If you use Adsense to monetize your website, it sure helps to find know how much your site earns from the various traffic sources. While Analytics can filter our Adsense earnings from individual sites, it won’t break it down by individual URLs from those sites (or paid traffic campaigns).
This is particularly important if you incorporate paid traffic into your traffic mix (like I do).
Do you send traffic to your website from your Facebook page? Do you know how much you earn from Adsense from a specific Facebook post?
Unless you’re tracking the traffic, you probably have no idea. For a long time I merely speculated how my Facebook page and ads earned. Not any more.
Yes, you can see how much you earn from Facebook overall, but not individual Facebook page posts and ad campaigns unless you use the Google URL Builder.
What’s this free software that does the tracking?
It’s Google’s URL Builder (also referred to as the UTM URL builder). You can access it here (it’s free).
How does it work?
It tracks Adsense revenue earned from traffic from the link source you input into creating the traffic link.
For example, if you create a post on Facebook and use the URL builder link, you’ll be able to see exactly how much Adsense revenue you earned via that link (i.e. Facebook post).
Another example: If you create a Facebook ad campaign, you can insert the Google URL so you can see exactly how much that Facebook campaign earns you with Adsense.
How I set up the Google URL builder
Watch the Video
I keep it simple.
I don’t bother inputting the fields that are blank above. The information in the required fields is sufficient for my tracking purposes.
In Google Analytics, the tracking would show up as: Facebook-Specific-Blog-Post-Title-Date. This way you can immediately determine how much the link generated in Adsense.
In the Campaign Medium field, you can add additional information that helps you track the source of the traffic. I have my system; you no doubt will develop your own tracking system.
Don’t forget to link your Adsense account to your Google Analytics account
In order to get this information, you’ll need to link your Google Adsense account with Google Analytics.
What about tracking organic search traffic Adsense revenue?
The Google URL builder isn’t necessary for this. If you integrate your Adsense account with Analytics, you can filter down to see exactly how much Adsense revenue you earn from Google organic search traffic.
What about PPC campaigns such as Bing Ads?
Yes, you can use the Google URL builder as your Bing Ads link to track Adsense revenue. I do for most campaigns (although I mostly monetize Bing Ads traffic with affiliate offers instead of Adsense).
What about native advertising campaigns such as Outbrain?
You bet. Most native advertisers offer an option to add your Google URL UTM link code for tracking.
In fact, I find it’s most useful with my Outbrain campaigns because I know exactly how much I can bid on a CPC basis for traffic.
What else can the Google URL Builder track?
It’s certainly not just for tracking Adsense revenue.
It can track anything as long as you can incorporate it with an Analytics goal.
For example, you can track email sign up conversions from different traffic sources.
I don’t use the URL builder for conversion tracking; currently I use it solely for tracking Adsense revenue. But once you understand how to use the Google URL builder and if you know how to set up goals in Analytics, the sky really is the limit.
I use it selectively…
I’m the first to admit that I should be more diligent about tracking. I have coaching students who are appalled at my lack of tracking. I actually eyeball a lot of campaigns because the more you use the URL Builder, the more data you must comb through.
I restrict its use to paid campaigns, mostly native advertising campaigns. Since I’m running over 100 Facebook ad sets at any given time, that’s a lot of monitoring.
I don’t recommend eye-balling like I do. I’d probably earn more if I were more diligent, but I get bored analyzing reams of data unless it’s critical such as native advertising campaigns.
At some point, too much information becomes a liability. I know myself so I create only the amount of data that I know I’ll actually review and analyze.
If you love data, you could take this URL builder to levels I’ve never considered. If you’re willing to put in the time with it, you can earn a much better ROI than me.
Shorten the URL
I don’t do this, but if you use the Google URL Builder extensively, especially on social media, you may wish to use a URL shortener so the links you post aren’t so long and ugly. This isn’t necessary with paid campaigns.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.