How to set up Google Analytics campaign tracking.You’ve brainstormed and come up with the marketing plan for your business. You’ve built and launched your email campaign, paid ad campaigns, and social media campaigns. Now you’re tasked with tracking the ROI of your marketing efforts. As Digital Marketer states, tracking the ROI from your marketing campaigns can “[transform] your business from one that spends time, money, and resources on strategies that just seem like they work well, to a business that makes smart, data-driven decisions and knows what strategies will work well.” To do this, you need Google Analytics campaign tracking. Read on to learn more about how to set up Google Analytics campaign tracking for your business.

What is Campaign Tracking in Google Analytics?

Google Analytics campaign tracking enables you to add special tracking codes, otherwise known as “utm tracking codes”, to your marketing campaign URLs to help determine how visitors are getting to your website. For example, rather than using this link for an email marketing campaign:

I would use the following tracking link instead:

I’ll break down the different types of utm tracking codes in the next section.

Understanding Standard Campaign Parameters in Google Analytics

UTM stands for urchin tracking module, which as Digital Marketer states, is “a system that allows users to tag hyperlinks in order to trace where visitors originated. If you’re a Google Analytics user, you can use these to figure out how people are getting to your site (and what they’re doing when they get there).” Adding the additional UTM code, or standard campaign parameters, to the end of your marketing campaign URL will tag the visitors who clicked those links and identify the following information:

  • Which campaign URL they clicked on
  • What they did and clicked on once they landed on your website
  • What your goal was for visitors coming through via that particular campaign URL

Here’s a quick overview of each of the UTM parameters you can use for Google Analytics campaign tracking:

  • Utm_source. The source describes where your visitors came from and it tells you the specific place where the referring link resides, such as a website, social media platform, or email campaign. Some common sources include a weekly or monthly email newsletter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and the URLs from websites that refer traffic to your site.
  • Utm_medium. The medium tells you how your visitors got to your site; this is the broadest category in which to sort your site visitors. Some of the most common mediums are email, PPC (pay-per-click) ad campaigns, direct (which means the visitor typed in the URL for your site), and banner ads.
  • Utm_content. The content code identifies the specific ad or email that housed the link. This can help you determine which marketing content is working and which need to be reworked. Because this is dependent on your specific campaign content, there’s no uniform naming convention, so you need to be as specific as possible if you choose to use this UTM parameter.
  • Utm_campaign. This campaign source parameter is similar to the content in that it’s entirely dependent on your specific naming convention for each of your campaigns. The purpose of including this parameter is to allow you to compare the performance of each of your marketing campaigns. Your campaign links should be as consistent as possible across each of the different marketing media and sources.

Why Use the Google URL Building for Google Analytics Campaign Tracking?

You can use the Google URL Builder to successfully create the UTM parameters for your Google Analytics campaign tracking. However, before you can use the URL builder, you have to have goals set up in Google Analytics first.

Here’s an example of how you would use Google’s URL builder to set up your UTM parameters.

  1. Add the three main parameters you want to track.

    • Campaign source: This tells Google where the traffic is coming from — october2020-newsletter.
    • Campaign medium: This tells Google what kind of source the traffic is originating from — email.
    • Campaign name: This identifies which of your marketing campaigns is responsible for drawing the traffic to your site. Because I’m using my blog post on How to Set Up Google Analytics Campaign Tracking, so I used how-to-set-up-google-analytics-campaign-tracking as the campaign name.

Where are My Campaigns in Google Analytics?

Once you have your Google Analytics campaign tracking set up, you’ll want to dive in to see how each marketing campaign has performed in terms of measuring the conversion rate. This can include who subscribed to your newsletter, who filled out your contact form, and who made a purchase. To see all of this information in your Google Analytics account, click on Acquisitions, then Campaigns, and All Campaigns.

This table shows the successful conversions from your Google Analytics campaign tracking strategy.

This will show you:

  • How many people visited your website from your campaign
  • How many pages, on average, they visited while they were on your site
  • The bounce and conversion rate
  • The length of time they spent on your site

Where Can I See If My Campaigns are Converting in Google Analytics?

To identify the successful conversions from your Google Analytics campaign tracking, look at the top of the table, but below the line graph, to see the Conversions column. From there, you can select the goal conversion you want to see from the dropdown menu. The example in the image shows the new newsletter subscribers. You can do the same for every goal you created for your marketing campaigns.

For a more holistic look at the success of your campaigns over time, you can use Google Analytics campaign tracking to identify which campaigns, the types of content, and content topics resonate with your target audience. You can import your findings into a spreadsheet or Google Sheet to see all of your top converting pages and content in one report.

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