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ROI Analysis with Google Analytics Campaign Tracking


Tracking your source of visitors is very important, and Google Analytics’s campaign tracking allows you to measure your success from various sources.

If you are spending money on paid advertising then you really need to:

  1. Make sure you have set up your Google Analytics campaign tracking right (using UTM parameters)
  2. Understand the engagement of the traffic that you have paid for
  3. Understand how well that traffic you have brought into the site is converting

Before you implement the tracking information into the URI, think through of the following data elements. Source, Medium, Name of the Campaign, Content, and Terms (if PPC).

Campaign Source
Obviously, the source is required to identify where the traffic is coming from.
URL parameter to use: utm_source
Example values: google, facebook, twitter, linkedin, blog-article

Note: never use spaces, and best practice is to use all lower case

Medium is to identify the medium of the campaign that it resides on.
URL parameter to use: utm_medium
Example: email, social, organic, cpc, display, video

Campaign Name
Assign campaign name to identify a specific promotion or strategic campaign
URL parameter to use: utm_campaign
Example: 2016-summer-promo, newsletter-jan-2017, 2015-blackfriday-halfoff

Content (optional)
Used to differentiate ads or links that point to the same URL. Likely used for A/B testing.
URL parameter to use: utm_content
Example: content-abc, image-xyz

Term (optional)
Used for paid search. It will identify the keywords used for the ad.
URL parameter to use: utm_term
Note: usually once you have GA integrate with AdWords via auto tracking, the keyword value will come thru to Google Analytics automatically without having to enter the parameter and value

Example final URL output:

Google provides a URL builder tool that makes this process very easy.

Google Analytic’s campaign logging is that it reads the client’s first-party cookie, and it increments the session counter in the cookie. Therefore, Google Analytics knows the original referral. So this allows Google Analytics to do multi-session tracking. Good stuff!

Therefore, Google Analytics know the original referral source.  So this allows Google Analytics to do multi-session tracking. Great stuff!

Since you want to know your ROI on your effort of the campaigns and promotions, you probably don’t want to forget to set up the goal or conversion data in Google Analytics.  That will tie the source to conversion and close the loop of your ROI analysis.

Good luck with tracking your marketing campaign.  Hopefully these quick basics on Google Analytics give you some idea on where to start, so you can understand the ROI of your marketing efforts.


Kris Twitter

As a data journalist, I enjoy curating and analyzing marketing trends, and data. The things that fascinate me the most are the transforming business landscape due to evolving marketing technologies.