Digital Comms Officer, Rebecca McCormick, shares her top tips about building customised campaign URLs and finding them in Google Analytics.
1a. What are customised campaign URLs?
Customised campaign URLs are destination URLs that have campaign tracking (or “parameters”) added onto the end of them. These “parameters” allow you to easily identify the campaigns that send traffic to your site, in Google Analytics.
1b. When do I need to use them?
Customised campaign URLs can be used for all types of online marketing activity that drive traffic to your site – ads, PPC, paid social, organic social, email marketing, etc.
For example, you might not want to just see your incoming traffic from Twitter, but whether that traffic is the result of a particular series of tweets. Or, you might not want to see the influx of traffic from a newsletter, but whether that traffic is the result of a particular banner or link in the email itself.
2. How do I build a customised campaign URL?
To build a customised campaign URL, you will need to use the Campaign URL Builder tool, filling out the fields below. You must fill out the first 4 fields which are shown below:
1. The “Website URL” is the full webpage URL you are directing traffic to.
2. The “Source” is the “referrer” – what specific source brought traffic to the webpage. This could be “google”, “newsletter1”, “twitter”, “exampleblog” etc.
3. The “Medium” is the “marketing medium” – the type of activity that brought traffic to the webpage. This could be “organic”, “email”, “banner”, “cpc”, “referral” etc.
4. The “Name” is how you want to name and identify your specific campaign, promotion, or product. This could be “notalone2017”, “givingtuesday”, “longestdaygolf” etc.
“Term” and “Content” are optional fields, often used when creating customised campaign URLs for paid search or ads. For when to use these fields, please see the definitions below:
For consistency, it’s best to fill in the fields using lowercase with no spaces and no special characters.
As you are filling in the fields, or making any changes to fields, the URL will be automatically updated below. Click “Copy URL” to copy the full URL. Alternatively, click “Convert URL to Short Link” to convert the full URL to a shortened Google one. Shortened URLs are useful when a full URL is difficult for users to remember, or looks confusing or unattractive for users. Another option is to convert your customised campaign URL using a URL shortening site.
3. How can I find data for my customised campaign in Google Analytics?
Log in to Google Analytics.
1. Select your chosen “view” and date range in the top right-hand corner. Navigate to: Acquisition > Campaigns > All campaigns.
2. Type the name of your campaign (that you used when creating the customised campaign URL) into the search function. If you can’t see your campaign, check that you entered it correctly or try typing in just part of the campaign name. You can also click “show rows” in the bottom right-hand corner, to show more rows. Isolate your campaign from any others by clicking on it (the name, in blue).
3. You’ll then be able to see the data arranged by “source/medium” (based on the naming conventions that you entered when creating the customised URLs). You can isolate one “source/medium” from any others by clicking on it (the name, in blue). If a specific “source/medium” is not showing, try clicking “show rows” in the bottom right-hand corner, to show more rows.
4. If you want, you can then select the box next to your “source/medium” and click “plot rows” (just above it) to plot its performance over time. Or you can click “Export” at the top of the report, to export the data to a csv or pdf.
5. When exporting data, remember to click the “day”, “month” or “year” button, and select the metrics that you would like (using the drop-downs above the graph e.g., “Sessions” and “New Users”) to dictate format and content of your csv data.