Welcome back, business owner!
And if you’re just now joining us, I’m so glad you’re here!
Today marks the halfway point in my 12 Days of Business series where, throughout December, I’m sharing helpful ways to manage and prepare your business during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Since the beginning of the month, we’ve discussed ways to kickstart your holiday marketing, how to prep both your website and social media, shared different festive ways to grab your customer’s attention, and more. But how will we know if this holiday business preparation is actually making a difference? The answer is simple: by tracking our results. By tracking the traffic of any given website page, social media post, or email blast, we can visually “score” what avenues served the best for our business. Maybe sharing more personal posts about your business does better on Facebook than Instagram. Or maybe your email list subscribers are more likely to read your blog posts than your Instagram followers. All of this can be analyzed and discovered with tracking via a custom URL builder, which is exactly what I’m going to show you how to do today. And it’s super simple!
1. Create a Bitly Account
Visit bit.ly and create a free account. This is the program we’ll use to analyze our traffic.
2. Decide a Destination Page
Decide what traffic you want to track. This could be a landing page, a page on your website, your social media page, etc. Let’s say I wanted to track all of the traffic this blog post receives, and I want to know exactly where the traffic comes from. We’ll call this page the “destination page”.
3. Plan Your Avenues
Plan what avenues will lead to your destination page. For example, I’ll have an email, a Facebook post, a Pinterest post, and an Instagram post all promoting this blog post. So that’s 4 different avenues that will all lead to the same “destination page”.
4. Build Your Links
Now it’s time to build our URLs. Visit Google’s UTM link builder. There are four fields we’ll need to fill in:
- Website URL – the URL of your destination page
- Campaign Source – one of the avenues mentioned in Step 3 above
- Campaign Medium – the type of avenue the campaign source is
- Campaign Name – a key phrase centered around your campaign
Once we have all the fields filled in, scroll down to “share the generated campaign URL” and click “Convert URL to short link”. This will open a new window asking you to login to the bitly account you created in step one. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be taken back the the URL builder where you can copy the link.
5. Build Your Links
Now I have my unique link created and copied for this specific blog post. When I share this blog post on Facebook, I’ll use this specific link in the description of my post. I’ll repeat these steps for Instagram, my email newsletter, Pinterest, and any other avenues that I want to share the blog post on.
Any time someone clicks on a link leading to this blog post, I will be able to see the traffic generated from each unique link by logging into my bitly account. This helps me analyze where the bulk of my traffic is coming from, and what channels are generating the most engagement for my content. Maybe I find that hardly any blog traffic comes from my social media, but a huge portion of it comes from my email newsletter. This helps me know that I should really focus on creating awesome blog content and sharing it with my email subscribers first and foremost. Hey, maybe I’ll even decide to give my email subscribers exclusive content my social media followers won’t receive.
Using custom links to compartmentalize the different ways in which we share content, we’re able to discover what our customers engage with most. There are so many possibilities when you get to know your audience, and this is perfect information to use next year and even the following to market even better to your customers. I hope implementing this quick step-by-step process helps you learn more about your customers and what they’re looking for this holiday season. After all, your business relies on what your customers want and how you can deliver it to them. Coming Friday, we’ll discuss ways to assure your holiday customer service is top notch and create a memorable experience. Stay tuned!