This article is about Google Analytics 4 properties. Refer to the Universal Analytics section if you're still using a Universal Analytics property, which will stop processing data on July 1, 2023 (October 1, 2023 for Analytics 360 properties).

[GA4] Traffic-source dimensions, manual tagging, and auto-tagging

Traffic-source dimensions provide information about where your traffic originates (source, e.g., google, baidu, bing), the methods by which users arrive at your site/app (medium, e.g., organic, cpc, email), and the specific marketing efforts you use to drive that traffic (e.g., campaign, creative format, keywords).

With Analytics, you have the option to collect traffic-source data by manually tagging your destination URLs or by creating integrations between Analytics and your ad platforms and using the auto-tagging feature available with those integrations.

With both manual tagging and auto-tagging, the parameters and parameter values appear as dimensions and dimension values in your reports and explorations and in the audience and segment builders.

Manual tagging

If you don't plan to create integrations between Analytics and your different ad platforms (e.g., Google Ads, Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360), you can manually tag the destination URLs in your ads with UTM parameters to collect a basic set of traffic-source dimensions:

Parameter Dimension
utm_source

Source

First user source

Session source

utm_medium

Medium

First user medium

Session medium

utm_campaign

Campaign

First user campaign

Session campaign

utm_term

Manual term

Session manual term

First user manual term

utm_content

Manual ad content

Session manual ad content

First user manual ad content

utm_source_platform

Source platform

Session source platform

First user source platform

utm_creative_format

Creative format

Session creative format

First user creative format

utm_marketing_tactic

Marketing tactic

Session marketing tactic

First user marketing tactic

 

When you use manual tagging, you provide the value for each parameter in your destination URL, for example:

http://www.example.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=summersale

You can use the Analytics URL builders to construct your URLs.

If you use manual tagging and auto tagging together, then the source, medium, and other traffic-classification dimensions use the auto-tagged values. The manually tagged values for utm_content and utm_term are used for the Manual Ad Content and Manual Term dimensions.

Auto-tagging

If you're creating integrations between Analytics and your various ad platforms, then you want to use the auto-tagging feature that is implemented with each integration. Auto-tagging provides you with platform-specific dimensions and with more dimensions than you get with manual tagging.

The following lists ennumerate the dimensions auto-tagging provides when you create integrations between Analytics and your ad platforms.

The dimension names below form the root of the dimension names. The full dimension names take the form:

[scope] [linked product] [dimension]

For example: Session Google Ads campaign (scope = session; linked product = Google Ads; dimension = campaign)

Google Ads

URLs that are auto-tagged with Google Ads parameters include the gclid parameter. Auto-tagging provides the following dimensions:

  • Google Ads source
  • Google Ads medium
  • Google Ads campaign
  • Google Ads creative format
  • Google Ads marketing tactic
  • Google Ads source platform
  • Google Ads default channel group
  • Google Ads account name
  • Google Ads ad group name
  • Google Ads keyword text
  • Google Ads query
  • Google Ads ad network type

Display & Video 360

  • DV360 source
  • DV360 medium
  • DV360 campaign
  • DV360 creative format
  • DV360 marketing tactic
  • DV360 source platform
  • DV360 default channel group
  • DV360 advertiser ID / name
  • DV360 insertion order ID / name
  • DV360 line item ID / name
  • DV360 creative ID / name

Search Ads 360

URLs that are auto-tagged with Search Ads 360 parameters include the dclid parameter. Auto-tagging provides the following dimensions:

  • SA360 source
  • SA360 medium
  • SA360 campaign
  • SA360 creative format
  • SA360 marketing tactic
  • SA360 source platform
  • SA360 default channel group
  • SA360 manager account ID / name
  • SA360 engine account ID / name / type
  • SA360 ad group name
  • SA360 keyword text
  • SA360 query
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