Your Ultimate Guide to Setting Up Criteo Campaigns Tracking in Google Analytics 4

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In this article, we explain how to import cost data for Criteo campaigns into Google Analytics 4 for display ads and e-commerce tracking in two ways: manually and automatically using OWOX BI. We also explain why you should bother to do it.

When using multiple advertising services with UTM-tagged links, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) can effectively track the resulting traffic. However, to truly understand the profitability and compare the effectiveness of different advertising channels and campaigns, it's crucial to integrate cost data.

In GA4, Google Ads cost data can be automatically incorporated if the accounts are linked. For other platforms like Criteo, the cost data must be imported into GA4 separately. This import can be achieved either manually or automatically using tools such as OWOX BI.

Manual Import: This involves the direct uploading of cost data files with CSV into GA4. The process requires regularly updating and formatting data to ensure it aligns with GA4's requirements.

Automatic Import via OWOX BI: This method simplifies the process by automatically syncing cost data from Criteo to GA4. It saves time and minimizes manual errors, ensuring that the data in GA4 is consistently up-to-date.

We will describe both methods in detail, but before discussing how to do this, let’s explore what Criteo is, which business it suits, and its impact on business growth.

Note: This post was originally published in June 2019 and was completely updated in January 2024 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Criteo as an Advertising Platform

Criteo is a pioneering figure in online advertising, renowned for its sophisticated display ads. These ads are uniquely tailored based on individual user browsing behaviors and preferences, enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Employing a cost-per-click model, Criteo excels in retargeting, allowing businesses to re-engage with website visitors.

Its suite of tools extends beyond display ads, encompassing traffic generation products and a self-service platform for retail media, thereby empowering advertisers with more control and insights into their advertising strategies. Criteo's innovative approach has made it a vital resource for marketers seeking targeted and efficient advertising solutions.

Which Businesses Can Use Criteo Campaigns?

Criteo campaigns are utilized by a diverse range of businesses, from e-commerce giants to small local stores, aiming to enhance their online presence and sales. These campaigns leverage advanced machine-learning techniques to provide personalized ad experiences to users across various digital platforms. Retailers, travel agencies, automotive dealers, and financial service providers are among the key sectors that benefit from Criteo's targeted advertising solutions.

By analyzing vast amounts of data, Criteo helps advertisers reach potential customers with high precision, improving the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and boosting return on investment. Criteo campaigns reach 2 billion active monthly users worldwide. Whether it's increasing brand awareness or driving conversions, Criteo serves a wide array of industries seeking to optimize their digital advertising strategies.

Furthermore, Criteo's appeal isn't limited to industry giants; it's also embraced by emerging online businesses and digital marketers looking for scalable, performance-driven advertising solutions. Its platform is designed to support businesses of all sizes, enabling them to tap into extensive networks of publishers and access premium ad inventory. This inclusivity means that startups, niche marketers, and even non-profit organizations can leverage Criteo campaigns to reach their specific audiences effectively.

Understanding Criteo's Impact on Business Growth Across Domains

Criteo has made itself a catalyst for business growth, transcending the boundaries of various key domains of the digital marketing landscape. Its sophisticated platform leverages data analytics, AI, and machine learning to optimize advertising campaigns, making it an invaluable asset for businesses aiming to navigate the complexities of the modern digital ecosystem. Advertisers using Criteo have seen up to 13x return on ad spend. Further, we'll describe how Criteo influences business growth across these domains.

Enhancing Brand Visibility and Engagement

Criteo's targeted advertising campaigns utilize deep learning algorithms to predict user behavior, ensuring that ads are served to the right audience at the right time. This precision in targeting enhances brand visibility and engagement across various digital channels, enabling businesses to cut through the noise and connect with their potential customers more effectively. Increased engagement leads to higher brand recall, setting the stage for improved conversion rates and sustained business growth.

Driving Customer Acquisition and Retention

The cornerstone of Criteo’s impact lies in its unparalleled ability to drive customer acquisition and retention. By delivering personalized ad experiences that resonate with the audience's interests and behaviors, Criteo not only attracts new customers but also encourages repeat business.

This dual focus on acquisition and retention is pivotal for businesses seeking to expand their customer base while maintaining a loyal clientele, ultimately contributing to long-term revenue growth.

Optimizing Marketing ROI

Criteo's analytics and optimization tools provide businesses with actionable insights into their advertising campaigns, enabling them to maximize their marketing ROI. By identifying high-performing strategies and eliminating underperforming ones, businesses can allocate their budgets more effectively, ensuring that every dollar spent contributes to tangible growth outcomes.

This optimization of marketing spend is crucial for businesses aiming to achieve scalable growth in a cost-effective manner.

Streamlining E-Commerce Operations

Within the realm of e-commerce, Criteo's impact is particularly profound. Its commerce media platform offers targeted solutions that not only enhance the visibility of e-commerce brands but also improve customer acquisition and retention through personalized advertising.

Criteo's use of purchase and intent data, combined with AI-driven ad optimization, significantly increases sales and ensures a better return on advertising spend.

Moreover, Criteo's excellence in e-commerce tracking provides businesses with deep insights into consumer behavior and campaign performance. This capability allows for the fine-tuning of marketing strategies based on real-time data, from monitoring key performance indicators like click-through and conversion rates to optimizing advertising spend.

The integration of e-commerce tracking ensures that businesses can make data-driven decisions to enhance their online presence and sales performance effectively.

Importance of Criteo Ads Tracking in Google Analytics 4 for Success

The importance of integrating Criteo Ads tracking with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) extends to varied sectors, offering valuable insights and strategic advantages to a broad spectrum of businesses aiming for online success. In the next few sections, we’ll explore how this GA4 integration fuels business growth and success across industries.

Comprehensive Insights into Consumer Behavior

Criteo Ads tracking in GA4 provides a detailed view of consumer interactions across digital platforms. This deep dive into user behavior offers businesses insights into how different audiences engage with their content, services, or products, enabling a clear understanding of consumer needs, preferences, and pain points.

Such insights are invaluable for tailoring offerings and marketing messages to meet consumer demands more effectively.

Enhanced Precision in Campaign Measurement

The integration allows for precise measurement of the effectiveness of advertising efforts across all online channels. By tracking the performance of Criteo Ads in GA4, businesses gain a clear understanding of their return on investment (ROI), enabling them to quantify the direct impact of targeted ads on their specific goals, such as lead generation, brand awareness, or content engagement.

Data-driven Optimization of Marketing Budgets

With the insights gained from GA4, companies can identify which Criteo Ads campaigns deliver the highest returns. This critical analysis enables strategic reallocation of marketing budgets towards the most effective channels and campaigns, ensuring that advertising spend contributes directly to business growth and efficiency.

Targeted Advertising and Enhanced Personalization

The data from Criteo Ads tracking in GA4 empowers businesses to refine their targeting and personalization strategies. By understanding which aspects of their campaigns resonate with different segments of their audience, companies can craft more personalized and relevant advertising messages. This targeting capability leads to higher engagement rates, improved customer satisfaction, and ultimately, increased conversions.

Conversion Tracking and Attribution

GA4’s advanced tracking and attribution models offer an accurate picture of the customer journey, highlighting the role that Criteo Ads play in driving conversions. Whether the goals are to increase sign-ups, encourage downloads, or promote service inquiries, businesses can assess and attribute success to specific campaigns, optimizing their strategies for better outcomes.

Agile Marketing Through Trend Analysis

The ability to analyze performance trends and adapt marketing strategies in real-time is a crucial advantage. Criteo Ads tracking in GA4 allows businesses to stay agile, adjusting their campaigns in response to emerging trends, seasonal shifts, and changing consumer behaviors. This agility ensures that marketing efforts remain effective and aligned with market dynamics.

User Experience Optimization

Insights from Criteo Ads tracking can inform decisions around website design, content strategy, and user engagement tactics. Understanding how different elements of the user journey contribute to conversion enables businesses to optimize their digital properties for a better user experience, fostering higher engagement and loyalty.

Different Reports To Analyze Criteo Campaigns In Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

In GA4, the performance of advertising campaigns, including the various reports, are available for tracking and analyzing from Criteo:

Traffic Acquisition Report

When tracking Criteo campaigns, this report will reveal the user engagement, transaction volume, and revenue generated specifically from Criteo, compared against other sources like Twitter or Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads). This data is crucial in understanding which platforms are driving more effective user engagement and sales.

Non-Google Cost Report

This report is particularly useful for Criteo campaigns, as it lets you analyze cost-effectiveness by comparing key metrics like clicks, impressions, cost, CPC, and ROAS. It helps in determining how well Criteo performs in terms of investment returns compared to other channels.

All Channels Report

For Criteo campaigns, this report will show the conversion effectiveness. It allows you to see how many conversions are attributed to Criteo, providing a clear picture of its contribution to your overall marketing efforts.

Conversion Paths Report

This is crucial for understanding Criteo’s role in the user's journey to conversion. It helps in evaluating whether Criteo acts as an initial touchpoint, a middle influencer, or a final decision factor in the conversion path.

Custom Reports

Custom reports in GA4 can be configured to focus specifically on Criteo’s performance metrics. You can create reports to compare the ROAS of Criteo campaigns against other paid campaigns, offering a tailored view of its overall efficiency and impact on your marketing strategy.

Each of these reports can provide valuable insights into the performance of Criteo campaigns, allowing for a more informed and data-driven approach to your digital marketing strategy.

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How to Link Markup with UTM Tags for Criteo Campaigns

To optimize Criteo campaign tracking in Google Analytics 4, incorporating UTM tags into your ad links is essential before importing cost data. These tags, which are snippets of code appended to URLs, provide valuable data about the source, medium, and specific campaign driving traffic to your site.

For Criteo campaigns, it's crucial to include at least these 3 parameters:

  • utm_source=criteo
  • utm_medium=cpc
  • utm_campaign (it should match the campaign name in Criteo)

Beyond basic tracking, leveraging dynamic URL parameters with tools like OWOX UTM Builder can significantly enhance your insight into campaign performance. This approach allows for the dynamic generation of detailed parameters at different levels of your campaigns, thereby enabling more granular tracking and analysis in GA4.

For platforms like Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads), the final URL suffix feature is analogous to UTM parameters, allowing for detailed tracking of ad performance. Here, auto-tagging features can be utilized to simplify the process, automatically appending tags like utm_source, utm_medium, and others to your URLs, ensuring comprehensive tracking without the need for manual input.

By effectively employing these UTM and URL parameter strategies, you can achieve deeper insights into your Criteo campaign performance in GA4, aiding in data-driven decision-making and optimization efforts.

To prevent mistakes and make it easier to create tags, you can use the Campaign URL Builder from Google.

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Руслан Оболонский
Ruslan Obolonsky

Senior Product Manager

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Steps to Automatically Send Cost Data from Criteo to GA4 Using OWOX BI

With OWOX BI Pipeline, you don’t need to create CSV files and format data in them, as you do when manually loading expenses. Just set up a stream once and the cost data will automatically be transferred from the advertising service to Google Analytics 4 and updated daily.In addition, OWOX BI automatically updates already uploaded Google Analytics 4 data for the previous period (if it has changed) and converts cost data into the currency of your Google Analytics account. In OWOX BI, you can also download spending data for the past six months.Regardless of which import method you use, the first thing to do is to create a data stream in Google Analytics 4 to which you will load the cost data.

Step 1: Setting Up a Data Stream in Google Analytics 4

To integrate cost data from Criteo into Google Analytics 4 using OWOX BI, begin by logging into your Google Analytics account and navigating to your GA4 property. In the GA4 interface, access the "Admin" section and click on "Data Streams" under the "Property" column.

Here, you can select an existing web data stream or create a new one for importing cost data. It's important to note down the details of your data stream, such as the "Measurement ID", as this information may be necessary for the subsequent integration process with OWOX BI.

Step 2: Configure Automatic Importing of Cost Data Into the OWOX BI Platform

To set up automatic importing of cost data, start by signing up for OWOX BI using your Google Account. Then log in to OWOX BI, open the Pipeline tab, and click "Create Flow". Click on the Criteo logo:

Now grant access to your Criteo account. To do this, click "Add":

In the window that opens, enter the Client ID and Client Secret ID. To get them, generate a new user access API in the Criteo interface.

Next, provide access to your Google Analytics 4 account, select a resource and a data stream into which you will upload cost data, and click "Next".Specify the date from which to start importing cost data. Then select the required Google Analytics 4 view and your OWOX BI project and click Create Flow.Cost data from Criteo will appear in Google Analytics 4 reports within 36 hours (up to 12 hours for data processing on the OWOX BI side + up to 24 hours for processing in Google Analytics 4). For a free OWOX BI Starter plan, data processing on the OWOX side can take up to 36 hours.

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How to Set Up E-commerce Tracking in Google Analytics 4 Using Criteo Campaigns

To import expenses through the Google Analytics 4 interface, you need to prepare a CSV file with data, put that data into the required format, and upload it manually. This is a monotonous job that takes a lot of time. In addition, it must be repeated every time you need to update cost data.

Setting up e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) for Criteo campaigns, or any other non-Google advertising services, involves a few steps. Here’s an actual guide on how to manually import cost data into GA4:

Step 1: Create a CSV File for Upload

Prepare a CSV file with the necessary data to upload to Google Analytics 4.

This file should include the following parameters:

  • utm_id (campaign ID)
  • utm_source (campaign source)
  • utm_medium (campaign medium)
  • utm_campaign (campaign name)
  • date (in YYYY-MM-DD format)
  • clicks
  • cost
  • impressions

You can download a CSV file template from Google's support resources to help you structure your data correctly.

Step 2: Create a Data Source in Google Analytics 4

Go to the Admin panel in GA4, navigate to Property, select "Data Import", and then click on "Create data source".

Name your data source, choose Cost Data as the Data type, and select Manual CSV upload as the Import source.

Step 3: Upload Your Cost Data CSV File to Google Analytics 4

Once your CSV file is prepared, upload it to GA4 through the Data Import section. Then match the parameters in your CSV file with those in GA4 to ensure accurate processing of the uploaded data.

After the upload, GA4 will process the file, and you should see a message indicating successful importing.

Step 4: Check the Uploaded Cost Data

After setting up the cost data import correctly, you will find a non-Google cost report with the imported data in the "Acquisition" section of your GA4 reports. The data should appear in the report almost immediately after successful processing and importing.

Step 5: Using the Data in Custom Reports

Once imported, you can use this cost data in custom reports in the Explorations section of GA4 to analyze various metrics like cost, impressions, clicks, cost-per-click, and return on ad spend for non-Google campaigns.

Wrapping up

Importing cost data from Criteo to Google Analytics 4 is an important step – but not the last step in evaluating your online advertising. If you want to analyze your entire sales funnel and take into account all points of contact with the customer both online and offline (chats, calls, offline meetings, email, etc.), you need to set up end-to-end analytics.

You can combine all your data in Google BigQuery cloud storage using OWOX BI to build reports with any metrics you need.

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  • What is a Criteo campaign in Google Analytics 4?

    A Criteo campaign in Google Analytics 4 refers to a marketing campaign run through Criteo, a retargeting and advertising platform, which is tracked and analyzed in GA4. This integration allows for detailed insights into how these campaigns influence website traffic, user behavior, and conversions.
  • How can I set up tracking for Criteo campaigns in GA4?

    To track Criteo campaigns in GA4, you need to ensure that your Criteo account is properly linked with your Google Analytics 4 property. This typically involves configuring UTM parameters in your Criteo campaign URLs, which GA4 can then recognize and track accordingly.
  • Can I measure the ROI of my Criteo campaigns in GA4?

    Yes, you can measure the ROI of your Criteo campaigns in GA4 by analyzing the conversion data and comparing it against the campaign costs. GA4 provides detailed reports on conversions, revenue, and other metrics that can help in calculating the ROI.
  • How do I analyze Criteo's campaign performance in GA4?

    In GA4, you can analyze Criteo campaign performance by navigating to the "Acquisition" reports and examining the data under the channels or source/medium sections. Here, you can view metrics such as sessions, conversion rates, and revenue attributed to your Criteo campaigns.
  • What kind of user behavior can I track from Criteo campaigns in GA4?

    GA4 allows you to track various user behaviors from Criteo campaigns, including page views, event completions, e-commerce transactions, time on site, and bounce rates. This information helps in understanding how users engaged by Criteo ads interact with your website.
  • Is it possible to track cross-device or cross-platform performance of Criteo campaigns in GA4?

    Yes, GA4 is designed to track users across devices and platforms, offering a more holistic view of the user journey. This means you can analyze how Criteo campaigns perform across different devices and platforms, providing a comprehensive understanding of their effectiveness.

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