How to Track Anything in Less Than 10 Seconds


Brandon Stiles
We all know it’s a good thing to track your ROI on advertising and marketing. But so often we rarely do it; it’s just one extra step and one extra thing we have to worry about in our already busy business world.

We don’t want to have to set up all this confusing, expensive, pain-in-the-butt tracking software or whatever witchcraft folks are using these days just to track a single ad, right?

Well today I’m going to show you a quick, easy way to start tracking your advertising and marketing efforts quickly, with pretty much just one click of a mouse.

We’re going to use a ‘’ tracking link.


At its core, (literally just type in into your web browser) is a link shortener. You take a web page address you want people to visit (which are usually pretty long), paste it into, and it shortens it for you. This technique was originally developed to save characters in a 140-character Twitter post, but it has further-reaching uses.

When you paste the link in and it gets converted, Google is essentially taking the new link, and ‘re-routing’ it to your destination of choice. When they do that, they can track the usage of that shortened link for anyone that clicks through to it.

Boom! Instant tracking ability on a link.


Let’s set one up right now.

First go to (remember, just type that into your web browser).

A page that looks like this will pop up:

Next, copy and paste in the URL you want to track. Here’s mine:
Copy & paste in the link you want to track/shorten
Just click “Shorten URL”, and this screen will pop up:
And there you go, quick and easy! You now have a shortened, trackable link that you can copy and paste anywhere and test your efforts and ROI.

Once you get some traffic through that link, Google will show you some analytics on it, which you can use to optimize your delivery of the link or the content behind it.

To see the analytics, click on the three vertical dots to the right of your link and then click ‘Analytics Data’, like so:

For example, here’s a screenshot of a link I sent out that got 260 clicks through to it:
Ahhh… Beautiful, beautiful data
That, my people, is some beautiful information.

It tells you where the clicks came from (in my case, most of it was the US, with one random one in India), as well as the browsers people were using, when most of them clicked through, and where they came from (Instagram, Facebook, etc).

This is awesome insight because you can see the places where your ad or your link performed well, and optimize delivery to that area.


You can use this simple technique on any link you want to track, but don’t think it’s just confined to a website or ad.

You can put this tracking link on your business card, and see who’s using it. If you pass out 50 business cards at an event, and check back and see that business card link got 30 clicks, you’d know your business cards are giving you a good ROI and generating some interest. If you have zero clicks… you MIGHT need to work on your pitch or your first impression.

You can also drop this in your Instagram bio to see if people are actually clicking through from there. If there are zero clicks through, then you know whatever you’re doing on Instagram isn’t converting well, so you should probably alter your approach.

Using quick, easy tracking links like these give you a super-quick and efficient bird’s eye view of how well your marketing (and even networking) efforts are going.



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