The Google URL builder recently migrated to the Campaign URL Builder and became a part of Google Analytics. The Google URL builder is an immensely useful tool for any digital marketer.
In this post, I will cover the origins of UTM tracking or link tracking, the benefits of adding UTM to your URLs, the various UTM parameters and how you can easily do this using Google UTM builder.
Let’s dive right in.
What is Campaign Tracking?
Campaign tracking is commonly used in offline and online advertising to track the success of marketing campaigns like email tracking or ppc ads.
A UTM parameter is a kind of like a tag on the URL. It adds more information about the link.
The Google URL builder simply allows you to add a tag to the URL, such as UTM parameters, which gives you more details about the visitor than you normally would have.
You might be wondering…
What does UTM code look like?
This is what a link without a UTM code looks like:
But if I wanted to create multiple Facebook Ad campaigns to promote this post or if I sent this in an email, then I wouldn’t know where people came from.
Luckily, there is a solution:
The UTM Parameters: The part of the URL that is bolded is the tracking code.
What is a UTM code?
UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) parameters are an excellent way to link your offline and online campaigns across different platforms onto Google Analytics. Urchin Software Corporation was technology startup that was acquired by Google in 2005. It has since evolved into Google Analytics.
By adding the code to the end of the URL, you are telling Google Analytics things like Campaign Source, Campaign Medium, Campaign Name, Campaign Term and Campaign Content.
How can you use UTM codes offline?
If you are, for example, running an ad in a newspaper, you could use a vanity URL or a short URL to redirect the link to your website. For example, if I ran an ad for this guide in a magazine, instead of using:
I could use a URL shortener service to instead display:
This way you could track any offline ad campaign like TV, Radio or print ads and compare campaign results on Google Analytics.
The difference between a vanity URL and a Bitly shortener is that the vanity URL is easier to remember and easier to share. For example, brands like Verizon Wireless (vz.to), RE/MAX (rem.ax) and Reddit (redd.it) have creative and recognizable vanity URLs.
Google UTM Parameters
|Campaign Source (Required)||Required.|
|Campaign Medium||Use |
|Campaign Name||This parameter ties the visit to a particular campaign or promotion. Often used to see what is performing well.|
|Campaign Term||This is generally only used for paid search to identify the keywords for a visit.|
|Campaign Content||This is used to differentiate ads that come from the same campaign, like text ad vs. display ad|
Examples: displayad or
How Can I Use the Google URL Builder?
To add UTM tracking codes to your URLs, you can go to the Google Campaign URL Builder website and follow my step-by-step instructions. There are other alternatives to the Google UTM builder like Effin Chrome Extension.
Alternatively, you can download my Excel file to quickly add tracking tags to hundreds of URLs quickly.
Step 1: Enter the link you want to track
In the first field, enter your website URL
Step 2: Add the parameters that you’ll want to track
For example, you could use Campaign Source, Campaign Medium, Campaign Name, Campaign Term and Campaign Content. If you want a quick overview of what these parameters are, click here.
Note: It is mandatory to include the Campaign Source.
Step 3: Copy the link and add to your campaign.
Note: Some tools like Facebook Ad Campaigns only require the UTM Parameters so only insert this part of the URL – ?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=trackingguide&utm_medium=cpc
How to Track Campaigns on Google Analytics
Once you’ve set up Google Analytics on your website and have your URL implemented with the tracking code, you can track the results on Google Analytics. This only works if people are actually clicking through to your website from the link.
Go to Acquisition -> Campaigns
Here you can see data from your custom URL campaigns. From number of visits, time spent per session and other behavior metrics. If you have a Goal set up or other conversion metrics, then you can see the conversion rate, the number of transactions and transaction value (revenue).
With the Google URL builder, you can adjust UTM codes at any time. It is a game changer for tracking data and website analytics.
Now you know how to use the Google URL builder and what UTM codes mean. Don’t forget to download the cheat sheet to the new Google URL builder.
Leave a message down below if you have questions or comments.