Do you want to set up marketing campaign tracking in Google Analytics?
The best way to track your marketing campaigns is to build custom URLs with UTM parameters – little bits of code that you can easily add at the end of your URLs.
Once you add those extra things at the end of your URLs, Google Analytics will take that traffic and filter it into a campaigns report!
In this article, we’ll explain how to track any and all marketing campaigns in Google Analytics.
Why Can’t Google Analytics Track Marketing Campaigns?
If you want to optimize your marketing campaigns and boost conversions, you need to be able to properly track your campaigns.
While Google Analytics can automatically identify the source and other parameters of most of your online marketing campaigns, it often doesn’t categorize certain campaigns the way you’d like. That makes it harder to optimize those campaigns and measure your success.
Below are some instances when Google Analytics can’t identify your campaigns.
- Email marketing: Google Analytics often fails to identify clicks from your email newsletters.
- Offline documents: Traffic from your lead magnets such as PDF eBooks are wrongly categorized as direct traffic in Google Analytics.
- Mobile apps: Analytics can’t identify the exact source of traffic if it originates from mobile social media apps.
What’s the solution to track marketing campaigns?
To solve this issue and track any marketing campaign in Google Analytics, whether it’s paid ads, guest posts, social media campaigns, or any other type of campaign, you can build a custom URL just for them with UTM parameters.
UTM parameters, also known as UTM codes, are little snippets of text added to the end of your URL to help you better track your marketing campaigns.
For example, if you want to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns, you can build a custom URL and promote it in your emails.
Here’s an example of a custom URL with UTM parameters:
The bolded part of the above URL is the UTM parameters. When your subscribers click on the link, Google Analytics can easily identify the campaign (your spring sale that you’re promoting in your email newsletter) and track its performance.
How to Track Marketing Campaigns in Google Analytics
Let’s take a look at how to build a custom URL with UTM parameters to better track marketing campaigns.
If you have a WordPress site, we recommend using the URL builder tool inside the MonsterInsights plugin!
MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, allowing you to add Google Analytics to your site in just a few clicks – no coding required.
Plus, MonsterInsights offers a built-in UTM code builder right in your WordPress dashboard so you can easily set up marketing campaign tracking. Plus, it provides a campaigns report in your dashboard so you can easily view the performance of your campaigns without even opening Google Analytics.
Here’s how to use it:
Step 1: Install MonsterInsights on Your WordPress Site
The first thing you need to do is to install and activate MonsterInsights on your site.
Once the plugin is active, the next thing you’ll need to do is connect it to Google Analytics. All you have to do is follow the steps in the setup wizard and the plugin will add the tracking code.
There’s no need to edit code or hire a developer. For more help on this step, read how to properly connect Google Analytics to MonsterInsights.
Step 2: Create Campaign URLs With UTM Codes
To track your marketing campaigns, you need to build a custom campaign URL with UTM codes. Navigate to Insights » Tools and then go to the URL Builder tab.
In the URL builder, enter your website URL and other campaign details. Except for the Website URL and Campaign Source, all other fields are optional.
Here’s a breakdown of all the fields in the URL builder:
- Website URL: In this field, you can enter the website URL you want the link to go to.
- Campaign Source (utm_source): A parameter to identify the source of the traffic the link is featured in such as Facebook, newsletter, search engines like Google, etc.
- Campaign Medium (utm_medium): A parameter to identify the type of marketing medium such as email, ads, banners, etc.
- Campaign Name (utm_campaign): It lets you identify a specific product promotion or a strategic campaign, like spring_sale.
- Campaign Term (utm_term): This optional field is a good idea to use if you’re running a paid search campaign. It identifies the keywords of your ads.
- Campaign Content (utm_content): You can use this field if you’re A/B testing the performance of your campaign. This optional parameter is used to differentiate ads that point to the same URL.
- Use Fragment: When you check this box, your UTM codes will be built using fragments instead of queries (for example, http://www.example.com#utm_source=google instead of http://www.example.com?utm_source=google). This method isn’t recommended, but available for those who prefer it.
When you’re done entering your campaign information, scroll to the bottom to get your new URL. And if you want to make your URLs clean and easy to read, then MonsterInsights easily integrates with Pretty Links to shorten your links.
Once you built the campaign URL, you can use it in your marketing campaigns. This way, you can track the performance of your campaigns in Google Analytics.
Let’s see how you can find your custom links in Google Analytics.
How to Find Marketing Campaigns Reports
With MonsterInsights, head to Reports » Traffic » Campaigns. There, you’ll be able to see which campaigns generated traffic for your site, and which performed the best:
In Google Analytics 4, head to Acquisition » Traffic Acquisition. Then, click the dropdown to change your dimension to Session campaign.
Then, you’ll be able to see all your campaigns listed. If you’d like to see the Source and Medium for each campaign, you can add it to your report by clicking the blue plus sign next to the dropdown and search/select Session source/medium.
We hope this guide helped you enable marketing campaign tracking in Google Analytics.
For an even more in-depth look at UTM parameters, check out A Beginners Guide to UTM Parameters (And How to Use Them).
Not using MonsterInsights yet? What are you waiting for?