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tl;dr If you have a URL with a utm_content parameter, but no other UTM parameters, is it possible to track that in Google Analytics?

I was trying to help somebody run a very simple Facebook Ads campaign with a couple of different banner ads. Two different ads were used, with URLs that differed by the value of the utm_content parameter e.g.

http://example.com/?utm_content=ad_1
http://example.com/?utm_content=ad_2

There were no other UTM parameters used, because we only have one campaign, and only needed to distinguish which ad was clicked on to reach the site. I didn't realise that this seems to make it unusable in Google Analytics, because choosing "Ad Content" as a secondary dimension only shows "(not set)".

Do you need to have utm_campaign etc. present to be able to track the visitors to the site who arrived by clicking on the ads?

Is there some other report in Google Analytics that will show the different utm_content values on incoming URLs?

The site is hosted on Squarespace so I don't have access to the raw access.log (or equivalent) from the webserver which might show the full URLs. I only have the per-page Access Log shown by Squarespace (which doesn't seem to show anything about the utm_content parameters) and to the Google Analytics reports for the site.

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No you can not, you must fulfill the utm_source, this is required field for utm parameters, other ones are not important. But it should not be a problem if you have only facebook ads, just enter same source for both. But please take care of typos if you have more than 1 link. Simple mistake can get your data messy. cheers.

  • Thanks! I wish that info had been easier to find before we set up the ads :-( – Reluctant Webmaster Mar 19 at 13:50

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