Marketing campaigns can take several forms.
Your business may want to advertise using text ads on search engine results, banner
ads placed on strategic publisher websites, or you may have social media or email campaigns
that communicate your brand and products to customers. It’s common to use a combination
of these marketing activities to drive sales and website conversions. Marketing campaigns are tracked in Google Analytics through “campaign tagging”. Campaign tags are extra bits of
information that you add to the URL links of your online marketing or advertising materials.
These include tracking parameters followed by an equals sign and a single word or hyphenated
words that you designate. When users click on a link with an added parameter, the Google
Analytics tracking code will extract the information from the link and associate that user and
their behavior with your marketing campaign. That way, you can know which people came to
your site through your various marketing activities. For example, the Google Store has a monthly
email newsletter it sends to its customers with links back to the Google Store website.
Adding a campaign tag of “email” to these links allows the store to easily identify
the users that came to the website from the email newsletter. There
are five different campaign tags that help you identify specific information about your
campaign traffic. Medium, Source, and Campaign are required campaign tags. You can also add
tags for Content and Term. “Medium” communicates the mechanism, or how you sent your message to the user. You could include “email” for an email campaign, “cpc” for paid search ads, or
“social” for a social network. “Source” communicates where the user came from. This
could be a specific web page or a link in an email. Source could also differentiate
the type of medium. So if the medium was “cpc” (or “cost per click” paid traffic), the
source might be “google,” “bing,” or “yahoo.” If the medium was “email,”
the source might be “newsletter”. “Campaign” can communicate the name of your marketing
campaign such as “2015-Back-To-School” or “2015-Holiday-Sale”. “Content”
can be used to differentiate versions of a promotion. This is useful when you want to
test which version of an ad or promotion is more effective. If you’re running a test
between two different versions of a newsletter, you might want to label these tags “v1-10dollars-off”
and “v2-nopromo” to help differentiate which newsletter the data is associated with
in Google Analytics. “Term” is used to identify the keyword for paid search campaigns.
You would only use this field if you are manually tagging a paid search campaign like Bing or
Yahoo!. We’ll talk about the best way to track Google AdWords in a later lesson. To
add these parameters into the URLs associated with your ads, Google Analytics provides a
tool called “URL builder” in our Help Center, which we’ll cover next.