Everything You Need To Know About UTM Tracking And UTM Codes
One of internet marketing focuses is to pull new visitors to the client’s website. Campaigns are rolled out to reach this goal and can perform well or fail miserably. A campaign’s success is usually measured by the number of new visitors that come to the website. But how can you measure if these two factors are due to the campaign?
When it comes to campaign tracking, a good option that marketers use is UTM codes. This is a reliable and simple tracking tool to get the impact of a campaign on a site’s performance. Read on to find out more about UTM tracking.
UTM is derived from Urchin Traffic Monitor, which was the base for Google Analytics until it was discontinued. As of now, this web statistics analysis program is mainly used by campaign managers to track their goal progress. Tracking parameters are added in the URL itself, which can be monitored and tracked via tools like Google Analytics.
Here’s an example of a URL:
In this example, the campaign manager can successfully track five parameters with just one link. The parameters added don’t affect the page loading, and are only there to calculate the impact of current campaigns.
Each parameter is separated by “;” while the “?” before the code signifies to the browser that the following characters are only data. It can be measured by accessing Acquisition > Overview > All Traffic > Source / Medium on the Analytics page. Alternatively, you can view the monitoring page by going to Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns.
UTM codes are used for four reasons:
You can find out where the traffic originates from by using UTM. Sources can be anywhere on the internet, but some of the most common sources tracked are social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), Google or other search engines, and email list. The syntax in using this parameter in the URL is utm_source.
Medium, on the other hand, tracks down the type of traffic where the visitor came from. This details the category of the website, such as social, referral, newsletter, organic views, or CPC. You can use this parameter if you’re using multiple traffic sources for a single campaign. UTM medium types can be used with the syntax utm_medium.
UTM name is the specific name that you assign for the campaign that you’re running. Hence, there is no specific standard in using this UTM code. Marketers usually use terms related to the promotional campaign that makes things easily identifiable. In the example above, the campaign name is Summer Sale 2021. You can use this UTM code by adding utm_campaign.
What if you have multiple campaign links in a single content? How can you differentiate what link is getting the clicks? You can do so by using the UTM content parameter. Unlike the three parameters above, UTM content is optional and can be completely omitted if it doesn’t serve any purposes. In the example above, the user clicked on the link by using a “Click Here” button and is denoted with the code utm_content.
Just like UTM content, the UTM Term is optional but can be useful for determining keywords that work for your content. It records what keywords are typically used by visitors when searching for certain topics or items. UTM term is often included in campaigns with paid search ads and is used via the code utm_term.
For shorter URLs, or if you’re only tracking one or two parameters, you can make your UTM codes manually. Just add the “?” after your link, followed by the UTM code. Don’t forget to separate each code with “;” if you’re going to track multiple items.
For three or more items, you can use tools that automate URL generation. AppSpot has a neat URL builder for lengthy UTM links. All you have to do is to enter the parameters in the proper field, and your URL will be automatically generated.
To ensure the best outcome, use a concise UTM naming convention that makes sense. For example, instead of using “social media” as a whole medium, you can just use “social.” If possible, avoid using capitalization, as it messes up with the monitoring. “Reddit” and “reddit” are two separate things in this situation.
Lastly, use a name that can clearly describe the purpose you’re trying to achieve. This consideration is important if you want to add both UTM terms and UTM content. If you cannot avoid using long words or names, you can use link shortener tools. Shortening your URL is especially useful on social media posts.