If you’ve hung around here for a while, you’ll have heard a little about UTM Campaign Tags. They are the magic ingredient for making sure that visits from Instagram, Pinterest and anywhere else show up in your Google Analytics reports correctly.
Why doesn’t this happen right in the first place??
To know where a visitor came from, Google Analytics has to listen in to the conversation happening between the visitor’s browser and your website. Often this conversation includes information about the last page the visitor looked at (their traffic source).
This is called “referral” information.
But sometimes, for a whole bunch of technical reasons, it doesn’t have this information or it’s wrong. In many of these cases, the visit will be attributed as “direct” traffic – the catch-all black hole bucket of mysterious visits! – and you’ll never know if your marketing actually worked.
Campaign tags let us control all the information about the source of the visit and leave nothing to chance.
Keep reading to find out how and where to use campaign tags for marketing your handmade shop!
Before you start creating or testing things with Filters in Google Analytics, it’s important to take some steps to keep your data safe.
What’s the danger?
Whenever you make changes to your GA settings for things like Goals, Filters, Content Groupings etc. — all the things I describe in my articles — the changes to your data are permanent. You need a backup without any of these changes, just in case you get something wrong…
Like accidentally creating a filter that removes ALL your traffic and you don’t notice for a week… right during a big ad campaign!
A Testing area takes it one step further to let you test out these settings first, then apply them to your main set of data only when you’re sure they’re working correctly. It’s up to you to decide how risky you think a change is and whether you should test it out first.
How do we do this in Google Analytics?
In Analytics, you can have multiple ways of viewing the same data. These are called, appropriately, Views.
In this guide, we’ll create a backup “Raw Data” view to preserve everything with the default settings, and a “Test” view for trialing more complicated Filters before applying them to your main View (normally called “All Web Site Data”).
IMPORTANT: These instructions are for Universal Analytics. Google Analytics 4 comes with a built-in method for testing filters without needing to maintain separate Views. (In fact, the concept of “Views” no longer exists!)
Years ago, almost all of my clients also partnered with a Search Engine Optimization agency.
Google was king and SEO was strategy #1.
Then social media marketing took over as businesses discovered the value of free exposure on Facebook and Twitter. The results were faster and it was no harder than SEO.
Now it’s 2018. Organic reach on social media is a shadow of its former self. Advertising costs on the major networks (AdWords and Facebook) are doubling every year.
If your marketing strategy is getting more complicated and expensive every month, it’s time to re-discover the value of organic search traffic.
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Sound familiar? Yep, they’re the bleating calls of a million businesses rushing to ask you to consent (again) to their email marketing.
Whether you all it re-consent, re-subscribe or re-permission, it’s all the same: an attempt to get your consent to their marketing in a form they didn’t already have.
Why get re-consent?
This is related to the GDPR, which is making consent more strictly defined. Businesses who bundled marketing consent into other services or that didn’t give enough granular information on their sign up form might decide that the consent they have now won’t be good enough on May 26th.
It also reminds us that we need a good “audit trail” for our consent. Businesses that have moved contacts between systems might have lost their original consent records – even though they know they got them – and might choose to re-permission, just to be safe.
Finally, it’s a good idea to ask for re-consent from inactive or old contacts, regardless. You might run re-consent campaigns regularly, or even have them automatically go out when a contact is a certain “age”.
You run a business… does this mean YOU need to get re-consent!?
The definitions and requirements for consent is a legal topic. I’m not a lawyer and none of the information in this article should be interpreted as legal advice. Please do your own due diligence to determine if or how much of this information is relevant to your circumstances, and whether you should seek professional legal advice.
For the last few months, the internet has been abuzz with talk about data privacy. From Facebook scandals to updated Privacy Policies to new laws, it’s everywhere!
So it’s perfect timing to get to know your obligations as a business owner, for the data you collect and store for your customers, contacts and website visitors.
- Customers are expecting more transparency and honesty, regardless of the law.
We’re used to asking people to sign up to newsletters and email lists. We might need to tweak how we do it and refine our “consent process”. But the basics stay the same:
People actively send us their details.
But personalized advertising and analytics happened in the background. No questions asked.
Google “email marketing best practices” and you’ll get millions of results.
But also unsurprisingly. The internet is chock full of marketers wanting to tell you how to write can’t-say-no subject lines and make-money-while-you-sleep drip campaigns.
But what about the basic email best practices? You know: how to send emails that are legal and ethical.
Just like you need to have a basic understanding about tax laws and business registration laws, you need to get the gist of how to keep your customers’ details safe and secure.
Understanding your obligations will help you:
- Know what information you can ask for and how to ask for more.
- Deal with any customer requests about their data.
- Vet the tools and services you use to make sure they help you stay compliant.
- Inform your customers if they might be affected by a security breach in any of the systems you use.
Luckily, it doesn’t need to take you all day. It’s just a simple record of the different sources of people’s information, where you store it and what you do with it.
In fact, you can do it with just 7 questions!