Skip to main content

  Article updated: June 04, 2024

Track ad campaigns with Google Analytics

Website promotion campaigns can be tracked with Google Analytics so you can attribute website activity to each of your ads. Tracking with Google Analytics requires adding UTM parameters to the links in your ads. UTMs contain identifying information about the link, such as its source, or the campaign it belongs to.

Google Analytics tracking can be set up during the campaign creation process. Insert parameters that will apply to the entire campaign, and use placeholders to define parameters specific to each ad variation. These will pull campaign information specific to the ad, for granular tracking.

Google Analytics and Facebook pixel conversion tracking options are available for all campaigns containing links to an external URL (all campaign types except Page Likes, Place, and App campaigns).

Add Google Analytics UTM parameters

  1. On the Ads Design step (2) of campaign creation, check the Track this campaign with Google Analytics box at the bottom of the page.
  2. Enter values for Source and Medium, and then enter the Name of your campaign. These parameters will be the same for the whole campaign.
  3. Enter a parameter value in the Content field that will be ad-specific.
    • Manually entering a term will add the same parameter to all ads.
    • Click Insert Placeholder, and select one or more dynamic values to add campaign information that may change from ad to ad.
    • You can further customize what gets added to your URLs by inserting text between placeholders. (e.g. Name {ad-name} Displayed on {placement})
  4. Preview what your links will look like with the example URL below the Content field.
    Goal tracking with track this campaign with Google Analytics selected showing example settings and Insert placeholder list with Ad name selected.
  5. Optional: Check Add extra options to your URL to add generic tracking parameters to your links in addition to the UTM parameters, or without using Google's UTM parameters. More details.

In Google Analytics, the actual ad-specific information will appear where there are placeholders. You will see the full link from each ad that generated activity on your site. For example, where {ad_name} is used as a placeholder, in Google Analytics you will see: “Ad-5”.

Note: If your destination URL contains a link fragment (e.g., your tracking parameters will be inserted after the URL and before the # as required by URL structure.

Not seeing campaign data in Google Analytics?

When campaign data does not appear in Google Analytics, it’s usually caused by using a link shortening or redirecting service (like, or for your website URL. This is because UTM parameters get added to the shortened link, and when the link redirects to your website, the UTMs are dropped.

In the Ads Design step (2) of campaign creation, ensure you enter the full URL for your website in the URL field(s). Your UTMs will then be added to the correct link and maintained for tracking purposes. Use the Display link field to enter a shorter link that will display in place of the full URL in your ads.

Example URL and display link.

Another solution is to add UTMs to your website URL outside of Legacy Hootsuite Ads before it gets shortened. This means you won't have the use of placeholders for dynamically adding ad-specific parameters to your links.

Some redirecting services do pass UTMs to the destination link, but be sure to follow their URL formatting instructions for doing this carefully as each one works differently.


Can't find what you're looking for? We're here to help