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  Article updated: June 20, 2024

Analyze Ow.ly metrics

Track and analyze the number of clicks on Ow.ly links shared in your posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Ow.ly links are URLs shortened using the Ow.ly link shortener. To learn more, see Work with link previews.

Note: All Ow.ly metrics are associated with the Twitter/Ow.ly account used to log in and shorten the link. In Hootsuite, you must set a Twitter account as the data source to view all associated Ow.ly link data.

Analyze Ow.ly metrics in Hootsuite

Create a dedicated Ow.ly report or add Ow.ly metrics to a new or existing report to track results for your Ow.ly links.

Go to Analytics and do either of the following:

How Hootsuite calculates Ow.ly clicks and traffic

Hootsuite tracks the number of clicks on an Ow.ly link from the time it was first created. These clicks can come from any source—an email, a blog post, or another social network or account.

Since an Ow.ly link can be reshared across networks and channels, it can generate more clicks than those reported by social networks or Google Analytics.

Understanding Ow.ly metrics and what they measure

  • Shortened Ow.ly links - The total number of Ow.ly links that were shortened using an Ow.ly account.
  • Total Ow.ly link clicks - The total number of clicks over the selected date range on all the Ow.ly links created using your Twitter accounts. This metric doesn’t count clicks on Ow.ly links created using accounts other than the ones selected.
  • Post Ow.ly traffic - The total number of clicks over the selected date range on the Ow.ly links shared during that time frame. Post Ow.ly traffic metrics are available for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

    For example, say you shared an Ow.ly link in a post on September 20, 2021 and it got six clicks. Then, you shared the same Ow.ly link on January 4, 2022 in two other posts. One post got two clicks and the other three clicks. If you select to view clicks received during January 4-5, 2022, the Post Ow.ly traffic metric will display a total of five clicks. This is the total number of clicks on that Ow.ly link for that time period, regardless of the number of posts you shared it in.

    Posts with Ow.ly clicks table - A list of posts with Ow.ly links that were published between the dates you selected. However, the Ow.ly clicks column displays the total number of clicks over the last two years (not just during the selected date range) on all the Ow.ly links in each post.

  • Notes:

    • If a post included more than one Ow.ly link, the Ow.ly clicks column displays the total number of clicks on all Ow.ly links.
    • If you shared the same Ow.ly link in two different posts and one received two clicks and the other three clicks, the Ow.ly clicks column displays a total value of five clicks for each of those posts. That’s because this metric counts the number of clicks on a specific Ow.ly link, regardless of how many posts it was shared in.

Understanding Ow.ly metrics versus social network metrics

You may notice in your reports that metrics like Total Ow.ly link clicks and Post Ow.ly traffic have higher values than social network metrics like Facebook or Twitter Post link clicks. That's because an Ow.ly link can generate more clicks if it's shared across multiple social networks and channels.

For example, if you generate an Ow.ly link and include it in two different posts on Facebook and Twitter, the Ow.ly metrics will count the total number of clicks received by both posts. If you also share that same Ow.ly link elsewhere, like in an email or a blog post, then the Ow.ly metrics will count clicks from those channels as well.

On the other hand, the Facebook and Twitter Post link clicks metrics will only count the clicks on the link in that post.

How X (formerly Twitter) and Google Analytics calculate Ow.ly clicks and traffic

X only tracks clicks coming from the post itself (see the X help article About your activity dashboard).

Google Analytics uses web sessions to track clicks. By default, a web session is limited to 30 minutes. So, for example, if a user clicks on an Ow.ly link in your post, leaves the website idle for more than 30 minutes, and then comes back to it, Hootsuite and X count it as one click. Google Analytics would count it as two sessions because the visit went over the 30-minute mark.

Also, if a user clicks an Ow.ly link but closes the tab or page before it’s finished loading, Google Analytics doesn’t count that as a session or click.

Both Hootsuite and Google Analytics can be useful to analyze your Ow.ly traffic and clicks.

  • Hootsuite helps you track the number of clicks on the Ow.ly links in your posts.
  • Google Analytics helps you understand your visitors' behavior on your website—how many of them stay on the page, for how long, and more. To learn more about Google Analytics sessions, see the Google help article How a web session is defined in Universal Analytics.

 

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