Part of our work as digital marketing consultants was to help people do the job themselves. We have moved over to helping the off the plan market in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. There were a few often asked questions. People wanted to track what's happening with their Bitly URLs. The simplest thing to do is to track it in GA. People also wanted to track information from multiple sources in Google Analytics to use things like Google Data Studio to consolidate information.

One can gather Bitly (and other URL shorteners) click analytics in Google Analytics quite simply, if the link is to a Google Analytics enabled asset, like a website with a Google Tracking ID (Google’s very own ‘Pixel’ :)) — a UA-XXX number attached to it. Here is how.

How To Enable Google Analytics Tracking for your Bitly URLs: helping you as digital marketing consultants

Note: It’s important to set up the parameters correctly, as your analytics report would show those. Here is a guide.

  • utm_source: Example ‘google’, ‘facebook’, ‘website.’
  • utm_medium: Example ‘email’, ‘facebook’. In the example below, I am setting up the link say to do an email campaign.
  • utm_campaign: my campaign name.
  • utm_term: the SEO terms I am targeting.
  • utm_content: this is a tag to use in case you are doing an A/B test. For example, this is a text link so, say, ‘text_link’.

Authorise Bitly

If you do not have a Bitly account, you will need to create one. When you click on convert URL to Short Link on Google Campaign URL Builder, it will ask you to authorise your Bitly account.

Shorten URL

Click on ‘Convert URL to Short Link’ as shown in the example below.

Test the setup works

Copy the URL in an address bar. Access the URL once to see everything is alright. Go to Bitly analytics to see it’s tracking the URL.

If everything is hunky-dory, you are ready to go!

fig1: Create a Bitly URL using Google Campaign URL builder

Review Real-time analytics in Google Analytics

Go to Google Analytics

Google Analytics -> REAL-TIME -> Traffic Sources

Check params

See if the User, Medium, and the Source data appears as expected.

fig 2: Track your Bitly URL in Google Analytics

You are all set! This information can now flow through to any analytics report that pulls data from Google Analytics.

We have moved on from being digital marketing consultants. But we are always happy to help.