Tracking bit.ly with Google Analytics

I came across a very cool tool that the folks at bit.ly set up to help with track and organize your bit.ly campaigns.

Bit.ly is a popular link shortening service that allows you to reduce the size of long URLs for posting into Twitter, Facebook and other social media.  The great thing is the bit.ly has built in some fantastic basic metrics so you can see how many people clicked on your link, how many reposted it somewhere, and even segment what country your clicks are coming from.

The good folks at bit.ly took it a step further by setting up a nifty tool that integrates your bit.ly campaigns into Google Analytics by helping you tag them by GA parameters such as utm_source, utm_medium, utm_content and more.

The bit.ly GA tool is basically a spreadsheet that creates a long “manually tagged”  URL, that pulls in your bit.ly API to automatically generate a bit.ly link for you.

You open the tool (in google docs), enter your campaign info such as:

  • Source (referrer: twitter, facebook, email, etc)
  • Medium (banner, cpc, email, etc.)
  • Content (description)
  • Campaign (spring09, etc.)

And boom!  You have an automatically generated bit.ly URL that you can use.

Yes, you could do the same thing without bit.ly (just manually tag your URLs), but in the fast moving world of social media, bit.ly makes it possible to see your metrics in real time.  Then, with a properly tagged link you set up with the bit.ly GA tool, you can dive deeper in Google Analytics later.  For most people Google Analytics does not let you see real-time data. Bit.ly makes it possible.

To set up your own Google Analytics Optimized Bit.ly. Campaign check out the tool at http://bit.ly/ga-campaign-tool.  Simply change the username and API to your own bit.ly user and API and you are good to go.

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2 comments

  1. Dear Matt,
    Can you please tell me if this Google Doc is broken? Or hasn’t been updated in a while? I am trying to use it, but to no avail.

    Thank you.

  2. Hi Godfrey, it seems to be working for me. Sorry to hear you are having trouble. Be sure you are logged into your google account.
    The obvious questions: do you have your bitly login and your bitly key?

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