Down and Dirty Offline Promotion Tracking


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Warning: Site TrafficContrary to what most online marketers will tell you, you’re probably still spending money on some offline marketing and promotions right? Maybe some print media, a radio spot, maybe even a TV commercial.

You’ll probably want to try and capitalize on those efforts and gain some traffic to your website while you’re at it, but how can you know how those efforts are working for your website traffic?

Generally you’d expect to see an increase in branded search terms for your company. If there were a unique component of the advertisement like a talking dog or something, you’d probably expect to see some search traffic on a phrase like “[company name] talking dog commercial”.

You could try…

  • You should of course include your website domain in your advertisement, but if people just type the domain, that traffic will appear like any other direct traffic source.
  • You could use a QR code, but people say those are dead, even though I love them, and you could track the URL that the QR code directs people to visit.
  • You could register a whole new domain for your advertising campaign, but you may not want to go through that trouble.
  • You could try a #hashtag, but those are really more for engaging traffic on social media platforms, not necessarily a web search.
  • You could use campaign tracking in your query string on the url, but then you’ve got an unbearably long URL you’re hoping someone types correctly.
  • You could put a link on your ad that shortens that giant campaign url, but most people probably won’t know what that link is and not trust it. Plus you have to make sure they type it in correctly.

Here’s an idea I had recently for a friend and it has apparently been working like a charm for them.

Use a Sub-Domain URL with a DNS Redirect

You’ve already got your domain name, take advantage of some strategically planned sub-domains.

For instance, imagine we had the following ad campaigns and each URL was used in a specific piece:

At the DNS level I create these subdomains and redirect them to wherever I want on my website. It could be the homepage, or an internal page. The key is that on the redirect, use the campaign tracking functionality available within Google Analytics to register the details of your campaign. If you need help with campaign tracking, the folks at Raven Tools have a nice little tool available at to create these links easily.

With the examples above, I’d redirect to campaigns structured like the following: =>

The great part though is all someone has to remember to type in is Hopefully that shouldn’t be too large of a hurdle since it should be fairly easy for them to remember where there heard/saw the ad and to know our brand and basic URL for the website.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jason Bean
Jason has a passion for problem solving. An account manager with just the right blend of people skills, technical know-how, and social media savvy, he gets things done and makes clients happy.


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