Campaign Tagging in Google Analytics (1/2)

So, what is campaign tagging in Google
Analytics? And how do we do it? And why would we want to? Hi, I’m Rachel Clemens,
Digital Strategist Whaler here at Whole Whale. On today’s episode of Whole Whale TV,
we’re going to walk through custom campaign tagging in Google Analytics. Before we start, let’s cover the basics.
What is custom campaign tagging? Custom tagging is how you add parameters to a
URL to better capture reporting data about your referring ad campaigns. Custom
campaign tagging is useful because it lets us see how much traffic comes from
individual ad campaigns, which also helps us assess the return on investment of
each of our marketing efforts. While Google Analytics tracks traffic sources
by default, custom campaign tagging lets you get even more granular. Once tagged,
you can compare the results of a campaign across, say, email versus social
media, which can inform future marketing decisions. What should I tag, you may
ask? Examples of campaigns that you should
tag include email campaigns — without custom tags, emails don’t always register
correctly as a source in analytics. You should also tag paid social campaigns,
and any digital print pieces like press releases that may be driving traffic to
your site. You don’t need to tag regular social media posts, because GA already
tracks these for you. Just tagging the paid efforts will be enough to see the
differences between the two. Same goes for Google Ad campaigns. As long as your
AdWords account is auto-linked to your Google Analytics account, these are
automatically tracked for you. Make sense? Great. Now let’s get tagging. Setting up
campaign tagging is easy when you use Google’s Campaign URL Builder. Once you
provide the main elements of your campaign, this tool creates a custom
tagged URL for you. You don’t have to do anything in Google Analytics to set this
up. If you’re using the tagged URL, then GA will collect the corresponding data.
Let’s walk through it. Say that Whole Whale is running a paid Facebook ad
campaign to send traffic to our tips page. The first thing we need to identify
in building a tagged URL is our website URL, the place that we’re trying to send
traffic to in this campaign. In this case, that’s the tips page. Aside from the URL,
there are three important pieces of info that we need. The first is the campaign
source. This is the platform on which we’re running the campaign — the source
that’s sending traffic to our target URL. In this scenario, the source would be
Facebook. Next, we need to add the campaign medium, which is your marketing
medium. For our purposes today, since we’re running paid ads on Facebook, the
medium would be CPC for cost-per-click. The last thing we need is the campaign
name. Naming our campaigns in a recognizable way is important. Since
we’re trying to send traffic to our tips page here, we could name our campaign
“tips” to keep it simple. Keeping your name and conventions consistent is important.
If you name your campaign “Tips” with a capital T, and someone else in your team
uses a lowercase t in building the URL, then these will show up in Google
Analytics as two separate campaigns. The optional content and term fields allow
you to note even more specific differences in the content of your
campaign. For instance, you might hyperlink your tagged URL in text while
also linking it from an image. Using the content field would allow you to note
this and spot differences in GA if you were interested in seeing how those
links did. The term field usually applies to paid search campaigns, but could also
be used for another level of specificity. Once you’ve filled in all the fields you
need to, your URL should be ready to go. You can copy and paste your tagged URL
directly from the URL Builder. Note that tagged URLs can get really lengthy.
Keep your user experience in mind and use a tool like to make a vanity
URL when your tagged version looks too long. That’s all there is to it!
Go forth and custom tag campaigns at will. If you have questions you can leave
them in the comments below, or tweet us @wholewhale. And don’t forget to join me
for our next video to learn more about how to find and analyze the data from your
newly tracked campaigns. If you want to dive deeper with Whole Whale, visit and use the promo code WWVIDEO to get 80% off on all of our Whole Whale U courses. Thanks for watching.

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