One of the more widely used tracking tools is Google Analytics. This is a Google based service that you can plug into your website or blog to measure and define the traffic that your site is receiving. The wonderful part of this software is that it gives you graphs, pie charts and tables to visually represent the data.
The only problem that I have seen with this platform is that not many people instantly know how to use it, so they throw it to the curb. It does involve popping some code onto your blog or website, and this is usually where people stop being interested.
So I have a solution for anyone who wants to track the effectiveness of the content that they are sharing, specifically in link form.
Although it has been around for awhile, as the importance of tracking increases it is the perfect time to dive in.
What bit.ly does is not only shorten your hyperlink and give you a suggested title for the link, it also TRACKS how many people click on the link and from what location. The power in this is that now you will know what links you share are hot, and which ones are absolutely not.
So how do you get started and how much does it cost? How about easy and free! Simply go to bit.ly (honestly, that is the domain name) and register for free. Once you are registered I strongly recommend installing the bit.ly sidebar (which will be added to the bookmarks bar of your browser). Once this is complete, you are ready to go.
Say you are going to share a link from your blog as a Facebook Status Update. Open your blog and go to the article you want to share. When you are on the exact page containing your article, click the bit.ly button on your bookmarks bar. It will immediately open up the service, shorten your url, give you a suggested title and begin tracking the link. If you want, you can simply copy and paste their suggestion into your Status Update and hit “share” or you can come up with your own title (recommended).
After 24 hours, login to your bit.ly account and see how many people clicked the link! Cool right?
There are lots of other ways to monitor your progress and I would love to hear about them. What have you used or are you using that helps you track the effectiveness of your online campaign?