Tracking Marketing Campaigns Using Campaign URLs

Marketing Social Media
Angie Carson

How to use campaign URLs to better track incoming traffic to your website

As a marketer, you work hard to create content that will engage your audience. It’s also important to know how your content and campaigns are performing.

But Google Analytics just gives you part of the picture. You can see social traffic, but what if you’re launching a new product and you want to see which social channel or email newsletter sent the most customers to your website? Or, what if you’re running different versions of a campaign via email, social, and paid ads, and you want to compare results to see where your marketing is most effective?

Campaign URLs can provide that context.

By adding parameters to your destination URLs, you can provide specific information about what content you’re linking and where you used that link. When a user clicks on a campaign URL, the parameters that you added are sent to Google Analytics and the related data is available in the Campaign reports.

How to Create Campaign URLs

Campaign URLs are easy to set up with Google’s URL Builder. Just add in the parameters and the URL is generated for you.

Need help getting started? Download our guide on Campaign URLs.

Campaign URL Tips

Double check the medium parameter.

Be consistent when listing your mediums. Use the options listed below to ensure traffic is being categorized correctly in Google Analytics. Otherwise, traffic will show up as Other.

  • Common mediums:
    • Cpc (Cost-per-click paid search)
    • Email
    • Social
    • Direct
    • Referral
    • Display (display ads)

Another mistake I often notice is switching the source / medium parameters. Keep in mind that source specifically identifies where your traffic is coming from – like Facebook, Twitter, or your newsletter. Whereas the medium is more general and identifies which advertising or marketing medium you’re using – like email, social, cost-per-click paid search (cpc), or display ads.

Be consistent with your parameters.

It’s important to maintain consistency in your naming conventions so that you can accurately compare results between campaigns and create meaningful reports.

For example: If you have multiple team members creating links to your Summer Clearance Sale, one person might name the campaign “summer-sale,” while another names it “summer-clearance.” Try using a shared spreadsheet to keep track of your naming conventions.

Shorten your URLs.

Adding in campaign parameters can make your URLs long. Use a URL shortener, like Bitly, to hide the parameters and make your links easily shareable.

You don’t have to track EVERY link.

Just track the ones you want to measure. This makes it easier for you to find details on specific campaigns and measure what’s working, or what’s not working.

Additional resources about Campaign URLs

Adding campaign URLs to your destination links provide insight toward how campaigns are performing. Still have questions about tracking your campaigns? Contact us today!