Google Analytics only gives you so much at a base level.
You can get a good overview of your traffic at a high level but what if you want to know more?
You can easily see the channels that are sending you traffic, bounce rate, and which pages are your most popular but what if you’re a business utilising multiple different channels? Maybe you’re using social media, CPC, and emails and want to see which of those channels and even, which campaigns, are your most successful so you know where to focus your time.
With UTM parameters, you can see all of this. UTM parameters will show you exactly which channels, all the way down to a specific ad, are sending you traffic, conversions, and leads.
In this blog post we go over what UTM parameters are and how you can set them up to start getting more out of Google Analytics.
What are UTM parameters?
Simply put, UTM parameters are tags that you can add to the end of your urls for better tracking of your marketing efforts.
With UTM parameters, you can send additional information back to your Google Analytics to gain additional insights about your website’s traffic. By using them, you will be able to clearly identify the exact source of your traffic and attribute events and goals to that specific traffic source.
There are five tags (or UTM parameters) that can be used. You should always use at least the first three.
This is the specific source driving the traffic to your website. It could be a social platform, newsletter, search engine or any source.
This tracks the type of channel that is driving the traffic to your website. It could be organic social, CPC, paid social, or email.
The campaign name allows you to track the exact campaign which is sending you the traffic. For example, you could be running a particular ad set campaign on LinkedIn and you want to identify that ad set from all the other ad sets.
Use this when you want to track specific keywords or phrases.
This UTM parameter allows you to go deeper than an ad set level and track the exact ad within the set. For example you might be running a specific video within the ad set, you might call it brand_video.
Here’s an example utlising all of the UTM parameters:
As you can see, all of the UTM parameters come after the ‘?’.
Why use UTM parameters?
Here’s why you should be using UTM parameters in all of your marketing campaigns:
Tracking cross-channel traffic
If you’ve just written a new blog or created a new landing page, you’re probably promoting it across multiple different channels. You may have social media ads, Google CPC ads, emails, and other channels all directing traffic back to the page. While the views and conversions pile up, wouldn’t you want to know exactly which channels are actually generating this website traffic so you can better focus your time on the channels that are actually working? With UTM parameters you can see which channels are bringing you traffic and which ones are resulting in a conversion.
Attributing traffic to different campaigns
If you’re a B2B business chances are you’re running multiple different promotional campaigns, optimising different channels, and maybe you have partners who are also promoting your product. With UTM parameters you can attribute traffic, conversions, and revenue to all of these channels.
Let’s dive a little more into the partner scenario. Many B2B businesses, especially SaaS businesses will run partner programs. Which means that other businesses are selling your product for a share of the revenue. Attributing sales and leads to your partners can be difficult but if you allocate a UTM link to each of the partners, you can track their progress through Google Analytics.
For better A/B testing
Digital marketers and B2B business owners should be A/B testing every campaign they run in order to optimise them as much as possible. An A/B test is running the same campaign at least twice with slightly different properties. This might be a heading, image, or CTA.
With UTM parameters you can link a unique URL to each A/B test to help you identify which one is performing best.
How to set UTM parameters up and how to use them
Now that you know why you need to be using UTM parameters, the question is how do you set them up. While it might sound difficult it’s actually very easy and there’s lots of tools that will do it for you. Let’s run through the steps to setting up a UTM parameter.
Step one – Go to a UTM link builder
As we mentioned, there’s lots of tools out there to help you create UTM parameters. To get started on creating them, head over to Campaign URL Builder.
Step two – enter the details
The next step is to add in the UTM parameters for your UTM link.
To do that, fill in the blanks when you see the above screenshot. Remember to start off with your original link to have the UTM parameters added on as you go.
Once they’re filled out you’ll see a link that looks like this:
Step three – Place into your campaigns
This is the link that you can copy & paste into your digital marketing campaigns to track. Make sure you test it works by pasting it into a URL bar and see if it directs you to the proper page.
Step four – Track the UTM link
To track the UTM link, all you need to do is go into your Google Analytics dashboard, navigate to the Reports menu, and under ‘Acquisition’ click on ‘All Campaigns’. You’ll then see all of your UTM links with their attributed data.
And that’s it. Now make sure you do that for all of your campaigns and you’ll improve your channel tracking and be able to better attribute website tracking and be able to know where you should be focusing your time.