At the beginning of every marketing campaign, you set goals and key performance indicators. This applies to every part. From paid ads, social media marketing, email campaigns, and SEO. But have you thought about how you’d measure these metrics to show what is working and what isn’t? How do you know which of these campaigns are driving traffic and which is driving conversions? It’s what this post is about. How to track each of your campaign links in google analytics.
What are Campaign Links?
Campaign links are the URLs of your campaigns. These are the links attached to each campaign you send out. They tell you where a particular user/users come from.
Let’s see an example: For your email strategy, you might choose to send out email campaigns that’ll run weekly for a duration of three months. To effectively track the reports for each of the campaigns, there’s a unique link attached to everyone.
Why Do You Need to Track Your Campaign Links?
I’m sure you’re wondering if this is really necessary. Like why tag URLs? Asides from the obvious reason, tagging your campaign links can reflect whether or not your website is resonating with your target audience. So, you’ll be able to check in on the number of page visits.
Asides from that, the reports will show the bounce rate and the average time a visitor spends on your website. If the stats are low, it’s an indicator that you need to further optimize your website to give you improved results.
Another great reason why you should track your campaign URLs is that they reduce the data reports cluster you’ll be getting. Let’s say you’re running an organic ad on “Funnels”. If you run a paid ad on the same “Funnels”, you’d get reports for both.
However, they’ll be recorded as both organic. This is because there are no additional tags and so, it flags it as the same thing. It becomes a big blow when you can’t track your paid ads online. With paid ads in the picture, you can track the number of impressions they’ve reached. Also, you can track the number of clicks and overall conversion tracking.
Tracking Your Campaign Links in Google Analytics
Now to the real reason for this post, how do you track campaign links in google analytics? The answer is by adding tracking codes at the tail of each link. With these tracking codes, you can easily reference each campaign based on their codes.
UTM codes as they are popularly called, serve a lot of functions. However, the most important function is that they tell you where your leads are coming from. They’ll show you where your leads/users saw your content and the link they clicked on. With this, you can clearly distinguish which of your campaigns are leading and driving more traffic to you.
Setting up UTM Tags in Your Campaign Links
The first step in tracking campaign links is knowing what to track. This is where UTM tags come in. These tags are added at the end of your campaign links. They are created to give google analytics specific information about that link. In the end, the reports analytics gets from each of these links are comprehensible and easily retrievable.
An example of a campaign link with a UTM tag extension is
Each UTM tag has a specific purpose. This is why structuring them is important because they will be read based on their functions. Let’s briefly see what each of the UTM tags means.
Source: Utm source here means the search engines or platforms the ads are currently running on. Examples are Google, Bing, website, blog, or Facebook.
Medium: An UTM medium is the type of campaign running. By campaign, I mean the advertising type. It could be emails, social ads, PPC’s or even direct traffic.
Name: This is the UTM that names the entire campaign. They can be keywords that come in to strategically identify the campaign.
Adding Tags Using URL Builders
Although, there are several ways to add UTM tags to the end of your links, creating readable campaign links by google analytics requires extra attention to detail. Minor errors like case-sensitivity aren’t exactly minor. Interchanging capital letters with small letters when naming campaigns will give you separate results because google sees them as different.
Because of this, google ads and other third party sites offer an auto-tagging feature. This feature automatically adds UTM variables at the end of every campaign link. However, there’s an alternative route. With UTM generators, you can manually tag your campaign links.
These generators are currently popular in the market. I’d personally recommend using Pixeljoy. Why I like this generator is that it offers an avenue to create custom links in bulk. These links can be edited and exported whenever you want. Now every generated link is SEO friendly and is google analytics friendly.
Google URL Builder is another popular builder that lets you manually generate UTM tags at the end of your campaign links.
Once creating links and adding tracking codes to them are taken care of, you can now proceed to find and begin the tracking process.
Monitoring Tracked Campaign Links in Google Analytics
For every campaign, there are certain parameters you’d like to track. For instance, in an email campaign, you’d be focused on a number of subscriptions, contact forms and the number of newly acquired customers. This will vary for social media campaigns and other ads. Since you’ve mastered the naming convention, it’ll be easy to find them on your analytics dashboard.
To see the overall statistics of your campaigns and their links, simply login to your google analytics dashboard. Once you’re in, go to ‘Acquisitions’ and then ‘campaigns’. Under ‘All Campaigns’ you’d see a breakdown of every single campaign link. The stats there will show you the number of visitors each campaign brought. It’ll also show the time spent viewing your website, the number of bounce rates as well as the number of conversions gotten from each campaign.
Other helpful reports are the number and other pages of your websites your visitors viewed while they were on your website.
If you’re not really bent on seeing the general reports and you’re more conversion-driven, you can tailor your reports to reflect this. However, you’d need to set goals that’ll generate these reports before launching your campaigns. You can do this on the admin panel of your google analytics dashboard.
Once you have goals set, simply check the top-right corner of the table, underneath the search bar, you’d see a ‘conversions’ menu bar. Click on it and select the campaign/campaign goal you want to search for. You’ll see a change in the columns of your analytics table and it’ll reflect the current conversions that particular goal has brought. It’ll also show the number of visits which lets you calculate the ratio of visits to conversion.
Subsequently, you can track each of these links and see the patterns. They’ll help point you in the direction of your audience interest. You can then pool these articles together as your top converting campaigns and tailor future campaigns to that standard.
Reviewing Your Current Campaign Tracking in Google Analytics
If you currently use campaign links tracking, how do you know if it’s working well or not? It’s easy. Simply review your current campaign links and check if each link carries a UTM. This means every email, social media content, paid adverts both online and offline. The key is attaching a UTM to every campaign that has a link that leads back to your website.
Other things to check out for is seeing if all campaigns have specific goals tagged to them. Also, how often do you check the performance of each campaign? Are the reports accessible and can they be easy to use?
The whole point of going through tracking campaign links is to be able to use these reports as data points. If they aren’t accessible or hard to retrieve, it just doubles the workload on your team. These questions should help you clarify if your current campaign tracking should be reevaluated or not.
The type of results you get is completely dependent on the quality of data you send into the reports. This means to get great results, you have to reevaluate your data. One key way to do that is through the Source UTM.
In the report you get from here, check if you have more than 20% direct traffic. If you do, it means that there’s an issue with the campaign tracking. Other signs include seeing just one referral in the entire traffic or inconsistency in the source names. Are the campaign names comprehensible to not just you? Finally, are all the paid ads showing data on keywords?
If you’re not sure, ensure there are UTMs that’ll differentiate referrals. They should also be a part of all advertising campaign links and that there’s a consistent naming style.
And that’s all you have to do to effectively track each campaign link. Now, you’d know which one of your campaigns is getting you the most conversions and which ones you should probably tweak a little. Remember, improvement can only be done when you can see what to work on.