Recently, one of my readers asked me to explain how to use Google tracking links to analyze the success of library marketing efforts. So I’ve created an easy step-by-step guide to get you on the right track.

Google links let you measure your digital marketing efforts with ease. (No, I wasn’t paid to write that!) I track our digital marketing efforts using Google links for all of my targeted email messaging. (We use Bitly for stand-alone social media posts because of the branded url capability.) I also use Google links on all the new books I post to our New Books board on Pinterest. It tells me how many people click on embedded links inside my targeted emails and how many people click on the Pins.

It’s easy and once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to track all your digital marketing efforts because it’ll help you analyze how well your cardholders are responding to your stuff.

Here’s a simple guide for setting up Google Links.

1. Set up Google Analytics for your library website. I’m going to assume most libraries already have this in place, but if not, here is an easy guide to get tracking on your website.

2. Go to the URL builder. I have this bookmarked, as I use it every day.

3. Scroll down to the URL builder form and paste in the url you want to track. For the example, I’m using a book from our collection,  The Mistresses of Clivedom.

url builder

4.  Type in the campaign source and medium. For our example, I’m putting in our catalog software Encore as the source and “Targeted Email” as the medium.


5. Skip term and content lines. Go to the bottom and fill in your Campaign Name. For our example, I’m pretending that I’m using this link in my “What’s New in Print” targeted email messaging for May.


6. Click the “Generate URL” button and viola! You have your link. It’s a load of crazy characters but trust it. Copy and paste it into the digital marketing pieces of your choice. You’re done, until it’s time to track your efforts.


7. When you’re ready to track your efforts, click on your Google Analytics account, which presumably you’ve bookmarked and you check quite often. (Data is fun!). On the left side bar, click on Acquisition, then Campaigns, and finally All Campaigns. (phew!)


Now you can see how your links did in comparison with one another. You can change the date range at the top right hand side of the page and see as much data as your brain and heart can handle.

Good luck and happy tracking!

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Slideshare,  Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.