What UTM tags are required for the correct data collection to Google BigQuery?

This article is valid for the pipelines from Yandex Market, VKontakte, Bing Ads, Hotline, Trafmag, myTarget, Sklik, Twitter, Criteo, Outbrain, and Yahoo ad services to Google BigQuery.

What are UTM tags?

UTM tags are small snippets of code you append to the end of your URL. Each tag consists of two parts — a UTM parameter and its value.

For example: www.example.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=new_sale, where:

  • utm_source=google is a parameter named "utm_source" with value "google". It specifies to the advertising system or source that has brought a user to your website.
  • utm_medium=cpc is a parameter named "utm_medium" with value "cpc". It specifies the type of traffic (in our case, this is the cost per click).
  • utm_campaign=new_sale is a parameter named "utm_campaign" with value "new_sale". It specifies the name of the advertising campaign.

How to add UTM parameters correctlyIf your website page URL is generated through a request parameter, for example, www.example.com/?page=12345, then the UTM parameter must be added to the existing URL through the prefix "&". For our example, it will look like this: www.example.com/?page=12345&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=new_sale

Requirements for the correct data collection to Google BigQuery

To collect data correctly, OWOX BI requires your ads to contain at least these two  UTM tags: utm_source and utm_medium.

TipPlease use the URL Builder tool from Google to check your labels.

When your ad has no UTM-tags or there is an error that does not allow to set the traffic source correctly, appropriate source/medium substitution logic is used (similar to traffic definition in Google Analytics) for each advertising service:

  source medium
Yandex Market market.yandex.ru referral
VK vk.com referral
Bing Ads bing.com referral
Hotline hotline.ua referral
Trafmag trafmag.com referral
myTarget target.my.com referral
Sklik seznam cpc
Twitter twitter.com social
Criteo criteo cpc
Outbrain outbrain cpc
Yahoo yahoo cpc

NoteOWOX BI doesn't retrieve the UTM tags of your advertisements created in Yahoo. Instead, the service automatically assigns the UTM source/medium with the values given above to all the ad costs imported from your Yahoo ad account.
If you need to use different values for UTM source/medium, contact Support at bi@owox.com.

Processing dynamic parameters in UTM markup

While exporting cost data from ad services to Google Analytics, OWOX BI also transmits the values of dynamic parameters you use in ad URLs. Thanks to this, you can match visits and ad expenses by UTM tags in the Google Analytics Cost Analysis report. How to correctly export the dynamic parameters from ad services to Google Analytics, read in our article.

ImportantIt is highly recommended to keep the UTM tags and ad campaign configurations as they are initially created because of the following reasons:
- OWOX BI attributes ad costs to user sessions following UTM tags;
- OWOX BI uses selected ad campaign configurations to parse the dynamic UTM parameters. For instance, the service uses the current value of an ad campaign from your ad campaign configurations to determine {campaign_name}.
Changes made to UTM tags and ad campaign configurations might lead to data discrepancies during the session cost calculation.
Please refer to an example below:
An advertiser assigns the name Campaign123 to an ad campaign and sets up the dynamic parameter utm_campaign={campaign_name} for an advertisement.
On 01.01.2021, a user clicks on this advertisement. The analytics services (Google Analytics, OWOX BI hit streaming) record this click and place the current ad campaign name Campaign123 into the resulting URL link instead of {campaign_name}.
On 05.01.2021, the advertiser changes the ad campaign name to Campaign777. And the next day, the advertiser set up a pipeline in OWOX BI to import cost data starting from 01.01.2021. 
The service will take the value Campaign777, which is relevant at the time of the import, and place it into the resulting URL link for all costs imported from 01.01.2021. The ad campaign name Campaign123 can be used because it no longer exists in ad campaign configurations. As a result, the imported costs won’t be attributed to the corresponding user session.
This scenario is also valid for data actualization in the active OWOX BI pipeline. If you change the ad campaign name in your ad account during the actualization period, then OWOX BI will fully override the data.

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