Google URL Builder: How to track custom campaigns with Google Analytics

How do you go about getting to know which campaigns are successful and which are just a waste of time? Easy. Use the Google URL Builder to track your campaigns.

There are a few different ways to use and implement campaign tracking. Below, we’ll focus on an email campaign for a Summer Festival. Once you see how it all works, you should be able easily replicate it on all your marketing campaigns. 

What is Campaign Tracking Google Analytics? 

Campaign tracking is pretty simple. It’s basically how Google can track specific campaigns that you run. It’s also known as 'utm tracking codes' and it basically adds extra bits to the end of a URL. Google will pick all this additional information up so they know where the customer came from, what campaign they came from and more importantly if they converted from that campaign. 

Instead of using this link in your campaign:

https://myvenue.ticketsolve.com/shows

You would use this tracking link:

https://myvenue.ticketsolve.com/shows?utm_source=newsletterFeb24&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Summer+Festival

Those extra goodies in your new link creates the campaign tracking code that allow you to pinpoint it in Google Analytics.

Why Use Google Campaign Builder? 

Pretty much all of your marketing campaigns should have some sort of concrete goal. These can range from buying a ticket, downloading a brochure or getting customers to donate to your cause. It’s all about conversions or raising awareness. 

Google Campaign Builder allows you to simply track each one of these campaigns to see if you are achieving your goals. You will be able to see all of this data within your Google Analytics reporting under Acquisition > Campaigns. Without Campaign Builder, all of your campaigns will be lumped into a simplistic acquisition report and you won't be able to tell which campaigns work and which ones are a lag for your team. 

We’re not telling you to track each and every campaign you do, because this would take a huge team and a lot of work. What we suggest is that you use tracking for high profile campaigns and ones that you spend a bit of money on. It’s also good for testing new methods to see if they are working. 

Before you start, make sure you have set up your Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics 4 integration with Ticketsolve.

How Do I Use Google URL Builder?

It’s pretty straight forward. Just head over to Google Campaign Builder and fill in all the relevant fields. Google will then do all the hard work for you and generate a new URL for your campaign.

1. Go to https://ga-dev-tools.google/ga4/campaign-url-builder/ to start building the URL and enter the following (as a minimum):

A. Website URL - this is the standard URL for your website e.g. https://myvenue.ticketsolve.com/shows.

B. Campaign Source - this is where the traffic is coming from e.g. newsletter, Facebook, Google.

C. Campaign Medium - this is the marketing medium e.g. email, Facebookad, cpc.

D. Campaign Name - this is the individual campaign name e.g. Summer Festival.

There are additional options you can fill in here like Google Ad ID. If you need any further help on what to enter in each field, read Google's help article on custom URLs.

2. As you add all the parameters you will see Google changing the link at the bottom of the form. 

The new URL will look something like this:

https://myvenue.ticketsolve.com/shows?utm_source=newsletterFeb24&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Summer+Festival

3. Click on Copy URL.

4. Use this URL in the marketing material you are sending out - in this example, our February newsletter.

Google Campaign Builder 2.png

Viewing the campaigns in Google Analytics 

Now, let’s take a look at the most important bit. How do you actually see the results from using Google Campaign Builder.

1. Head over to Google Analytics.

2. Go to your view.

3. Navigate to Reports from the panel on the left hand side.

4. Select Acquisition > Traffic acquisition.

Here you’re going to see data on how many users and sessions came from your campaign, and importantly, conversions and revenue.

That’s it! Now you’ll be able to see if your marketing campaigns are actually working the way you’re expecting. 

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