Candidly Speaking with Chris Hodge

Digital Strategist Chris Hodge explains how to use analytics, UTM codes
and pixels to achieve campaign goals.

Candor Digital Strategist Chris Hodge is the king of all things analytics. He’s well-versed in helping brands determine campaign goals, optimize their digital footprint and increase conversions — and he connects the dots by tracking, collecting and reporting on every piece of relevant data along the way.

 

It’s not enough to just set up a digital campaign. You’ve got to know how to effectively track its success. The Candor team chatted with Chris about delivering detailed insights to clients, creating context through perspective and analysis and why Google Analytics remains as important as ever.

 

Candor: Why is utilizing Google Analytics important for digital campaigns?

 

Chris: Google Analytics provides valuable insights which can help shape campaign success. The free platform shows how people are finding your website, tracks what people are doing once they get there, reveals popular webpages, tracks conversions (like signing up for an email list) and much more. If a digital campaign is launched without leveraging Google Analytics, the team will miss out on the chance to make optimizations, which can hurt the bottom line. 

Source: https://moz.com/blog/absolute-beginners-guide-to-google-analytics

Candor: Once I set up my Google Analytics account, am I good to start tracking?

 

Chris: Not exactly. To get the most bang for your buck, it’s important to set up goals and events. Goals measure actions on websites which often directly affect revenue, like ecommerce purchases or leads collected through a contact form. Goals show the impact of site visitors’ actions by assigning an estimated monetary value to each conversion. Events, on the other hand, track simple interactions like button clicks, file downloads and outbound links. They can help provide insight into popular website content and frequently taken actions.

 

Goals and events deliver in-depth details into how users are interacting with a website. If they’re not set up, you’ll miss out on an important piece of the puzzle.

Goals example from Google Analytics, provided by Candor

Candor: What is a UTM code, and how can it help with campaign tracking?

 

Chris: UTM codes are bits of text, or parameters, added to the end of URLs to provide more information to Google Analytics. UTM codes must contain information for campaign source, medium and name, but they might also include paid search keywords and content to differentiate between ads. Using them will help determine which pieces of creative are performing best; it’s a granular form of tracking which allows users to optimize content in real time. When we’re creating digital campaign reports for clients, for example, we leverage UTM codes to help inform campaign success and track effectiveness of language, graphics, calls-to-action, etc.

 

Google Analytics offers a user-friendly (and free) Campaign URL Builder, allowing users to easily add campaign parameters to URLs. Candor uses this tool for every digital campaign we run.

Built using Google Analytics Campaign Builder URL: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/

Candor: What are other ways to track digital campaigns?

Chris: Tracking pixels are another key factor in measuring campaign performance. Pixels are snippets of code which are installed on a website to track users’ actions and connect that information to a social media or advertising platform. They’re incredibly important for building target audiences, as well as finding similar users to target audiences to drive more conversions for ads. For example, when someone Googles “best dog food,” and starts seeing dog food-related ads wherever they go on the internet — that’s all due to tracking pixels.

 

Interested in learning more about Candor’s analytics services? Click here or contact us to chat about how we can assist you best.

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