Best Practices for creating Custom Campaigns

1. Tag only what you need

If your Google Analytics account is linked to an active Google AdWords account and you have auto-tagging enabled, you don't need to tag your AdWords URLs. Google Analytics automatically tracks all of your AdWords campaigns. However, you still need to tag all of your non-AdWords paid keyword links, as well as your banners and other ads, and the links inside your promotional e-mail messages.

There are certain links that you don't need to tag, and many times are not able to tag. You should not attempt to tag organic (unpaid) keyword links from search engines, and it isn't necessary to tag links that come from referral sites, such as portals and affiliate sites. Google Analytics automatically detects the name of the search engine and you see metrics for these referrals in your reports, typically under Organic listings. Google Analytics also detects referrals from other websites and displays them in your reports, whether or not you have tagged them. And again, you don't need to tag your AdWords URLs if your Analytics and AdWords accounts are linked.

2. Create your links with the URL builder

Campaign links consist of a URL address followed by a question mark and your campaign variables. However, you don't need to worry about link syntax if you use the URL Builder to generate your URLs. You can then copy and paste the links in your ad. If you're wondering which fields to fill in, you're ready for Step 3.

3. Use only the campaign variables you need

Google Analytics' link-tagging capabilities allow you to uniquely identify virtually any campaign. The URL Builder has six fields, but you generally need to use only Source, Medium, Name, and Term (for paid keywords). The table below shows how you might tag the three most common kinds of online campaigns: banner ads, email campaigns, and paid keywords.

  E-mail Campaign Pay Per Click Keywords
Campaign Source newsletter1 Yahoo
Campaign Medium email cpc
Campaign Term July the keyword you invested in
Campaign Content    
Campaign Name productxyz productxyz

4. Don’t send personally identifiable information.

Google Analytics customers are prohibited from sending personally identifiable information (PII) in a campaign tracking parameter. PII includes any data that can be used by Google to identify an individual, including (but not limited to) names, email addresses, or billing information. Learn more about the Google Analytics privacy principles.