How to track traffic sources: the necessary tools for effective marketing

In order not to waste the entire budget on ineffective promotion channels, after each launch of advertising you need to analyze the data. Yandex. Metrica or Google.Analytics help track transitions to the site from a variety of sources, but these systems do not provide specific information so that you can accurately determine which ad produces results and which does not. Therefore, part of the work on tracking traffic must be done by yourself.

Metric and Analytics automatically identify some types of transitions:

  • Transitions from search engines (Organic Search).
  • Direct calls (Direct).
  • Clicks on the links on the site (Referral).
  • Transitions from social networks (Social).
  • Advertising systems (Adwords, Yandex).

The problem is that such statistics do not allow to analyze each ad, link or banner. For example, in the report “Transitions from social networks” you will be able to see the number of transitions from VKontakte, Facebook, Pinterest and other well-known sites, but you won’t know where it came from — from a post in some kind of advertising group. ad, link in profile - the transition is complete.

Suppose you are advertising a site in "VKontakte", buying advertising posts in groups and simultaneously testing several targeted ads. In analytics systems, all of them will be marked as transitions from VKontakte. If we consider that in addition to paid advertising, you may also have organic transitions from "VK", this confuses cards even more.

How then to deal with all this chaos?


UTM tags

UTM tags are the easiest and most efficient way to track traffic sources. SMM users are also familiar with them, and those who set up advertising in Yandex.Direct and Google.Adwords. But this tool has a much wider range of applications - banner ads, posts on forums, links in own accounts and groups, offline flyers, etc.

UTM tags can be useful for analyzing the effectiveness of free traffic channels. For example, if you place links in the articles "Yandeks.Dena" and want to find out if they click on them at all, whether the links at the bottom of the article are effective, etc. Or, for example, you have the VKontakte group and people can go to the site by links in the group menu or posts on the wall (including those fixed). Statistics will help determine if they are useful in your case and which formats work more efficiently.

In general, UTM tags provide a convenient and useful toolkit, and for what purpose it is up to you to decide. The main thing is to follow certain rules when creating them.

To understand how UTM tags are created, you need to be familiar with URL parameters. In this case, we are dealing with standardized parameters, the values ​​of which depend on the type of traffic that you use. All this can be registered manually, but there are simpler solutions that we will talk about later.

Here is a link with UTM tags indicating that the transition was made from the Yandex.Direct ad in the search results:

Parameters can be swapped, but you can not change their name - otherwise the analytics system does not recognize the label. The values ​​of the parameters may be different, but, again, it is better to adhere to the most understandable generally accepted values.

Three parameters are required:

  • utm_source - source (yandex, google, vk, instagram, email, etc.). A full list of recommended values ​​of this parameter for different advertising systems can be found in the Yandex Help;
  • utm_medium - channel. Options: cpc (pay-per-click advertising), cpm (pay-per-impression advertising), affiliate (affiliate traffic), price (conversions from aggregators, for example, Yandex.Market), social_post (advertising post in the social network), and t dd;
  • utm_campaign - campaign name (you can enter it manually or use a dynamic parameter).

There are others:

  • utm_content - ad content (any information to distinguish between advertisements);
  • utm_term is a keyword.

Another label to identify the source is utm_referer. It is used so that the referrer parameter (which you probably saw in affiliate links, for example) did not "fall off" during the transition to the site with a JavaScript redirect or from a site with the https protocol (if your site is accessible via http).

For some cases it is more convenient to use dynamic parameters. For example, it will not be necessary to enter campaign names for advertising in Yandex.Direct, they will be automatically sent to Metric. These parameters are set in curly brackets:

  • {ad_id} or {banner_id} - ID of the ad or banner (number);
  • {campaign_id} - campaign identifier (number);
  • {keyword} - the keyword for which the ad was shown.

The full list of dynamic parameters of Yandex.Direct can be found here. In one parameter, you can pass several values ​​at once, connecting them with a dot:{ccampaign_id}&utm_content= Your name

There is a large number of UTM label builders that allow you to quickly and conveniently create your links by substituting the desired values. Plus, a short link is automatically generated. The easiest and most convenient service - UtmUrl. The MyURL linker contains a set of ready-made tag values ​​for different sites (Yandex.Direct, e-mail, Facebook feed, etc.).

To view statistics on tags in Yandex.Metrica, you need to select the appropriate report:

In the window that opens, you can see a graph of transitions from different sources and detailed statistics for each tag.

The bounce rate, viewing depth and time on the site are important information that can be used in addition to conversion statistics to increase advertising effectiveness. With the help of "Webvisor" you can analyze the behavior of users on the page. Well, to get statistics on conversions on UTM-tags, do not forget to set goals.

To view statistics on UTM tags in Google Analytics, you need to open the "Traffic Sources" menu, then - "All Traffic" and select the "Source / Channel" tab. Data will be displayed in source / medium format.

If you need to view information on a specific campaign, click on the link with the source and in the “Main Parameter” menu open the “Other” menu. Then in the "Traffic Sources" list, select "Campaigns."

Track transitions to the site using UTM-tags can not only from online, but also from offline sources. This is easily implemented using a QR code.

First, create a label in the linker with all the necessary parameters:

The finished link will appear under the form, so the screen needs to be scrolled.

Now go to the generator of QR codes. For example, this one. Select the desired option: "encode - link to the site." Enter the received address.

Generally, promotional codes are usually used for discounts, but with the help of QR codes you can test various types of advertising using more detailed statistics. This is necessary if customers lead different channels.

Openstat and From tags

In addition to UTM, there are also From and Openstat tags that Yandex.Metrica recognizes, but does not recognize GoogleAnalytics. The From label indicates only the source of transitions. It is convenient to use for email traffic (

Speaking of email traffic. In this case, it is necessary to mark the links, otherwise the transitions to the site will be marked as direct. If you have several mailing lists or, for example, you want to track the effectiveness of a specific letter (or call to action), UTM tags are better suited for this purpose. In this case, the link must contain the utm_medium parameter with the value of email or e-mail, and utm_source can be given any value (for example, the name of the mailing list).

You can add the _openstat tag by enabling this option on the campaign settings page in the Metric box in Yandex.Direct. In addition to Yandex.Metrica, you can view Openstat tags also on Liveinternet and the Openstat service of the same name. For other purposes (except "Direct") you can create them here (there are all the necessary parameters). At the output - the data is in encoded form:

Short link services for collecting statistics

I often post links to my VKontakte group in posts on the Yandex.Dzen channel. It was interesting whether people follow the links, but VKontakte statistics do not allow getting specific data - the external sites are simply shown as sources. In addition, statistics indicate the ratio in percent, but I need specific numbers.

The solution to the problem was the abbreviations of references. For example, It shows the number of transitions and even small statistics on countries and devices. Although it will soon be time to look for an alternative to it - the service will be closed on March 30, 2019.

By the way, the statistics of the VKontakte groups can be a little confusing - it is not always clear what is meant by one or another transition source. In this note you can see the decoding of all possible channels displayed "VKontakte".

Call Tracking

Do not forget that for the most complete analysis of the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, it is necessary to track not only the sources of transitions to the site, but also the sources of calls. Calling tracking can help you with this (and not only).

Call Tracking is of two types:

  1. Static. Each channel (contextual advertising, social networks, etc.) is assigned a separate phone number. The more sources, the more numbers will be required for tracking, which will affect the cost of services. In this case, data on the effectiveness of each channel will be presented in a generalized form. View detailed statistics for each call will not work.
  2. Dynamic. This type of call tracking solves the problems of the previous one: a separate number is attached to an individual for a certain time, and you get additional information - the source of the call (specific ad or search query), advertising campaign, region, website behavior, devices, etc. Initial number telephone numbers is determined based on site traffic. But it is limited, and as soon as the number is released - it is occupied by the next visitor, etc.

Sometimes, to achieve a greater effect, these two types of call-tracking combine. For example, for advertising in offline sources they use static call tracking, and for advertising in social networks or Google. Adwords - dynamic. The second option is preferable where you need to get more information.

Call tracking services differ in functionality. The choice is wide - from free Google .Adwords with limited capabilities to multifunctional tools that can integrate with CRM, Yandex.Direct, Google Adwords, etc.

Earlier we carried out a detailed review of 12 call-tracking services with a comparative table. With it, you can choose the most suitable option for your business.

Watch the video: Top 5 Traffic Sources To Make SALES & $$$ FREE Traffic & Paid Traffic Methods (January 2020).


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