Using Google URL Builder to Track Campaigns

You’re ready to kick off a marketing effort – be it a newsletter, social media promotion or paid campaign – with the overall objective of driving visitors back to your website. This should help convert them into leads and those leads, in turn, into potential customers.
Jamie Byrne
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Using Google URL Builder to Track Campaigns 

You’re ready to kick off a marketing effort – be it a newsletter, social media promotion or paid campaign – with the overall objective of driving visitors back to your website. This should help convert them into leads and those leads, in turn, into potential customers.

It's straightforward to see which marketing campaigns have been successful. Simply use the Google URL builder to track your campaigns and you're all set!

We’ll focus on email marketing as a way of measuring success in your other campaigns. That includes ads, social posts and affiliate links.

What is the role of Campaign Tracking in Google Analytics?

It is used to track visitors who have come from other sources and has been an important part of marketing campaigns for many years. This feature helps analyse traffic from various sources and gives a better understanding of how effective these campaigns have been.

Campaign tracking enables users to attach special tracking codes to their URLs, enabling them to understand how viewers arrive at the site. With this feature, they can gain insight into which promotional campaigns are driving traffic. 

You can use Google URL Builder to create a tracking link:

Take a look at all the additional information in your link. That's the campaign tracking code at work.

What are the benefits of using the Google URL builder?

The primary aim of most of your marketing initiatives, such as emails, advertisements, social promotions, and other strategies, is to achieve conversions or increase brand awareness.

To effectively assess the performance of each marketing effort in Google Analytics, the URL builder comes into play. Without proper campaign tracking, your marketing activities will be bundled together with other website traffic, making it challenging to distinguish their individual impact.

This becomes especially crucial when it comes to paid marketing, as it is essential to determine which strategies yield the best results for the investment made. Before you commence your campaigns, it is advisable to establish clear goals in Google Analytics to facilitate accurate tracking and analysis.

While your email service provider or social platforms may provide you with click-through rates, impressions, and views, they only offer a partial view of the overall picture. However, in Google Analytics, you can gain precise insights into which specific campaigns have been most effective in driving sales, acquiring subscribers, and generating leads. It allows you to go beyond surface-level metrics and obtain a comprehensive understanding of your campaign performance.

How can I effectively utilise the Google URL builder?

Using the Google URL builder is a straightforward process, and to make it even more convenient, we have developed a dedicated Google URL builder tool.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use it:

Step 1: Insert the desired link that you want visitors to click on to access your website.

Step 2:

Include the three primary parameters that you wish to track.

Campaign Source:

This field specifies the source of your campaign traffic. It represents the platform or website where the link will be placed or shared. It can be a social media platform, email newsletter, referral website, or any other source. For instance, if you're promoting your campaign on Facebook, you would enter "Facebook" as the campaign source.

Campaign Medium:

This field indicates the medium or marketing channel through which your campaign is being delivered. It describes the type of traffic or advertising medium used. Examples include "email," "social," "banner," "CPC" (cost-per-click), or "referral." If your campaign is being run through paid search ads, you might set the campaign medium as "paid_search" or "PPC" (pay-per-click).

Campaign Name:

This field allows you to give a name to your campaign. It's typically used to identify and differentiate various marketing initiatives or promotions you're running. For example, you might use "summer_sale" as the campaign name for a special discount offer during the summer.

Screenshot of the Google URL Builder
Screenshot of the Google URL Generator

Step 3:

Click on the Generate URL button then copy the URL using the copy button. Paste the generated URL into your email newsletter, advertisement, social media post, or any other marketing channel, instead of using the regular "untagged" link.

Bonus! You can generate multiple URLs just keep adding them to the form.

Where can I locate my campaigns within Google Analytics?

Now you’ve created some links with the Google URL Builder let's delve into reporting to gain more insights. If you want to examine email deliverability, click-through rates, and open rates, simply login to your email service provider and access the respective reports. However, if you wish to identify the actual conversions, log in to your Google Analytics account.

Here are a few examples of conversions that you should consider tracking:

  • form submissions
  • Subscribers to newsletters
  • product purchases

After logging into your Google Analytics account, navigate to Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition.

Google Analytics GA4 screen shot showing campaign and source/medium filters applied.
Google Analytics showing campaign URL data

But hold on, in GA4, you'll need to make a few adjustments. Simply apply a couple of filters: change the Session default channel group by selecting Session Campaign from the drop-down menu, then click on the plus icon. Next, search for Session medium, add it, and voila! You're all set. Obviously you can change the filters to suit your needs.

Your Google URL Builder allows you to track the performance of your campaigns.

If you take a moment to review trends over time, you'll be able to observe the article types that capture people's attention and those that achieve greater success. And if you're up for delving into the geeky side of things (which we absolutely encourage), you can really dig into the detail.

That's all there is to it! Now, you'll have the ability to see the actual conversions resulting from your marketing efforts. Get ready to gain valuable insights into the impact of your marketing campaigns.

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Web Optimisation
Jun 2023