Tracking Campaigns through Google Analytics

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Tracking Campaigns through Google Analytics

To track custom campaigns, you need to add parameters to any URL you own that links to your site to collect more information about your referral traffic. For example, you might want to know how many visitors come to your site from a link within a monthly email newsletter. Custom campaign parameters display in your Analytics reports, so you can see which URLs visitors click to arrive at your property. 

Introduction to Custom Campaign Parameters

The parameters contain the campaign identifying information and values for each that you define. For example, the tag utm_source=newsletter identifies that the traffic came from a newsletter and the tag utm_campaign=june identifies that this was the campaign in the month of June. There is no limit to the number of values you can have, but we recommend you use transparent names and keep track of what campaigns each value relates to. Separate the parameters from a URL with a question mark. List the variables and values as pairs separated by an equals sign. Separate each variable-value pair with an ampersand. Parameters can be added to a URL in any order, but must use the proper syntax. Note that Analytics is case sensitive, so utm_source=google is different from utm_source=Google. Case sensitivity applies for each variable that you define. Setting up custom campaigns doesn’t require any changes to the tracking code. You can set them up manually or use a tool to help create and append URL variables. Use the URL builder tool for website tracking. 

The custom campaign parameters

There are a total of five parameters. We recommend you always use utm_source, utm_medium and utm_campaign for every link that you own to keep track of your referral traffic. utm_term and utm_content can be used for tracking additional information:

  • utm_source: Identify the advertiser, site, publication, etc. that is sending traffic to your property, e.g. google, citysearch, newsletter4, billboard.
  • utm_medium: The advertising or marketing medium, e.g.: cpc, banner, email newsletter.
  • utm_campaign: The individual campaign name, slogan, promo code, etc. for a product.
  • utm_term: Identify paid search keywords. If you’re manually tagging paid keyword campaigns, you should also use utm_term to specify the keyword.
  • utm_content: Used to differentiate similar content, or links within the same ad. For example, if you have two call-to-action links within the same email message, you can use utm_content and set different values for each so you can tell which version is more effective.

Example: Say you want to track click-throughs from an email newsletter that encourages recipients to register for the website. The following example show you how to construct the URL with custom campaign parameters: Start with the link to registration page of website the source of the referral:utm_source=Newsletteradd the medium through which it was delivered:utm_medium=Emailfinally add the name of the campaign:utm_campaign=RegistrationThe resulting link will be:

To get more help and advice understanding what is working in your marketing campaigns, contact us!