#4 Google Analytics - Measuring Online and Offline Marketing Campaigns

Author -  Vaughan Reed - Managing Director & Web Strategist

Google Analytics is ideal for monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of any online or offline marketing that you have running for your website.

Measuring your Online Campaigns

If you’re doing any form of online marketing such as; banner advertising, external links, paid listings or email marketing, then I recommend measuring it at a detailed level other than just viewing Traffic Sources.

Two options for tracking online campaigns are:

  • Advanced Segments – this is the quickest and easiest to setup
  • Google Campaign Code – this option gives Google more meaning about the campaign (i.e. the Source and the Medium), which provides more detailed reporting.

Advance Segments

In this example, let’s assume I’m going to put a banner on the Mitre 10 website which will promote our Outdoor Blinds product offering.

If I’d just had a standard link from the banner to the awning page, we can view the volume of traffic that originated from the external website by looking at the traffic source. But the problem arises if we have multiple banners (or links) on the external website.

To effectively monitor multiple banners or links, add tracking code to the end of the URL to help Google track the various sources of traffic more effectively. 

To do this I'll add ?cid=001 to the end of the URL i.e. http://www.archgola.co.nz/outdoor-blinds?cid=001

Note: cid stands for Campaign ID and 001 is a unique number (or it can be letters) for the campaign

I'll create a custom Advance Segments to isolate traffic that came from the URL with the unique Campaign ID.

  1. Click on Advance Segments and select the ‘New Custom Segment’ button.
  2. Enter a Campaign Title i.e. 001 (Mitre10 Outdoor Blinds Banner)
  3. From the Ad Content drop down, select ‘Landing Page’
  4. Within the Containing field enter the unique code for the campaign i.e. cid=001
  5. Click Save Segments


When viewing your stats you will now see what is happening with traffic originating from Mitre10 for the Outdoor Blinds banner.

Important Note: the Funnel Visualization view does not work with Advance Segments so if you want to view Conversions, use the Goal Flow view.

Google Campaign Code

Using Google Campaign Code is similar to what I have shown above but with just more detail in the URL.

Here is what a URL looks like with campaign code. http://www.archgola.co.nz/outdoor-blinds?utm_source=mitre10&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=residential+awnings

As you can see this is not the easiest URL to setup so Google have made it easier by providing a URL Campaign Generation tool, which you can access via the following link: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en

To create a Google Campaign Code using the Google Tool, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the URL for the landing page i.e http://www.archgola.co.nz/outdoor-blinds
  2. Enter the Campaign Source (where the banner is placed) i.e. Mitre10
  3. Enter the Banner Medium (type of advert) I.e. Banner
    In this example we have left Campaign Term and Campaign Content blank. If you had multiple banners for the same campaign but with a variation to the marketing message, you would enter something in Campaign Content.
  4. Enter a Campaign Name i.e. Outdoor Blinds
  5. Click on the Submit button
  6. Copy the URL that was generated and use this for the banner link


Once you’ve started receiving traffic from this campaign, you can monitor the results within the Campaign section within Google Analytics, which is section specifically for Google Campaign Code results.

Go to Traffic Sources >> Sources >> Campaigns

Note: you can also setup a custom Advance Segment based on the Campaign code, which would enable you to isolate traffic coming from the campaign.

Measuring your Offline Campaigns

Lastly I want to show you how you can use QR Codes to measure the success of your Offline marketing Campaigns (i.e. advert in printed magazine, newspaper or billboard etc).

By placing a QR code on your offline advertisement you can track the traffic to your website that originated from the advert.

To give you an overall effectiveness of the advert, you can make an estimate for the % of people who scanned the QR code compared to those you viewed it. In our estimate we have used 5% for the number of people who scanned the QR code. I.e. if you received 10 visitors to your website from the QR code, you can estimate that 200 people read the advert.

The real benefit comes from when you have the same advert running in multiple places or when you have different marketing messages. The number of people scanning the QR code will allow you to gauge which placement or message is driving a better result.

Note: if you are going to use QR Codes, your website needs to be optimized for Mobile devices. There is little point in sending someone to your website when it’s does not provide a positive user experience for a mobile device.

To track the traffic coming from a QR code, you have to use one of the campaign URL’s I talked about above.

Important Note: the longer the URL the more complex the QR code will be, which will make it harder to scan. The cid url option will make for a shorter URL. The only thing to consider is you won’t see the visitor stats within the ‘Campaign’ section of Google Analytics.

In the following example I will create a QR code using the Google Campaign Code URL. In this example we are using the http://qrcode.littleidiot.be website because it creates an EPS version of the QR Code which is a format suitable for print:

  1. Enter the URL we created within the ‘Google Campaign Code’ section I.e. http://www.archgola.co.nz/outdoor-blinds?utm_source=mitre10&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=residential+awnings
  2. Select the Create button
  3. Click on one of the image formats to download




There is a lot to absorb here, especially for those of you who are new to Analytics. If your website is not meeting your business objectives or if you need help implementing some of the tools, please contact us and we will help you to implement the right level of tracking for your website.


More in this series - Read your Google Analytics like a pro!

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