Just about every day you have come across an article on UTM analytics. Every company that successfully evaluates and improves its online marketing has at least one thing in common: They all know how to use UTM tracking properly. The concept of using UTM Tracking is an old one at this point and considered to be the most crucial tracking & analytical tool of all time.
It’s nearly impossible to differentiate the traffic sources that feed your site if you don’t tag your URLs with UTM parameters specific to each channel and campaign. Instead, everything is grouped together, resulting in an inability to track campaign effectiveness, a lack of understanding of what content resonates with your audience, and limited budget-allocation insights.
But here is the question – are you using it in a right manner for your brand? Or still investing hours and hours in extracting valuable insights out of bulky, messy data?
Are your UTM tricks are useful enough to boost your campaign?
Wanna know the answer to these questions?
Let me simplify it for you all and show you some tricks to use UTM correctly, but first of let’s start with basics by looking onto a quick video on UTM parameters by MeasureSchool.
After this, you must have gotten a broad idea about UTMs if you haven’t already. But this is not it, we have more for you in the store. So, let dive in and explore these valuable tips for your business.
UTM Tracking, What it is?
UTM tracking is named for Urchin Tracking Modules, Urchin being the company who created the technology, and who now exist as Google Analytics. These are basically identifier tags appended to the end of a link. These tags sync with your Google Analytics account and record these link and information appended to it. Then it captures valuable data and give you a more granular view on how a particular advert is performing,
This how it looks like. When a link with these tags (or parameters) is clicked, the data is sent back to Google Analytics & filed under the identifiers you’ve specified. This means you can attribute site visits and conversions to specific posts on any platform where you’re running campaigns, rather than just seeing referrals from the platform as a whole.
5 Key Parameters to track and segment data-
Where the traffic is coming from. For example, it could be from Facebook, Twitter, and email, a registration page, etc.
What type of traffic took the person to your link. For example, it could be paid, organic, referral, banner, email, etc.
What the name of your campaign is. For example: “how to build UTM’s webinar,” “summer-sale,” “beginner-tutorial,” etc.
Used to track paid keywords.
Used to create content to help differentiate a link that shares the same URL with another one for example: “summer-sale-red-dress-email-one” and “summer-sale-red-dress-email-two.”
To create a UTM embedded URL all you need is the URL of the website you want to track and the campaign source parameter. We usually recommend adding the campaign medium and name to better differentiate your campaign conversions, leaving the campaign term and campaign content as optional depending on your business’s specific needs.
Once you’ve entered all of the parameters you want, Google will automatically generate URLs with the correct syntax. Then, simply copy or convert it to short links using bit.ly and append it to your URLs to achieve the desired results.
Let’s have a quick view on how UTM looks in a real post for better understanding.
Most of the time people ignore these small UTM codes but they’re there, gathering information that the social media team will later use to evaluate and analyze the success of this particular post compared to other social posts promoting the same content. UTM codes can be used for any online content including-
- Social Media
- Blog Posts
- Landing pages
- Online newsletters
- Banner ads
Once you start searching out for UTM codes, you’ll find them everywhere.
Touch up your Social Media Strategy with UTM Analytics
UTM analytics make it simple to determine what types of content people interact with the most and, more importantly, what kind of content they don’t prefer. If you can identify and quickly modify the content you serve up to your viewers, you bring down the risk of losing site visits and conversions by showing them what they want to see.
This information can help you make important decisions about where to focus your efforts (and budget). For example, maybe Twitter brings more traffic to your page, but Facebook creates more leads and conversions.
You can use that information to help set relevant and realistic goals. Then, use UTM parameters to track your progress.
Using Split-Run Testing with UTMs
In this you can conduct a test on two social media posts or two content on your web page with same content topic in two different formats and confirms the theories about what work better and what kind of content is preferred by the audience.
For e.g., you can put up a post regarding a new tool offered by your company one in a blog post format and one in a video format. By using UTMs in this one can actually compare the data extracted out of these two posts and determine which was driving in more traffic, conversion and leads etc.
Maybe you’ve always assumed that social media posts with videos are preferred. But is that actually true for your audience?
With UTM codes you can test this theory. you’ll need more than one test to prove a theory. If you find that videos do perform best, you can move on to testing what kinds of videos work best. You can get more and more detailed to further refine your strategy.
Internal Links should not have UTM Tags
UTM codes are used to track data on traffic coming to your website or landing page from outside sources (like your social profiles). For links within your website UTM parameters can confuse Google Analytics and cause tracking errors for links within your website (for example, between blog posts).
Yann Kerveant, a Marketing Analytics Strategist highlighted that “error can actually have a substantial effect on the quality of your data in Google Analytics, because it corrupts your source data in a major way like-
- It triggers artificial session multiplication because every time a new internal campaign is clicked, a new session starts. More specifically, a new session is triggered each time the campaign name (the utm_campaign parameter, mandatory for any session) changes.
- Conversions are incorrectly attributed because the initial source from which the user came to the site is lost. In traffic source reports based on the last click, the conversions made via an internal campaign are uniquely attributed to the internal campaign and not to the source that really brought the user on your site.
- The bounce rate will artificially go up because sessions that are artificially split up will be counted as bounces (sessions with a single interaction).
- The average session time will be artificially low because all sessions counted as bounces have a session time of zero.”
So, never use UTM codes on internal links.
Tracking Influencer’s Efficiency with UTMs
Influencer’s marketing is turning out to be an essential part of marketing nowadays and a great add on to your social media marketing strategies. But monitoring their efficiency can be a huge task. For this unique UTM tags can be used for each influencer tracking their posts and extracting out the data regarding how much traffic those posts sent to your websites, which post is more effective and highly liked. Through this you can decide upon which influencer is helping you generate more leads and driving in more traffic and to decide what kind of influencers you need for your brand.
Creating Conversion Funnel with UTMs
Funnels make it easier to see this process (or processes) by providing a visual representation of the conversion data between each step. As a result, we can:
Determine which steps are causing customer confusion or trouble.
Determine what language or copy may be influencing our customers’ emotional behaviour during checkout or sign up.
To be aware of bugs, browser issues, and other technical annoyances.
the stages of conversion funnel can be segemnted into five parts as explained below in detail-
This is the stage of the funnel where you work on attracting potential customers to your website. Your next step should be to examine how you drew these customers in (social media, search results, PPC, your blog, etc.).
During this phase of the conversion funnel, you’re working to pique shoppers’ interest in your product or service. Your webpage and content are the more powerful pieces for this phase. You want to form a closer relationship with customers in the interest phase, and a prime way to do this is by capturing their email.
In this phase you need to build on the interest phase now that you have a shopper’s attention. Use higher-level, more attention-grabbing elements that focus on the details.
.This phase is when the buyer takes your desired action. It could be signing up for your newsletter, but we are focused on converting them into customers. it’s time to focus on your product here to ensure you’re removing friction and doing all you can to encourage shoppers to place items in their cart.
This is the step in most conversion funnels that are missing, but that is extremely important for e-commerce businesses. Retention is a crucial aspect of growing an online business because you’re generating revenue from customers you a) don’t need to pay to acquire, and b) have already demonstrated huge interest in your brand. Inviting them to sign up for your social media channels or email newsletter so you may market to them later. Send them a coupon or promotion via email. Include marketing or loyalty materials in their shipment to encourage them to come back.
Here is an example on how to create a conversion funnel.
The top of our funnel has page views based on the utm source, utm medium, or utm campaign that is most relevant to you. Here I took utm source=fb (fb for facebook). So, ideally, this should show me how many times the specific link with utm source=fb has been clicked.
In the next step of the funnel, we counted the number of times the relevant Call-to-Action was clicked which is quite important to us.
And that how we go on adding segments step by step to create a conversion funnel.
If your funnel contains more meaningful steps, you can calculate the conversion rate for each one.You can use the data to determine which parts of your funnel can be improved. If we want to increase the number of page views, we can concentrate on acquisition; if we want to increase the number of participation, we can concentrate on activation, and so on.
Documenting Naming Conventions
Consider the five UTM parameters and begin to consider how you will describe the various categories. Keep in mind the importance of consistency. Inconsistent UTM parameters result in insufficient and inaccurate data.
You might be having a lot of people working on your social media and web page UTM tracking. Create a master list of UTM parameters for higher-level items like source and medium to keep everyone on the same page. Then, create a style guide outlining the rules to follow when developing custom campaign parameters.
Ensure that everyone who needs to use UTM codes has access to this document. You may, however, want to restrict the ability to make changes to one or two key people. Documenting the naming conventions (rather than remembering them all) aids in the preservation of all of your hard work. It means that your company’s critical data is correct regardless of who creates a new UTM link.
Fine-tune your Ad Campaigns with UTMs
Pupford’s marketing manager uses UTM parameters to track very specific details about his Facebook ads. “Using UTMs has allowed us to analyse our Facebook ad campaigns on an extremely granular level,” says Devin Stagg. I’ve created a Google Sheet to help us categorise our campaigns as granularly as age ranges targeted, how the ads were optimised, specific images used, and targeted and more.
Pupford can also refine its ad campaigns on a granular level as a result of this.
“When these parameters are in place, it allows me to go into Google Analytics and very specifically refine our ad – and even organic – efforts,” Devin explained.
He can see how much traffic or conversions come from ads targeting people who are interested in ‘Labrador Retrievers.’ This has assisted them in determining which types of dog owners perform best on their site, allowing them to tailor ad copy and imagery to them.
UTM Analytics for your Email Marketing
Email marketing is a tried-and-true marketing strategy that almost every business employs in some form or another. Furthermore, it is adaptable enough to meet a wide range of marketing objectives, including lead generation and retargeting.
There are two ways to incorporate UTM codes into your emails. The first method is to generate a UTM code for each email element and then manually copy and paste the code. The second method is to use an email marketing tool that generates and inserts UTM parameters into your emails automatically.
We will not go into detail on how to activate the “UTM codes” option for each tool because different marketers use different email marketing tools. We will, however, explain how to manually enter UTM codes for email tracking using UTM.
Here’s a simple two-step process for adding UTM codes to your emails for email tracking–
Generating UTM codes is quite simple if you’re aware of the various UTM parameters and their uses. UTM codes are basically URLs with UTM parameters added at the end. The most common UTM parameters are the source, medium, and campaign parameters.
After you have created UTM codes for each email element, all you need to do is copy and paste it to replace the original link with the new UTM link.
You can follow the same process for adding any other links to your emails by replacing the actual links with the newly-generated UTM links.
After you’ve tagged the links in your email campaigns with UTM codes and sent your campaign, you can open your analytics tool and begin tracking the traffic it generates. There are numerous reports available, and we covered some of the more advanced ones in this post on Google Analytics reports.
One of the most important aspects of your business to understand is your “open rate.” An open rate refers to how many people view any email or message you send to your customers.
Then, you’ll want to focus on your “click-through rate” (CTR) to see how many people examine or study the links you’ve included in your emails. If your CTR is high, you’re probably getting a lot of interaction from your customers.
Finally, you should investigate your conversion rate. These are the browsers who eventually took the next big step toward becoming a loyal customer. Subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for a free trial, or purchasing one of your products are all examples of this step. for a free trial or to buy one of your products.
Using UTM Tags to increase Facebook Ads Efficiency
Facebook understands the significance of parameters in your ads and has made it easier to track them via Facebook Ads. Select or create a campaign in Ads Manager, then go to the Ad level, create a new ad, or select an existing one. Scroll down to Build a URL Parameter and enter your website URL as well as the parameters you want to track.
You can make your own custom URL parameters or use the dynamic parameters pre-made by Facebook.
Facebook Dynamic Parameters offers the benefit of auto-populating the values based on the information you input into your campaign. For example, if you want to auto-populate your campaign name for the utm campaign parameter in order to track a specific campaign, click the box next to “Campaign Name” and select the campaign. name option. This is just one example of a UTM code, but utm campaign is one of the most important parameters to understand and effectively use when developing a marketing campaign.
Then, in the Parameter Preview box, you would see your updated website URL.
How do you find this information in Google Analytics now that you’ve set up your dynamic parameters on Facebook?
Navigate to the Acquisition tab and select All Traffic. You can then access UTM codes via Channels, Source/Medium, Social, or All Campaigns. These tabs provide a more detailed picture of where your website’s traffic is coming from, including the Facebook parameters you’ve configured.
For more detailed Facebook analytics, click on the tab where you can get data on goal tracking and conversions, plugins, sources & pages and users flow.
UTM as Offline Marketing Tool
UTMs are frequently used to track social media, but they should also be included in email signatures, app links, and social share buttons.
They’re also great for tracking offline marketing efforts via branded links on flyers, billboards, coupons, t-shirts, business cards, and television commercials.
Using a branded link makes it easier for customers to remember the URL and enter it into their browser’s address bar. While the hidden UTMs will allow you to track the impact of your offline marketing materials on website traffic. It’s the most effective way to see this in Google Analytics. Simply use a different branded link for each flyer or poster.
Potential Drawback in UTMs
There is one potential issue that marketers must consider when using UTM parameters. When these tags are appended to URLs, they do not change automatically when the links change platforms or medium. A customer, for example, could copy and paste a link from your Twitter campaign to Facebook. Any potential clicks from that link would still be reported as coming from Twitter in Google Analytics.The majority of people share links by copying and pasting them. They usually only pay attention to the URL structure if it becomes too long to fit in the browser. However, if they remove the UTM parameters, it may appear as direct traffic in your analytics again.
Errors while using UTMs
UTM codes are case-sensitive. That means facebook, Facebook, FaceBook, and FACEBOOK all track separately. If you use variations, you’ll get incomplete data for your Facebook UTM tracking. Keep everything in lower case to avoid data tracking problems
Use underscores instead of spaces as it will create multiple codes for the same thing, skewing your data.
For example, organic-social, organic social, organicsocial, and organic social will all track separately.
If your UTM codes are simple, you’re less likely to make mistakes when using them.
Check your reports regularly for wonky codes and watch for any mistyped UTM codes so you can correct them before they skew your data
Common FAQs on UTM Analytics
Will tagging URLs with UTM parameters affect search rankings of my website?
No. It will in no way affect your site’s search rankings. It does not improve and does not degrade your web site search rankings.
When indexing a page on your website, you can tell Google what URL it should use. If you have the URL of a page, you could add it.
Your website’s section. This tells Google to always search results with the use of http://yoursite.com/sale. This ensures that any parameters that you add (UTMs or not) to your search results do not affect the way your website displays.
Should I use UTM parameters for internal links on my website?
Let me first give you an example to why the idea is so bad. Let us say that you have put out a new blog post, An amazing way to do a wonderful thing. On Twitter, you shared it. You click on the link and you reach the website www.yoursite.com/blog/super post. They want to go to your homepage when they’re ready. The link to the http://www.yoursite.com/?utm source=blog is available. The information the user came from Twitter you have just lost. The visitors are from your analytics report and not Twitter, the blog. If you want to know what visitors are doing on your website, use the capabilities of your analytics tool.
Does custom UTM parameters affect the in-built reporting on social referrals?
If a URL does not contain any UTM parameters, Google will examine the referenced URL and match the URL with a list of hundreds of social network websites. The visit is attributed to social traffic if there is a match.
If a URL has UTM settings and the utm medium is social, social, media, sm, social or social networks, the visit is also a matter of social traffic. So the right utm medium value is very important to use. Note that ‘twitter’ isn’t a medium. It’s a well.
If a URL has UTM parameters and utm medium is not one of them, it will not be counted as a social network visit. However, it will appear in other traffic reports e.g. Campaigns report.
Do UTM parameters make a URL less trustworthy that gets fewer clicks?
It depends on your specific situation. Short URLs with little or no visible tracking information instinctively feel more confident and clickable. But you should test both scenarios before arriving at any conclusion (with and without tracking information).
But you may also in some cases hide the ugly long URLs.
It’s a good way to hide tracking information with shorteners. Reduced URLs can be shared much more easily on social networks.
In an email, you can mask tracking URLs with a call-to-action anchor text. Also, shortened URLs can be used.
Where do I find data for utm_term and utm_content in Google Analytics?
You can see a primary dimension line, followed by several links, in most Google Analytics reports. Usually the last one is marked Other. Click on the Acquisition button. The ad contents matching utm content are displayed. Keyword is also equivalent to utm term.
Should I add a slash (/) when tagging my URLs with UTM parameters?
Basically this question asks if you are using http://www.example.com/?utm source=witter (/ before) or http://www.example.com?utm source=twitter. Copy these two URLs and paste them into your browser before I give you my answer. What do you see? What are you seeing?
You will find that even when there was no slash, the browser added a slash to the URL. If you do not add a slash, it does not affect anything. But since it is a convention (including a modern browser), just stick with it and add it in any way.
Is there a character limit for each of the UTM parameters?
The UTM parameters are not subject to any inherent character limit. But you should keep them quite brief for a couple of reasons.
A URL of fewer than 2000 characters will work with any combination of browser and web server without going into technical specifications. Even if the UTM parameter is no limited together with the destination URL, the last URL contains approximately 2000 characters.
It’s a good practice to maintain short and meaningful UTM parameters. In reports, charts, etc., you need to make sense. You should look great and intuitive.
In a nutshell, UTMs is one of the great tools ever developed and a major player in any online marketing strategy helping one to track down the useful data about their audiences and using it in the right manner will result in positive outcomes for your brand.
So, want more on this?
Here is a video by Bree Kuryk explaining Best Practices for Google Analytics UTM Parameters.
Image courtesy : Facebook Comments Box