Building a Campaign URL

What is a Campaign URL?

A campaign URL (also referred to as tracking URLs and UTM parameters) is a web address (ie. that has been modified to include additional tracking components. These components appear as an additional string of text at the end of your URL that look something like this:


These components send specific information to Google Analytics when that URL is clicked or used.

Why use a Campaign URL?

A campaign URL can help you identify where traffic to a particular page or website originated. For example, if you plan to share a link on Facebook, Twitter, and email, you can create a specific campaign URL for each of these three platforms. You can then track users that clicked the link from each location and compare the link’s success on each platform through Google Analytics.

For a campaign URL to be useful, you will need to have Google Analytics activated for your website.

How to Build a Campaign URL

To start you will need to identify a word or words for each of the following components. These will appear in your URL and become the words you see in your Google Analytics campaign reports. Categories with more than one word will be clearer if separated by a dash or an underscore (ie. social-media, social_media).

There are three required components:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 11.33.01 AM

  • Campaign Source: This is the source of your traffic. Examples: facebook, twitter, partner_website (be specific), email_campaign, publication
  • Campaign Medium: This is the medium through which the URL will be shared. Examples: email, facebook_ad, banner, print. For campaign mediums, please use existing mediums within our Google Analytics (ie. cpc, print, email, etc.)
  • Campaign Name: This will appear in your Google Analytics reports. It should be a unique name that identifies your campaign. Example: september_newsletter_2015, facebook_ad_2014

There are also two optional components that are slightly more advanced:

  • Campaign Content: This term can be used to differentiate identical links within the same ad or split up A/B testing with similar content.
  • Campaign Term: This term is used for paid search keywords.

Once you have identified the terms you want to use, you can plug them in to a URL builder like the form found here:

Using the Campaign URL

The resulting URL will be fairly long, so you will either want to create a short link or hide the link behind a hyperlinked photo or text. Be sure to only use your campaign URL for the specific advertisement or location for which it was created. Using the same campaign URL across multiple advertisements or locations will make it difficult to discern which was most effective.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 11.10.30 AMTracking Results in Google Analytics

Once you begin using your campaign URL it may take a few days for results to appear in Google Analytics. To track your campaign progress in Google Analytics, navigate to Acquisition > All Campaigns. You will see your campaigns listed using the Campaign Name you selected for your URL. Click the campaign name to view the specific analytics associated with the campaign you created.



Questions? Contact Melissa Sorenson, msorenson@miis.edumelissa