URL campaign tracking

This part of the course is really interesting as it will psychologically help you to understand a lot of things about how to track marketing channels in general on the internet.

When a communication is happening between two machines, a value named referrer is sent. This value represents the website full url on which the client was once she/he clicked on the link to your website. Here are a few example:

  • Sarah enters https://floss-marketing-school.com in her browser to access this website. As a result no value about the referrer are sent to https://floss-marketing-school.com because Sarah wasn't on a website when she performed the action.
  • Luke is on forum.com/my-life-is-wonderful.html and click on a link which points to https://floss-marketing-school.com/our-great-training, as a result https://floss-marketing-school.com is getting as a referrer the link forum.com/my-life-is-wonderful.html.
  • Anna is receiving a PDF document, she clicks on a link within this document and she is redirected to https://floss-marketing-school.com. Https://floss-marketing-school.com is receiving as an information that there is no value as a referrer, in fact Matomo Analytics will identify it as a direct access as there is no referrer identified.
  • John is clicking on an ad from the search engine Google results page, as a result https://floss-marketing-school is receing a referrer which contain the value google + some paramaters within the URL but will identify it by default as an organic search, not a paid search.

Ok, enough for the examples, I guess you identified what is going on, when the action is happening on a website, the full url of the preceding page is sent, so there are two things to note here:

  1. if you do not explain why this link is special then the analytics system will be biased.
  2. you need to explain to the analytics system where you would like the data to be sent, let's say in which slot you would like to attribute the visit: direct access, social networks, search engine, marketing campaigns.

This method is what we call the URL campaign tracking. It works by adding some parameters to the URLs in order for the analytics system to be able to recognize them.

For Matomo it works with the following one:

  • pk_campaign :
  • pk_keyword :
  • pk_content :
  • pk_source :
  • pk_medium :

All you need to understand is that to declare your set of parameters you need to use once a question mark ?, then each paramater is separated by a & and there is an = sign after each parameter to assign the value. So if you would like to insert a trackable link in a PDF document for example, you will add the link as: https://floss-marketing-school.com/contact?pk_campaign=pdf-document&pk_content=white-paper instead of simply https://floss-marketing-school.com/contact.

As you can read, there is nothing complicated, the best thing is to give it a try in order to feel more comfortable with it.

Tracking links to external resources

The technique we say before is interesting but it just measures the links which are going to your website. If you would like to measure the popularity of the links you are sending to external resources, you can use for that URL shorteners. In fact URL shorteners are just intermediate links you are using in order to collect the data and redirect the traffic. It can be useful for example when you are communicating on social networks you don't have the control on. As the video tutorial is well explained we won't develop it too much here.
Last modified: Sunday, 8 September 2019, 4:30 PM