Tracking Your TCT (Twitter Click Through)


tracking-twitter-birdLove it or hate it, Twitter can be a useful tool to send traffic to your site. But how do you know if all that time spent tweeting is paying off? You may take a look at your Google Analytics and see some referral traffic coming from, but that’s not the whole story. It’s not even half the story.

Most people who use Twitter receive and send their tweets from an application on their desktop or smart phone. For example – Twhirl and Tweetdeck are popular desktop apps, and Twitterific is popular for the iPhone. Here’s the rub: if you tweet a link to your site and someone clicks on that link from within one of those apps, it will show up in your analytics as a direct visit – no referral data.

So, how do you know how many people visit your site from links that you send out via Twitter? Enter the world of URL shorteners. You’re probably already aware of URL shortnening services, like TinyURL,,, Snurl, and there are many more out there. Basically, what they do is take your long URL ( and condense it into a shorter version (like This is especially important for Twitter, where you only have 140 characters per tweet (the long URL above would only leave you with 73 characters – not even enough to say what you had for breakfast!). The short URL just redirects to the page with the long URL.

Some URL shorteners also have fancy features that let you track important stats – like how many people clicked through. Here’s a more complete guide to URL shorteners that lists the features of each one. I like to use most often, so let’s stick with that for the rest of this post.

Using to Measure Your Twitter Traffic

So how do you use to track your Twitter Click Through (TCT) rate? It’s simple, really. Before you tweet that link to your latest blog post, just head on over to, shorten the URL, then copy and paste the new, shortened URL in your tweet and send it on.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll get some great data (from within the interface) about your tweeted link, including:

  • how many people clicked on your link
  • how many people clicked on other links (that point to the same page)
  • referring sites (where your link was clicked on)
  • location (country) of people who clicked through

Here’s a screenshot of what you can expect:


*Disclaimer: Don’t get too attached to the numbers – they can lie to you. For more information on which numbers to trust, you must read Danny Sullivan’s analysis on Twitter traffic numbers – which looks specifically at Twitter, and Google Analytics.

Now, don’t forget to follow @LunaMetrics and if you liked this post, why not tweet about it? (I will personally thank you via DM – no auto responder crap – you deserve only the best!)

Jim Gianoglio is a Senior Analytics Consultant. He works with implementation, analysis and training of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Before focusing on analytics, he led the SEO campaigns of Fortune 500 companies in the insurance, retail and CPG industries. Things you didn’t know about Jim: he’s biked from Pittsburgh to Washington DC in 41 hours, roasts coffee beans and has done voiceovers for TV commercials.

  • Tyson

    If you want to combine URL shortening with Google Analytics tracking, I built a Firefox sidebar extension for this very purpose. Check out Snip-n-Tag ( You can use your own account, or choose from other services like or tinyurl.

    I’ve always felt like metrics from and these other services were a bit suspect, so I prefer to use Google Analytics to track Twitter traffic.

    Anyways…hope this is helpful. Keep up the great work with the blog!


  • Jmarc

    Really interesting post but, why not just use ad hoc Google Analytics parameters within the URL you shortened in order to track the link directly in GA reports? (such as campaigns)

  • Jim

    @Jmarc – that’s actually something I also do (though I didn’t cover it in the post). The problem occurs when someone views your page with a device/browser that doesn’t execute javascript. For example, with Twitter, there’s a much higher chance that someone could be clicking through from a smart phone and that visit may never register in GA (regardless of appended parameters). That’s why it’s nice to have additional data from a service like

    Hat tip to Tyson – thanks for the link to the sidebar extension – I’ve started using it (although it’s somewhat cumbersome to open it up from >View > Sidebar > Snip-n-Tag and Ctrl+Shift+E doesn’t seem to be working — is there a way to add a button to a toolbar to give easier access?)

  • Eivind Savio


    I have made a bookmark version earlier that combines the Cligs URL shortener and Google Analytics campaign tracking.

    If I find some spare time I will try to implement also. Anyway, you find my solution here if you want to take a look:

    Keep up the great work on this blog.

  • Dave

    Nicely done post. I would retweet directly but see no Twitter button on your sociable plugin. I’ll do it the old fashioned way. Well done.

  • Tim

    Do you know of a way of tracking how many followers click your homepage (as shown in your Twitter profile) rather than the link you happen to be tweeting?

  • Jim


    I looked around a bit and didn’t see any way to do that. But Twitter does have Google Analytics installed, so maybe if we ask really nicely they’ll share some of that info with us? That would be nice to see how many pageviews your profile page has. Any other reasons for wanting to track this?

  • Mazda

    icely done post. I would retweet directly but see no Twitter button on your sociable plugin. I’ll do it the old fashioned way.

  • http://@flaviolfs Flavio

    But, if a simple user, that you don’t know, put the link as he want, and this link get many clicks… We’ll never know, how many visits were generated by this tweet…
    Remember that you don’t have the control about the content generated spontaneously in the web.

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