How To Use Bit.ly To Track The Same Link Posted In Multiple Places

Let’s say you have a link that you want to promote. Many companies will run the link through a link shortening service like bit.ly in order to track the number of clicks that link gets.

But what if you’re interested in knowing not only the number of clicks your link got, but also the source of those clicks? Bit.ly will show you where those clicks came from when you view the stats for your bitmark (ie., bit.ly link), but only to a limited degree.

bit.ly analytics by source

The problem

In the example above, I posted a link to an article I wrote on 3 different LinkedIn groups, two questions on Quora, and a few other places. It’s great to know that LinkedIn.com was a major driver of traffic for my link, but this doesn’t tell me specifically which of those three LinkedIn groups gave me the most traffic.

The solution

If you’re posting the same link to multiple locations within a domain (like on multiple LinkedIn groups, or on multiple Twitter accounts) and you’d like to know which places are getting the most clicks, there’s an easy trick to to figuring that out.

First, create a separate bitmark for each place you want to promote it. You have to do this by creating a unique URL for each place you want to post it. For example, let’s say I wanted to promote this blog post http://getstuckintraffic.com/tumblr-for-brands/ to a number of different places. I would tag the link by adding ?src=location after the end of the link like this:

(src =… means “the source for this link is…”)

URL Bit.ly Link
http://getstuckintraffic.com/tumblr-for-brands/?src=linkedinGroupAboutTumblr http://bit.ly/13BymxW
http://getstuckintraffic.com/tumblr-for-brands/?src=linkedinGroupAboutB2C http://bit.ly/10drkte

Then, check out the analytics by adding a to the end of each bit.ly link. Adding a plus sign to the end of shortened links will show you the analytics for that link (works for Google ‘s link shortner, goo.gl, too!)

Now you can see exactly how many clicks each source produced for you!

, , B2B, B2C, digital marketing

4 thoughts on “How To Use Bit.ly To Track The Same Link Posted In Multiple Places

  1. I’m trying this trick for a link to our app on iTunes, but adding /?src=sourceTitle to the end of the URL seems to break the link when I paste it into the address bar. What’s the use of creating a bit.ly link to a broken page?

    For reference, here’s what I tried:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brainscape-flashcard-portal/id442415567?ls=1&mt=8/?src=tellTeacherEmailFromApp

    If you copy everything before final “/” (slash) into your URL bar, it works fine. But with my new source identifier it does not. Any help?

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