How To Track Conversions Using Google Analytics Campaigns

by Kristi Hines

Last updated on February 21st, 2018

While you can easily see common traffic sources in Google Analytics for Facebook, Twitter, or other referral domains, you might find that you want more details. Using Google Analytics campaign tracking with UTM parameters, you can find out things like which ad on Facebook, which tweet on Twitter, or which link in your newsletter actually led to a conversion.

Setting Up UTM Parameters for Google Analytics Campaigns

UTM parameters for a URL are tags that help Google Analytics identify things about a link that led visitors to your websites. The following is an example of a URL using UTM parameters.

In this example URL, you can see the following UTM parameters:

  • utm_source=Newsletter – The Campaign Source tells Google Analytics the traffic source where clicks for this link would originate, in this case my Newsletter.
  • utm_medium=Email – The Campaign Medium tells Google Analytics the medium in which this link was shared, in this case Email.
  • utm_campaign=Blogpost – The Campaign Name tells Google Analytics the campaign for which this link was shared, in this case Blogpost

Since you can customize UTM parameters for any URL, you can track any link you share as detailed as you want.

For example, if you created three different banner ads to share the above mentioned post. You could have a URL with UTM parameters as follows.

Making Data Driven Decisions That Increase Conversion

Then, for each different banner, change the utm_medium to Banner1, Banner2, and Banner3. This way, if you get any conversions that start with a visitor clicking on a banner, you will know specifically that they click on a banner on your site as well as which banner style they clicked on.

This same usage of UTM parameters can help you identify which advertising banners on other websites lead to the most conversions and are thus, most valuable.

Once you know the banner that converts best, remove the others or replace them with new designs to test.

The easiest way to build URLs using UTM parameters for tracking in Google Analytics is to use Google’s own URL builder which allows you to enter the URL and your campaign specific parameters. This tool also includes a brief description of each parameter to you will know how to use them.

UTM Parameters Google Analytics

How To View the Results of Your Campaigns in Google Analytics

Once you have started using URLs with custom UTM parameters, you will want to start seeing the results of your campaigns. To do so, go to your website’s Google Analytics profile. In the old version of Google Analytics, the data can be found under Traffic Sources > Campaigns. In the new version of Google Analytics, the data can be found under Traffic Sources > Sources > Campaigns.

Google Analytics Campaign Goals

Here, you will see your different campaigns designated by the utm_campaign parameters you specify as shown in the example above. From here, you can click on your Goal Sets to see how each campaign has led to conversions based on goals you have set up in Google Analytics. You can also drill down into each campaign to see the specific traffic sources and mediums for each campaign by clicking on its name. You can also click on a Goal Set to see which traffic source and medium led to conversions as shown below.

Google Analytics Campaign Source Goals

As you can see, Google Analytics campaigns can show you some powerful information that will help you be able to choose which advertising, banners, and online marketing strategies lead to the best results in conversions.

A Small Disclaimer

One thing to note is that not all traffic can be tracked by Google Analytics for a variety of reasons. Clicks from applications in mobile devices instead of a mobile web browser, for example, will probably be lumped into direct traffic sources. Also, users who enable privacy browsing using settings in Firefox are specifically not allowing the cookies that Google Analytics uses to identify their behaviors when navigating to and through your website.

Although not all traffic can be traced, the traffic that can be will provide a lot of useful information, therefore it is definitely worth your time to use campaigns in Google Analytics to find out what you can from traceable sources.



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Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and professional blogger who helps develop blog content and lead magnets for businesses.


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  1. philips says:
    July 25, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I like the way you stressed that micro conversions are to be taken more than a grain of salt — that just because they are called ‘Micro’, that they are insignificant… that is certainly not true! Maybe you could mention too about the time lag between conversions and how they play in creating the macro conversions, especially in a b2b setting will we still have a good use of time lag in this?

  2. Cezar Halmagean says:
    August 17, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Hey guys,

    Here’s a tool to help you create UTM tags easier. You can define some presets and reuse them to tag your links with UTMs. Check it out:

    – Cezar

  3. Juscelino Barão says:
    January 11, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Hello Kristi Hines,
    I can usually see the clicks data links that lead to my page: facebook posts, Google+ posts, specific banners that lead to places of my own website.
    However I wonder how my site monitor my banners that have links to other sites. Type:
    Banner on my site: Promotion X -> link:

    How to get Analytics information of this type of link? Is it possible?
    A hug and thanks for your great article.

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      January 12, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Hi Juscelino. Great question. You can track links related to a particular promotion by applying UTM parameters. Here’s an article about that: And here’s Google’s URL builder:

    • alex says:
      August 17, 2017 at 3:24 am

      If you want to track clicks on those external links, which you don’t have access to their analytics, you need to set up click events tracked under your Analytics account.

  4. Marcos says:
    December 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Thank you.
    Good information. Does anyone know how to compare conversions from Google Analytics and conversions from DoubleClick?
    Thanks a lot.

  5. Lyena Solomon says:
    July 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    KissMetrics warn against using utm parameters in a campaign URL for internal links because it inflates visits.

    “Every time someone clicks a campaign URL, Google Analytics starts them off on a new visit.”

    They recommend using event tracking instead for the internal banner campaigns. I also think event tracking is a better way.

  6. Chris says:
    May 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Has anyone figured out how to add campaign information to their links when on a mobile phone? Using the Google URL builder is easy on a regular browser, but if I want to share something when I am using a smart phone or an APP, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to add that campaign info. Any ideas?

    • Russ Henneberry says:
      May 16, 2012 at 8:46 am

      @Chris — I haven’t but I can see how this would be very useful.

  7. Martin Armstrong says:
    January 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing this technique. Actually, I am really finding great techniques in using Google Analytics. I want to experience more the benefits of this tracking tool aside from traffic tracking.

  8. Peter says:
    December 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Very useful article, but for many people URL Builder is too complicated. And this is the reason, why we did a simple tool for tagging: Simple Tag

    You don’t need to decide what to add as medium or source. And it’s free, of course 🙂

Show Me My Heatmap

Playing around w/ @CrazyEgg and like it so far. Quick, nice and simple. Also easily implementable with #googletagmanager built-in tag.

Brandon K. Lee


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