This guide describes how to properly implement paid campaigns UTM-tagging for the most popular data sources.

The most important advice is to be consistent in tagging. Permanent labels allow you to measure beyond a single campaign or a keyword. To be consistent, you need to develop naming conventions.

Is it better to call some content parameter “big” or “500×350”? Or the creative “grey” or “dark”? The answer is always: it’s not that important as long as you are consistent.

Try to tag as many touchpoints as possible. Some commonly overlooked options include:

  • email signatures
  • links in mobile apps or games
  • social posts
  • links in social share buttons
  • QR codes

In some advertising systems, you can use dynamic parameters {...} in your links. These parameters help to attribute costs to sessions with high accuracy. We encourage you to use as many of them as possible as long as they are supported by SegmentStream for the particular data source.

How session cost calculation works

By default, SegmentStram uses the set of 5 UTM parameters (source, medium, campaign, term, content) to identify the cost of each session. The more granular tagging you have - the more accurately SegmentStream will be able to attribute a proper cost for a specific session.

For example, imagine you have 3 clicks:

  • utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=supercampaign&utm_content=ad1|position|1 (you paid $3 per click)
  • utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=supercampaign&utm_content=ad1|position|2 (you paid $1 per click)
  • utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=supercampaign&utm_content=ad1|position|3 (you paid $5 per click)

As you can see, if you have a utm_content and SegmentStream was able to properly parse it, it will be possible to stitch your clicks with initiated session very accurately to identify the cost of each session (in our case $3, $1 and $5).

But if utm_content does not have dynamic parameters that allow more granular segmentation (in our example - by position) all 3 clicks will looks the same and there will be no way to understand the cost of each particualr session:

  • utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=supercampaign&utm_content=ad1

Alternatively, if SegmentStream was unable to properly parse utm_content due to unsupported UTM dynamic parameters, stitching will fallback to utm_campaign level with the same set of UTMs for all 3 clicks:

  • utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=supercampaign

This way, SegmentStream will allocate the same cost for each of 3 sessions. Knowing that overall spend was $9, the cost of each session will be $3, $3 and $3.

As you can see, this will cause less accurate identification of the cost of each session which will lead to less accurate ROAS analysis.

That’s why we ecourage to:

  • Use different UTM parameters for different Campaigns, Ad Groups and Ads;
  • Use as many dynamic parameters as possible to make your UTM-tagging more granular;
  • Use only supported dynamic parameters when you do you UTM tagging (for example, here you can find supported dynamic parameters for Google Ads).

SegmentStream supports many dynamic parameters for Google Ads data source. Using these parameters in your UTM-tagging will dramatically increase the accuracy of costs attribution for your website sessions.

A good example of UTM-tagging for Google Ads may look the following way:

utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=some_campaign&utm_term={keyword}&utm_content=tid|{targetid}|aid|{creative}|gid|{adgroupid}|src|{network}|dev|{device}|locph|{loc_physical_ms}|locin|{loc_interest_ms}|gclid|{gclid}

Alternatively, you can use a {campaignid} dynamic param to define utm_campaign automatically at the account level. The only downside here will be a less readable utm_campaign:

utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign={campaignid}&utm_term={keyword}&utm_content=tid|{targetid}|aid|{creative}|gid|{adgroupid}|src|{network}|dev|{device}|locph|{loc_physical_ms}|locin|{loc_interest_ms}|gclid|{gclid}

We suggest to avoid using UTM tagging inside the Final URL or inside your product feed links and use Tracking template or Final URL suffix inside the Settings at Account, Campaign or Ad Group level.

This document was last updated on November 10, 2020. If you notice any gaps, outdated information or simply want to leave some feedback to help us improve our documentation, please let us know!