Why and How to Properly Tag your Links

The other week I watched a very good SEOMoz White Board Friday presentation on Why Google Analytics Tagging Matters.

I won’t get into the details, but the basic premise is that if links are not tagged properly, Google doesn’t know where traffic is coming from and will dump it all into Direct Traffic.

This can be a problem because you are then unable to see if certain links via Social Media or other campaigns are generating traffic and ROI.

Tagging links before you post them on Social Media or send out via email is an extra step, but it’s easy to do and the results are definitely worth it in the long run.

Google has a URL Builder tool to help you build links. I’ve written a blog post that I want to send out via my social media channels. Let’s walk through the process of tagging the URL to get the best data in Google analytics.

Ok, the un-tagged URL for the post is: http://www.joannemarcinek.com/2013/04/bluebirds-of-hope-sandy-hooks-guardian-angels/

Next step, go to Google’s URL Builder:

Google URL Builder


Paste in the Website URL and then follow the steps to tag it.Google URL Builder

You can label the required fields any way you like. For this post, I am labeling the Campaign Source as facebook (because that’s where I’ll be putting the post), the Campaign Medium is personal because I will be posting it on my personal Facebook profile. If I were posting it on a Facebook business page, I would put the name of the page here. And last, the Campaign Name is musings to identify that it is a post in that category on my blog.

As I said, you can label the required fields any way you like, but it does make sense to be consistent in how you name your Campaign Source/Medium and Name so that when you later view your analytics, you can properly track your data.

When the required fields are filled in, just click Submit and you will have a tagged URL that you can copy and share:


While this is an extra step in the sharing process, the information you are able to track later will make it worth it. It would be especially important for email campaigns or advertising that you are doing in other online publications to track that you are getting a return on your investment.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

PS. The Whiteboard Friday video above was embedded using Wistia, a fantastic and easy to use video hosting platform that I just signed up for. More on Wistia later.

3 thoughts on “Why and How to Properly Tag your Links

  1. Pingback: How to Use Chrome Add-in Google URL Builder | Ask Joanne, LLC

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