bitly

Track any URL with a bit.ly – realtime analytics wow

I used bit.ly a long time ago to track my internal newsletter sends, but it’s been a while since I’ve had the need to use bit.ly as Google Analytics, Mailchimp and Facebook have typically been enough data for me.  Recently, I was helping out on a Facebook Page custom tab, and one of their requirements is how many clicks they get on each of the links.  Enter Bit.ly.

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Google Analytics and Facebook Insights for custom facebook iframe tabs

I researched for a little while the best way to integrate Google Analytics into an iframe tab, within the facebook environment, and it seems there was no real simple answer.

The top two results had different methods:

http://www.savio.no/blogg/a/104/how-to-track-facebook-iframes-with-google-analytics

http://mediafunnel.com/facebook/facebook-iframe-page-tab-web-analytics/

That hardly filled me with confidence.  The other issue I had, it was less than 24 hours to launch, and Google Analytics wouldn’t tell me if the code was working properly for another 24 hours.   As any marketer will tell you, the first 24 hours is the most important 24 hours of a campaign.  If the code was wrong, I was stuffed.

Facebooks insights as well, were somewhat confusing as to whether it would pick up my specific URL’s, or if it would simply give me the age, sex and location of my viewers.

So we are 3 minutes from launching, and I get a brainwave.

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Enter bit.ly – a wonder kid of real time url tracking

bit.ly provides realtime statistics on any URL you care to track.  The user interface has had a massive makeover since I last used it, and I was so excited about it I just had to post a blog on it!  I can’t show you my specific links, but below gives you an idea on how clean, and crisp it is to view your stats.

bit.ly

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How do you set up URLs for tracking?

bit-ly

Adding a URL to bit.ly for tracking is as easy as pasting in the full URL where that little fish is, in the top right corner of the browser.  Once you’ve pasted it in, out spits a nice little bit.ly url.  Put that bit.ly link anywhere you care to share, newsletters, facebook updates, twitter links, maybe even your business card.

That’s it.  Seriously.  You can now see what is going on in real time.

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Now you can track offline links and other sneaky tricks

The age old marketing challenge is how you can see a return on investment for offline marketing communication pieces – well Bit.ly is your answer.  You can customise the URL string, for instance bit.ly/florenceroad.  Once they have been used up somewhere in the world, you can’t reuse them, so get creative.  Here’s some ideas on how to use them:

  • Business cards – put your website address as a bit.ly link – i.e bit.ly/florenceroadonline
  • Put them on your next flyer drop with the call to action being bit.ly/florenceroadwaytogo
  • Keen to send a personal email to a client and gage their interest without using mailchimp or another email program – set up a bit.ly link.  (perhaps don’t tell them you knew that they clicked).
  • Send your mum and dad a picture of your daughter and make the link a bit.ly/mumandadclickhere  (ok this one is a joke, but in all seriousness you could catch them out if they don’t click 🙂 )

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How much?

No wonder Gen Y think they are owed something for being alive, because it’s apps like this, google analytics, and facebook that are free, that make Gen Y think it’s all to easy.  Yep that’s right.  Free.  Maybe us older folks should start making these kids pay and we’d all live in a happier place.

That’s it, go play with it – http://bit.ly/16ICduy

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