How to Track Links with Google Analytics

Laura Caveney
7th November 2020

If you have a website, then implementing Google Analytics is the primary step to understanding and interpreting your website traffic.

But if you’re setting up a particular campaign, or just want to understand how a particular CTA on a certain page is performing, then differentiating that traffic is difficult.

Keep reading to find out how you can track links with Google Analytics.


How do you track links?

What is campaign tracking?

Campaign tracking, also known as “UTM tracking codes” simply allows you to add special tracking code to your URL. It helps to identify how users are getting to your site and ultimately, how your campaigns are performing.

For example, a tracking link would look a little like this:

Track links in Google Analytics with UTM tagging


How to use Google’s URL builder

Your marketing campaigns will have their own KPIs. Similarly, you’ll have set targets for each channel.

So, to understand how those channels and campaigns are working, you need to be able to track them. The issue is your campaign landing page might be found by many different methods. Or, a user could convert on a campaign but come from the home page, and so their referrer is lost in the massive data you have for the home page alone.

Luckily, Google has created a URL builder where you can create your own trackable URLs so you can track links.

Step 1: Enter the link you want to track.

google url builder - add url

Step 2: Add the three main parameters that you’ll want to track.

Source: This tells Google where traffic is coming from
Medium: This tells Google what kind of source it’s coming from, so paid, or social, or email as examples
Name: This is (obviously) whatever you’re naming your campaign. Try to make it simple but distinct enough that you don’t get campaigns confused.

google url builder campaign terms

As you type these three data pieces in, you’ll see that a URL being auto-generated.

You can also add in campaign medium or term, which are simply two extra boxes to allow you to differentiate between links and their purpose. This is particularly helpful for A/B testing.

Step 3: Click on “Copy URL” and paste it into your email newsletter (ad, social, etc…) instead of your regular “untagged” link.
Where to find your campaigns in Google Analytics

google url builder - new url


To track links through individual campaigns in Google Analytics, you simply need to head to acquisition – campaigns.

Here you’re going to see how many visits you received from your campaign, how long they stayed on your website, how many pages on average they visited while they were there, the bounce rate and conversions.


How to see if your campaigns are converting

If you’re fully eCommerce, then you’ll be able to see revenue directly in Google Analytics as long as your Goals are set up correctly.

We always advise setting up other goals too.

The main ones to add are:

Some of these goals are easier to set up than others. But ideally, every touchpoint a user can have on your website, should be tracked and assigned a value.

Or even better, link to the direct revenue generated.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help:


Note: Do you struggle with understanding what influenced offline conversions, like calls or store visits? Download our FREE eBook to help you connect your offline sales to your online leads.

Offline Conversion Tracking - Banner - Download


How to track links and assign revenue to campaigns 

Not eCommerce? Linking your sales back to your marketing isn’t easy.

In fact, for many marketers, it takes a lot of guesswork. We’ve been there.

Luckily, there’s a way around it.

If you struggle with tracking because of:

Well, we can help.

Ruler is a marketing attribution tool.

That might not mean much to you right now, but hold up.

If you’re tracking your links using UTM tags with Google’s URL builder, then you can take it one step further.

By integrating your website, and your preferred marketing apps like GA or ad platforms with Google or Bing, you can start to properly attribute your sales back to the campaigns that influenced them.


Here’s how it works:

Someone visits your website. They clicked on a campaign URL you created. Ruler can scrape and hold onto that data, and pool all of the session data for that person.

When they convert into a lead, whether that’s by phone, live chat or form submission, Ruler will fire the session data over to your CRM (or wherever you’re holding your customer data).

Ruler will continue to track, while you work hard to convert them into a sale.

When that hard work pays off, and you place a revenue against that user, Ruler will scrape it and automatically fire it back into applications like Google Analytics.

track sales leads - closed loop framework -


What does that mean?

Well, as well as call tracking, proper monitoring of your form submissions and live chat, you’ll get real data into how your campaigns are impacting your sales.

So say goodbye to guesswork when it comes to reporting!

Find out more about offline conversion tracking by downloading our FREE eBook, or book a demo with us to find out more about how Ruler can help you get true visibility of your leads.

Book a demo Ruler Analytics