tracked from a link that is actually
on your website itself. We wanna today look into both cases and I’m gonna show you how to track them with the help of Google Analytics. We’ve got lots to cover, so let’s dive in. The first case we wanna talk about is how to track links that
actually point to your website. These are links that people use, the link they click to
get to your website. Normally, you would be able to see how people get to your
website in Google Analytics by going into the Acquisition Reports right here on the All Traffic. SourceMedium, that’s what I always use. I would see exactly where
the users came from. How does this report actually gets filled? Every time somebody clicks a link like for example right here
we have one to the demo shop or on an ad right here or also in a newsletter, Google Analytics would be loaded normally in the background of your website and try to determine where
your user just came from. On our little example here, we could go over to our demo site into the real-time traffic reports and see where our traffic just came from. Our traffic was actually
picked up as medium, none, and source, direct, which
happens quite often. So if you go look into your account, you’ll often see unattributed
traffic that is direct, none. How can you tell Google
Analytics explicitly that you wanna count this
traffic from a specific source? This is where UTM parameters come in. What are UTM parameters? UTM parameters are the little tail that you attach to the back of your URL and it looks a bit like this, where you explicitly
say to Google Analytics, we wanna put our test into the UTM source, our test into the UTM medium, and our campaign should be also test. Obviously, these are placeholders but you would swap them out, so Google Analytics sees the traffic coming from this website. This is the way to explicitly
tell Google Analytics where you traffic came from. So you would take a link like this and enter it into a website that is outside of your website. So for example right here,
I have a UTM tag link. You see the UTM source
here is measureschool.com, the UTM medium is partner, and the UTM campaign is demo video. Now, in Google Analytics, we would see that a user just entered the website through the medium, partner, and the source, measureschool.com. So that would also then show up in our all traffic reports right here and we would know how many
people entered the website through this particular link. You would use UTM
parameters on all the links that you want to explicitly
tell Google Analytics that the user entered your
website through this link. This would be the case for example in your newsletter campaigns because if the newsletter gets opened in Outlook for example, a program that is not
working in the browser or for example in Gmail, it might be that Google will put this into the direct none column and you would not be able to identify this traffic later on. That’s why it’s always important to put this explicitly into your emails. So for example on Drip
campaigns, you could say, okay, heres a link to the demo shop and when I link this up
here at my demo shop, I want to explicitly put this
tail with a question mark, UTM source equals newsletter and UTM medium equals email, and UTM campaign equals the date. Once the user clicks this link, he will be redirected to the website, the website won’t look any different but we will be able to identify
him in Google Analytics and know that he has clicked on this link. Most of the email
marketing tools out there do this actually already by default. So for example here in Drip, we actually have a functionality use Google Analytics campaign variables, and these are filled with the source, medium, and the campaign. We can even put in a content and there’s also a term
tag that you could use. The same is true for MailChimp. There is a functionality to enable Google Analytics link tracking. Or for your advertisers like Facebook, you have a URL parameter box right here where you can also input
your UTM parameters. So it’s always important to explicitly tell Google Analytics where
did the user come from. Now, it’s true that it’s kind of hard to remember the string
here and what to fill in, so we have a UTM tool that you can get a copy of at measureschool.com/utmtool where you can simply fill out your URL where you wanna lead the user to, your campaign medium, your source, and name. This is actually made
with examples right here. We have here the medium,
campaign, source, and name. And in the end, it will put
together your link right here that you can just copy
out and put it for example into your email tool or
your advertising tool. This is really helpful because you’ll also be able
to keep tabs on all the UTM parameters that you
have already given out. So, once you look into your source reports and don’t really know anymore
what was partners affiliate, you’ll be able to look it up in your sheet and have a record of how you
tagged your UTM parameters. This is how you track links that actually point to your website. The second kind of link
that you might want to track are actual internal links. So, links that actually lead to user somewhere on your website
or away from your website, and this is where you
wouldn’t use UTM parameters. It’s actually harmful
to use UTM parameters ’cause it might overwrite the source that the user originally came from. Now on Google Analytics itself, there are some methods to
find out how many people came through a particular
link on your website, but these are kind of cumbersome and if you wanna know
explicitly if the user has clicked on a certain
item or on a given link, you want to make use of
the event tracking feature within Google Analytics. Event tracking is data that you send into Google Analytics explicitly, so you will need to alter your website or if you have Google
Tag Manager installed, it’s really easily implemented
with these few steps. So let’s say we wanna track if somebody clicks on this
clothing button up here, first of all, we would go ahead
and go into our variables, and configure our variables here. Then enable all these click variables. We only have to do this one time. Then we go ahead and go
into our trigger menu, click here on the
trigger and we’ll build a generic click trigger. We configure the trigger
with the Just Links feature because this is a link that
we actually want to track. And we can leave all these
configurations untouched and save this trigger. I’m going to our preview in debug mode which will put our browser
and only our browser into a special mode so when we go back to our
page and reload our page, we see this preview in
debug mode pop up down here and this will give us
some information about the links we’re about to click. For example we have here our clothing click that we want to track. If we click that, the preview on debug mode
reloads unfortunately and we didn’t see all the
information down here, so a little trick that I often use is to open this in a new tab by holding the Command key or Control key, press on Windows, and then clicking on this item. This will open up our link in a new tab and we see the information
still here being represented. So when we click on this gtm.linkClick and go to Variables, we
can inspect our variables that we have enabled. Here we see our click ID,
click target, text, and URL. Now, whatever information was picked up, we can use that to only
fire our tag later on on that particular link click. So we need to choose
something very unique here. If we do another test
and click on Hoodies, and we have here a fifth click here, we would see how that
information actually differs if you click back and forth between those. And we see that the
actual click text changes. This is something that’s
very unique for this link, so let’s go ahead and
use that for our trigger to filter down only on those link clicks that actually have the
click text clothing. Go over to Google Tag Manager. Go into our generic click trigger and turn this generic
one into a specific one that only fires on clicks
where the text is clothing. Then we are gonna choose our
some clicks feature right here. This will give us the availability to configure a filter. Here we need to choose our variables. We have chosen the
variables click text before, and when that equals clothing, we want to turn this whole trigger true and fire our event tag. You can enable wait for tags. That’s usually a good option to tick which will make sure
that our tag fires before the user is redirected
on to the next site. But then this new dialog
actually pops up where we want to enable this trigger. In this case, we can choose
to enable it on all pages. I’ll just go with the page path. That’s just RegEx.* which means that it will
fire on all the pages because we have this
actually in the menu up here so it should fire on all the pages and we’ll be able to
pick this up correctly. You can also choose the
check validation option. As you really experiment with this, you can read a little bit more
about this option right here. I would leave this unticked
for now and save this. Now we’re gonna build
our tag that actually takes the information and forwards it on to Google Analytics. We’ll go over to Tags here, click on New. We’ll go with our Google Analytics event tag on the clothing link. Choose Universal Analytics. Then our event. Here we can fill our
category, action, and label. Our category in this case would be link. Our action would be a click. And our label would be clothing. You can choose your Google
Analytics settings variable or enter your tracking ID right here. For our case, we can
go over to our settings and find out our tracking code. That’s it right here. Input that and save it. Now we actually need to add our trigger. Our trigger is right here or click text. Now let’s save this
and try this out again. We’ll go into our preview in debug mode, refresh that actually. Reload our page as well. Now let’s click on this Clothing link, again with the Command key pressed, and we see our Google Analytics
event tag clothing link has fired an event to Google Analytics and we should be able to see that as well in our real-time reporting. So let’s go over here under Events. Yes, we see that this
link was actually clicked. We have that data that
we entered previously available here as well. You will be later on able to
see this in your behavior, and then event reports right here. This will take usually half an hour to actually populate this report, but then you’ll be able
to see how many people clicked on those links. Now with all the different other features within Google Analytics,
you could actually cross-reference this. For example, how many people
have clicked on the link and then did a certain action. If you have goals configured, you could also backtrack how
many people reached the goal and clicked on this link. But this is something you would do with the built-in tools
of Google Analytics. For example with advanced
custom segments right here. You could also choose the
people who have actually clicked on the link and
build segments around this. This is how you can track internal links, clicks that happen
internally on your website with the help of Google
Analytics and Google Tag Manager. If you don’t have Google
Tag Manager installed, the whole event tracking
is a bit harder to set up. But I’m gonna link up
some resources down below that you can forward on to your developer. (lively music) All right, cool. So now you know how to track links with the help of Google Analytics. Just to recap, if you
have an external link pointing to your website, you
should use UTM parameters. And if you have an internal link that actually points
deeper into your website or another page on your website, then you should be using event tracking. I showed you how to set this up with the help of Google
Tag Manager as well. If you have any more questions, then leave them in the comments down below and if you liked this video,
then give us a thumbs up and don’t forget to
subscribe to our channel right over there because
we bring you new videos just like this one every week. My name is Julian. ‘Til next time.

4 thoughts on “Link Tracking with Google Analytics

  1. Hi Julian, Thanks for the awesome tutorials.

    I've got on my website an external contact form from my CRM, somehow I cannot track any clicks buttons on it.

    Is there any other solution I can maybe use to track how many people clicking on it?
    Many thanks

  2. Hi Julian,
    Thank you for all of the great content. I have a question. I want to track conversions from my bitly links on GA. I have the "/thank-you" set up on the goals section to track regular conversions on the site. Would there be any way to track bitly link conversions on GA using just the "/thank-you" page?

  3. Hey bro Great,

    I need your advice how to measure WhatsApp link from Facebook ads. Any type ads like direct WhatsApp business connect method or API short link to drive traffic methods.

    When am doing traffic methods it shows only who all are clicked the link it shown that measurements only. But the problem is some people not press WhatsApp send button. I need to measure only who pressed whatsap send button i.e only recivied WhatsApp messages.

    Thanks in advance

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