If You Use a Link Shortener Can You Measure In Google Analytics?

by Drew Hannush

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Feb
7

For those of you that need to know how much traffic your Blog links in Twitter and Facebook bring back to your site, it is important that your Google Analytics software is catching every link you provide to your Twitter/Facebook feeds. But, what if you use bit.ly or one of the other Link Shorteners? Now your addresses are taking a bounce to a different address before coming to your site.  This is actually shown in Google Analytics as Direct Traffic.

And looking at the statistics for bit.ly isn’t much help, because bit.ly uses the same URL for others as well and counts them as the same.

I tried an experiment, using Twitterfeed.com and my WordPress blog. I placed the italic code into my feed link…then provided this as my feed link for Twitter to Twitterfeed.com:

http://www.hannush.com/blog/feed/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=twitterfeed.com&utm_campaign=Social+Media?rss

That did not work.

I post using TweetDeck mostly…and it adds in a URL shortener automatically, but doesn’t track automatically.

So, it looks like I will continue to manually make my links.  At least there is one URL shortening company that lets you add the tracking for Twitter as part of making the link.  Check it out: http://kl.am (click “kustomize” to get it to work).

Also, there are some more difficult ways to achieve it:

RavenSEOtools.com

Avengate Blog

Yoast

But I will warn you, these are not for the faint of heart. They require server access and a little HTML.

Twitterfeed.com says it has UTM code, but I haven’t seen it yet.  I’ll keep looking, because while its nice to get the extra traffic, it would be nice to measure it.

If you know of any simple methods for getting this tracking into Google Analytics, I’d love to hear it

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