Tag Archives: analysis

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.

Visual and XML Sitemap Generator – See the flow of your website

While chatting with a colleague today (Hello, Beverly Sastri), we were saying it would be so great to have a tool that could “scan” a website and generate a visual sitemap of the site. This is particularly helpful for site re-design and development projects so that you can see how all the pages of the site connect with one another.

I have a wonderful tool called A1 Website Analyzer that I use to pull the page urls, titles, meta-descriptions, heading tags and keywords, for site analysis but Beverly wanted something more like a visual flowchart.

So, here it is, PowerMapper. The maps can also generate an XML sitemap, can be exported to CSV, a webpage or an image. Here’s part of an image from StRoseChurch.com‘s website map.

Visual Sitemap - St. Rose Church

Interactive Income Map: Rich Blocks Poor Blocks

Very cool interactive income map: http://www.richblockspoorblocks.com/

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks is an interactive map showing the average income for every neighborhood in America. Type in your address, press search, and there you have it: Your city, shaded by income, according to data from an annual survey conducted by the Census Bureau. The greenest blocks–Census blocks, that is, not city blocks–signify the richest areas, typically bringing in an average household income of $100,000 or more a year. The reddest blocks are the poorest, with annual income somewhere around $20,000. All the rest get some shade of red or green, depending where they fall.” Quote from FastCompany


Diving into the DATA

Working with Tableau has helped me to understand many of the ways that rows and rows of data can be turned into useful information.

For example, I did a little bit of keyword research, using Google’s AdWord tool to try to find the best keywords for a potential client to optimize on.

The initial result is a data-download from Google that looks something like this:

Data Download from Google AdWords Keyword Tool

In Excel you can sort, arrange and even highlight certain rows based on criteria you set. However, by quickly pulling this data into Tableau, you can turn an unmanageable list, into a visualization that can clearly help you see where the keywords fall within certain criteria like greater or less than average search volume, greater or less than average costs-per-click and even by defining a range of search volumes, which keyphrases fall into a range that can reasonably be assumed to provide a good return on advertising investment.