Measuring domain name redirects using Google Analytics Campaign Tracking

Reading Time | 4 Minutes

I know you’re already wondering what type of company I’m referencing today, right?

I can hear you as I type, “What is atrial fibrillation treatment?”

In short, atrial fibrillation is an irregular, often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow.

Untreated, atrial fibrillation leads to two major complications: stroke and heart failure. Not good by any stretch of the imagination.

Now that you know, there are quite a few companies that specialize in atrial fibrillation treatment.

Recently, I’ve seen a certain company’s commercials, as well as its competition, more than a few times.

In total transparency, I highly dislike some, if not all, of the commercials and medications because of the side effects seeming to cause more harm than help.

But that’s a personal opinion and I’m digressing as a fast rate.

Pradaxa’s use of RedFishPraxada.com as it’s domain…

The company I’m speaking of is Pradaxa, and their medication supposedly helps treat atrial fibrillation.

Before I continue, I keep wanting to spell it Praxada for some strange reason. No worries, Praxada.com is not available nor does it resolve to a website.

Nevertheless, this certain day I happened to catch the Pradaxa commercial (see below), I noticed that the company did not use it’s primary domain Praxada.com.

In fact, I thought RedFishPradaxa.com (I almost spelled RedFishPraxada.com)
was the company’s primary domain.

I snapped a shot of the commercial and was ready to put them on blast for such a hideous domain as their primary digital presence.

RedFishPradaxa.com TV Commercial

But upon further review, I encountered a domain redirect from RedFishPradaxa.com to Pradaxa.com.

Okay, okay… I got ahead of myself, and what a relief it is to see a company using a redirect.  But why?

This redirect stumped me only because they chose to use a longer domain over their shorter primary domain name.

But upon further inspection of the redirect, which I encourage you to type in RedFishPradaxa.com and examine the primary url once redirected, I encountered a long domain full of what looked to be 3 or more “utm_” gibbersh appended to the primary domain.

https://www.pradaxa.com/?utm_medium=vanity+url&utm_source=tv+commercial+redfish&utm_campaign=offline+tactics

The “utm_” gibberish isn’t gibberish at all. It’s actually Google Analytics Tracking Tags.

In fact, it’s something that all businesses that redirect domains to their primary domain and use Google Analytics as their web analytics software should use.

By reviewing the redirected url above, we see that Pradaxa uses the following utm parameters to track RedFishPradaxa.com’s redirect traffic:

  • utm_mediumvanity url (i.e., RedFishPradaxa.com) is the advertising or marketing medium
  • utm_sourcetv commercial redfish is the source that is sending traffic to website
  • utm_campaignoffline tactics is the type of campaign Pradaxa is executing

What are Google Analytics Tracking Tag?

In short, Google Analytics Tracking Tags allow you to track and identify your advertising and marketing campaigns that send traffic to your website.

If you use any of the following types of marketing and advertising, then pay close attention:

  • Email Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Marketing
  • Billboards
  • Newsletters
  • Print Ads
  • Television Ads
  • Radio Ads
  • Domain Names

And these are just a few option, but mostly the common ones companies like yours would use to drive more business.

I’ll spare you of the details and have you read more about setting up your campaigns via Google’s custom campaigns. Read up…

Why Google Analytics Tracking is Important

You do care about whether or not your hard earned revenue is spent, I mean invested, is well, right?

If you don’t care, then might I suggest you start making a check out to me and Kickstart Commerce in the amount of each month’s marketing spend.

Or you could also just burn it, because that’s essentially what you’re doing when you choose not to track and measure your marketing investments.

If you do care, then you’ll want to make sure that each campaign you invest in to drive traffic and business to your website ALWAYS uses Google Analytics Tracking Tags.

I won’t get into the details, but know it’s especially important to always include utm_source, utm_medium and utm_campaign as url parameters when linking or redirecting traffic to your website.

Google provides you with great insight and examples in how to effectively use tracking tags for your various campaigns.

In addition, Google also provides an online url builder tool to creating tracking urls.

I’m not certain if Pradaxa used a 301 or 302 redirect, but I would guess a 301 redirect is what they used, and it’s what you can use too when using domain names to drive traffic to your primary website.

Whether you own one or two domains, or a portfolio of keyword domains related to your business, you now have a method of traffic its overall redirect effectiveness and type-in traffic should you choose to use Google Analytics Tracking Tags.

If you would like to learn more about generating more business using additional domains outside of your primary domain, then I invite you to read the following:

Alvin Brown
Alvin is a serial entrepreneur and digital strategist with an avid love for domain name consulting. As the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of DNAdverts.com, his assignment is to ensure business and personal brands don't suffer the consequences of common domain name pitfalls.

As a domain investor and business consultant, Alvin actively participates in daily domain auctions. Outside of auctions, he passionately shares his views, opinions, and vision for how businesses should and should not use domain names to generate greater customer growth and revenue.