In 2005, Google acquired Urchin Software Corp to create Google Analytics. Urchin had developed a suite of tools for tracking and analyzing marketing link performance. Urchin Tracking Module (UTM), was designed to identify links used to acquire users from various channels. Standards were developed for query string parameters that could be added to URLs for tracking and analysis.
For demonstration purposes, let’s imagine ChannelMix wants to drive prospective clients to their “Request a Demo” page (channelmix.com/lets-talk/) through an email marketing campaign. We would add medium and campaign names as a query string parameter by first appending “?” to the URL, followed by “utm_medium” and “utm_campaign” separated by an ampersand (“&”) as demonstrated below.
There are five total UTM parameters, each with a specific purpose. For the purposes of this blog, we will focus on the “utm_campaign” parameter. You may benefit from this Campaign URL Builder when building your URLs.
How to Analyze Campaigns in GA4
Google Analytics 4 provides two main ways to measure the success of a marketing link:
- Acquisition – how many users followed this link to your site
- Conversion – after they enter your site, how many users performed a key action (such as booking an appointment or purchasing a product)
Given that marketing effectiveness lies in the ability to generate revenue from conversions (in this case a web interaction), we should seek to track these conversions as well as a monetary value, if possible. Then through GA4 reports we can assign credit to conversion based on the campaign link through which the user was acquired.
Your GA4 Property should come with a few out-of-the-box reports, including one called “Traffic acquisition: Session default channel group”. You can find that report in the Life cycle Collection under the topic “Acquisition”. The image below demonstrates how to find data for sessions where users were acquired through the link we created for ‘request-a-demo’.
If you wish to see ‘Request A Demo’, for example, in this report – set the UTM medium value to ‘Request+A+Demo’.
GA4 events but be configured as conversions in order to enable the reporting below. This can be achieved in the GA4 Property Admin section:
After the configuration above is complete, future events by that event name will be tracked as conversions, enabling the report below. As you can see it is a lot like the acquisition report previously demonstrated.
The Conversion: Event Name Report
The demo conversion report above is for an event named ‘channelmix_conversion’ where each conversion sends an Event Value of $10 US Dollars – example tag shown below. By adding the session campaign custom dimension to this report, we can see the relative success of each channel of acquisition based on total revenue.
GA4 campaign tracking offers a powerful suite of tools to measure the success of your marketing campaigns accurately. By utilizing UTM parameters, exploring acquisition and conversion analysis, and configuring events as conversions, you can unlock valuable insights and make data-driven decisions to optimize your marketing strategies.