Some people love getting detailed knowledge about how people access their web sites and spend lots of time mining for useful information within the statistics that something like Google Analytics can give them; and some people don’t!
No matter which category you fall in, however, it can be useful to see how effective your online marketing activities are. If you have links that you specifically want to track, such as those in an email newsletter or other promotional activity, then it is possible to tag those links so you can see within Google Analytics how many of the visits to your site are generated by people clicking on those links.
Use Google’s URL builder (http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55578) to generate links that have special codes added onto them so that Google Analytics can interpret them and separate out clicks from various sources (just as it separates out AdWords or PPC clicks from organic clicks). This will enable you to see just how effective those online marketing activities have been (even more so if you have conversion tracking in place) and focus your efforts on the most effective activities.
For example, the following links are tagged in such a way to show which link was clicked and to indicate that they were clicked from this blog entry (url generated by Google URL builder is shown after each link).
One important point – before you use links generated in this fashion – just check that they work OK with your website. A decent website implementation should have no problem with such extra parameters, but a tiny minority might be affected by them: better to be safe than sorry.
There are lots of things to do when marketing a website online, and any intelligence that can help you focus your efforts is well worth seeking out.