Updated: May 12
Since Google's acquisition of UTM ( Urchin Tracking Module ) in 2005 web analysts to small businesses alike have been utilizing this tool.
-A Quick Review of UTM Campaigns
For those of you who do not know what UTM tracking is, UTM tracking allows for the weblink owner to quickly define inbound traffic to their website by source, medium, campaign, and more. An example of this may be, that you have an email that directs a user to your website and you want to know how that specific email campaign has performed. UTM links allow for you to follow sessions from the email campaign to activities on a site, for things simple things as page views to form submissions to phone calls.
The old Universal Analytics campaign overview.
While the old version of Universal Analytics allowed for several parameters to define traffic with the addition of GA 4 we have been granted access to new parameters and ways to define this traffic.
UNIVERSAL ANALYTICS: EXISTING PARAMETERS
First user source
Identify the traffic source (e.g. bing)
First user medium
Identifies the means by which the user arrived at the site (e.g. organic, email, etc.)
First user campaign
Identifies the campaign associated with the source and medium (eg CollezioneEstate22, NotizieGA4, etc.
Session manual term
First user manual term
Identify the keywords used in paid campaigns in non-Google circuits
Manual ad content
Session manual ad content
First user manual ad content
Identify the content of the campaign (e.g. bannerXYZ, bannersite_30x30, herosection, etc.)
GA 4: ADDITIONAL PARAMETERS
Session source platform
First user source platform
dentify the platform where the marketing activity was undertaken. By default this parameter, present both in Explore and as a secondary dimension, collects Google Ads or Manual.
Session creative format
First user creative format
Identify the creative used (e.g. skyscraper). It is currently not available in either the reports or in Explore
Session marketing tactic
First user marketing tactic
Identify the tactic used (e.g. onboarding vs retention). It is not currently available in reports or in Explore.
Used to import cost data to GA 4
What do these new parameters add?
These additional UTM parameters add the ability to better organize data directly to your marketing efforts. Additionally, they are used to better properly allocate traffic to its correct location, ultimately leading to more accurate reporting. Luckily Google has so kindly provided us with a free tool to create campaign links here.
Note: utm_term and utm_content are not currently available within GA 4.
Where can the new GA 4 parameters be found?
Within GA 4 we are now given the option to use these parameters as dimensions within several of our acquisition reports as well as custom reports. Below you can find examples of both.
The first location to find UTM campaigns in GA 4 is found within the traffic acquisition standard reports. This can be located on the left-hand side of your GA 4 UI under the Acquisition category. Next, you will click on the session default channel grouping drop-down menu and select session campaign. Finally, you will see your campaigns listed below. Alternatively, you can find a similar report located within the user acquisition report.
The second primary location you can find UTM information is within the custom reports. Navigate to the Free Form report.
Next, you will add in the dimensions and metrics you wish to see in your reports.
To begin seeing new parameters like session source platform navigate to the plus next to dimensions and add in session source dimension. Next, you will need to add this dimension to the "rows" column.
Additionally, under metrics you can add in the metrics that you find to be the most important.
Your table should similar to the one shown below.