July 2016 Newsletter

**** The 4specs Perspective


"To create and maintain a successful strategy, you need the data to have a successful campaign or you could burn through a lot of money very quickly."

The Internet has changed the accountability measures of advertising and marketing. 20 years ago it was very difficult to know the effectiveness of your marketing expenditures. Many ad rates were set on a cost per 1000 subscribers for the publication and not actual impressions by readers.

The increased use of pay-per-click advertising has increased the awareness to track results on the Internet. The quote above is from this blog article entitled - Questions to Ask About PPC

I see Google Analytics as an essential tool to measure performance of advertising and search engine optimization results. Most marketing people are aware of Google Analytics tracking of what happens on their website.

They are two missing pieces of information most companies fail to track:

1. Some websites and documents do not leave a referrer in your Google Analytics.

a. Secure websites (https:) do not send a referrer. This includes Google - which no longer provides key word information. When I changed to a secure website for 4specs, I quickly learned that my advertisers could not track their 4specs referrals. I quickly returned back to a standard site so they could track our referrals.

b. Websites using a javascript open page and links from documents to your website from docments on another site such as master specifications.

In these 2 cases, add a query to your link when setting up the advertising and this will show the referral source in your Google Analytics. Here is an example for tracking a referral from Autodesk Seek:


2. Places you advertise will tell you how many people visited your profile page. You do not know how many were sent there by your website and how many the publication generated. You need to know how many you sent there by YOUR WEBSITE to measure the effectiveness of the publication in generating activity and downloads.

This is easily done using Google Analytics outbound tracking code. This is the same code used on 4specs to track our outbound referrals. You can use event tracking or page tracking. I recommend page tracking as that will be seen when visiting your Google Analytics pages viewed and does not require going a separate event page. Onmousedown will track better than onclick due to page load timing.

Simply add this onmousedown code to your link. This can also be used to track downloads of pdfs, specification word documents and CAD details and BIN objects from your website. I use example.com again as the example:

<a href="http://seek.example.com/"
onmousedown="ga('send', 'pageview', 'seek);" target="_blank">Link</a>

More information on this here:


Your web designers can easily add this to your website links and you can request publications to add the query tracking code to your website link in their website.

Feedback, comments and suggestions always appreciated.



Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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