How to Use UTMs to Track Paid Marketing Campaigns

When running paid marketing campaigns, getting detailed campaign data can make it much easier to achieve an ROI from your marketing.

When I have access to detailed data, I can optimize campaigns with precision. Making it easier to double down on what’s working and cut what’s failing.

My problem, though, is that in most cases such data often isn’t accessible by default.

However, you can overcome this issue by using something known as an ‘Urchin Tracking Module (UTM)’.

If you have no idea what a UTM is, or how you can use one as part of a paid marketing campaign, don’t worry.

In this post, we’re going to explore what UTMs are and how you can use them to track data related to paid marketing campaigns.

We’ll explore the best practices when using UTMs to track paid marketing campaigns, as well as some of the common pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid.

By the end of this post, you’ll understand how to use UTMs and paid marketing alongside each other, so that future campaigns can achieve a high ROI.

Let’s begin!

 

What are UTMs and how do they relate to Paid Marketing?

As mentioned above, UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module.

That sounds complicated, but the Urchin part just comes from the name of the company that invented the approach, and the name stuck even after the company was acquired by Google.

In simple terms UTMs are unique URLs you can create to track specific sources of traffic.

You can use Google Analytics and UTMs, in combination with one another, to create a report that provides key information on how people are reaching your site.

When combined with paid marketing, UTMs are powerful, because now you can see exactly which ads people are using to reach your landing page, as well as which ads or keywords are driving the most conversions.

You can then use that data to figure out where you should be spending more money.

One of the great things about using UTMs is that they’re free. Creating a UTM costs you nothing, and using Google Analytics to analyze the data, is also free.

Odds are you’ve already seen a UTM link before, but just didn’t realize that you were looking at one.

Below is an example of what a URL, using a UTM format, looks like.

Each section of the URL, is designed to provide a different set of data based on a single traffic source.

These individual sections of UTM URL are known as ‘parameters’ and there are parameters for the following –

  • Source
  • Medium
  • Campaign
  • Content (optional)
  • Term (optional)

The ‘Source’ section is generally the broadest Parameter of the UTM.

This parameter lets you know where traffic is generally coming from.

So, for instance, if my website was www.effinamazing.com and I was creating a UTM link designed for a banner ad using AdWords I would use ‘utm_source=Adwords.’

Here’s an example of a UTM link –

http://www.effinamazing.com/?utm_source=AdWords&utm_mediumcpc&utm_campaign=camp1&utm_term=keyword&utm_content=image

If people click on the banner that uses that link, I can then go into the ‘Source’ section within Google Analytics, and tell that this site is driving traffic to my landing page.

The next parameter is ‘Medium’.

This parameter relates to the ‘how’ the traffic got to you, and helps identify what people ‘used’ to get to your landing page. Mediums are sometimes also referred to as ‘channels.’

To better illustrate this point, here are some examples of ‘Mediums’.

  • Social
  • Email
  • Feed
  • Banner
  • CPC
  • Display
  • Affiliate
  • E-book
  • Print
  • Billboard
  • Partner
  • QR Code
  • Widget

If my Medium is a banner ad, the UTM link will look like this –

http://www.effinamazing.com/?utm_source=AdWords&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=camp1&utm_term=keyword&utm_content=image

By using this parameter I can go into Google Analytics, and review data relating specifically to how my banner ads are performing and I can do the same for UTMs that make use of other Mediums.

The ‘Campaign’ section relates to the ad/marketing campaign that you want to track.

For instance, if I was running a banner ad that belonged to a marketing campaign aimed at generating CRO leads, my UTM URL would look like this –

http://www.effinamazing.com/?utm_source=adwords.com&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=croleads

With this parameter, I can then use Google Analytics to review campaign data and see what exactly is driving the success of my campaigns, in relation to the other UTM links.

For example, I might have a campaign called CRO leads, but I might promote it using banner ads and cpc ads.

If I have UTM tracking enabled, I can go into Google Analytics and see which ‘Medium’ is producing the best results for this campaign.

If you’d like to learn more about how Google Analytics can help you track UTMs, we cover it in a lot of detail in this post.

There’s also a ‘Content’ option.

As mentioned this is optional, but can be very useful when trying to split test campaigns or if you want to figure out where the best results are coming from, in relation to a specific ‘Source.’

If I’m running multiple banner ads on the same webpage, say one in the sidebar and one in the footer, I can use the ‘Content’ segment of a UTM to separate out the identities of the two banners.

So for the sidebar banner, I would use ‘utm_content=sidebarbanner.’

As shown here –

http://www.effinamazing.com/?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=camp1&utm_content=sidebarbanner

If I’m also using a footer banner, then I would change the parameter to ‘utm_content=footerbanner’ and use this link –

http://www.effinamzing.com/?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=camp1&utm_content=footerbanner

Then when reviewing the campaign as a whole, I can segment out the results generated by the different banner ads.

Lastly there is the ‘Term’ option.

This generally relates to the keywords that are driving traffic to your site and is mainly used for  paid ‘search campaigns’.

This parameter is also optional, as if you are using ‘Auto-tagging’ (something we’ll cover later) then AdWords will automatically supply this data to Google Analytics.

However, if you’re running Search Ads using Bing, then you’ll need to use a UTM that includes the ‘term’ parameter. Otherwise you won’t be able to tell which keywords are driving which results.

There is a feature provided by Bing, however, that does this for you automatically – again, something that we’ll cover later.

Here’s a great summary, of what the different parameters do and how they relate to each other.

UTM Parameter Summary

So, now that we’ve covered what UTMs are and how they work, let’s take a look at some best practices you’ll want to follow, before using them as part of your marketing campaigns.

 

Best practices when using UTMs as part of your paid marketing campaigns

By understanding how to properly set up UTMs ahead of time, you’ll have a better appreciation as to why certain rules are followed, later on in the post.

The first thing we’re going to cover, is the use of ‘hyphens.’

When building out your UTM links, you might be tempted to use underscores, or some other form of punctuation to make UTMs easier to read. However, doing so, could mess up Google Analytics’ ability to track UTMs.

Google recommends that you use hyphens instead of underscores when creating URLs, because other forms of punctuation could lead to errors when collecting data.

Formatting and UTMs

By using hyphens and no other form of punctuation, you can reduce the odds of your UTMs producing misleading data.

The next thing we’re going to look at is the use of capitalization.

UTMs are case sensitive and so it can be a good idea to write everything in lowercase.

Doing so will help ensure that you have a standard way of writing UTMs and that you don’t have two different data sets for one specific form of traffic.

And so, in a similar vein, you’ll  want to also ensure that you’re using a ‘standardized approach’ when creating all of your UTMs.  

For instance, if you’re creating UTMs for Bing Ads, don’t call your Source ‘Bing’ one month and then ‘Bing PPC’ the next.

You need to clearly define, ahead of time, the parameters you’re going to use for each aspect of your UTM links.

You then need to stick to the rules you have laid out.

By keeping things consistent, it is much easier to review and compare campaigns overtime and therefore build a large dataset that will provide deeper levels of insight.

Note: This is actually really easy to do using the ‘Presets’ feature found in the Effin Amazing UTM builder, that we created specifically to help those creating UTM tags. We’ll cover this in more detail later.

You’ll also want to make sure that you’re using ‘time stamps.’

Using time stamps makes it easier for you to compare how certain traffic sources are doing over time. It’s also makes it easier to prevent yourself from creating duplicate UTM links.

Say you’re creating a promotional campaign for ‘hiking boots’ and the offer is ‘10% off.’

When time stamping you’d use ‘utm_campaign=hikingboots10percentsale-12-21-16’ as opposed to ‘utm_campaign=hikingboots10percentsale.’

And then if you run a campaign 2 months later, you’d change the time stamp so that it reads –  ‘utm_campaign=hikingboots10percentsale-02-21-17’.

By doing things this way, you can stop duplicates from being created whilst also making it easy to compare how the same campaign performed, on different dates.

It’s also worth mentioning that you shouldn’t make your UTMs too complicated.

It can be tempting to overcomplicate your campaign name, especially if you’re trying to hide what you’re doing from, your competitors.

However, it’s better to just to keep things as clear as possible.

This will ensure that it is easy to review data at a later time period – especially if someone other than you needs to use the data to make decisions.

On top of that it can also be a good idea to shorten your URLs.

We’ll cover this in more detail later, but by shortening your URLs you’re able to make them easier to work with, whilst also improving the odds that they’ll work with various paid advertising platforms.

You can shorten URLs using Bit.ly.

So now that we’ve covered some UTM best practices, let’s take a look at how you can easily create one!

Creating UTM codes for Paid Campaigns

If you want to create UTM codes for your campaigns, there are two approaches that you can take.

One option, is to visit https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/ and use the Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder.

Google URL Builder

When using this tool you have to manually put in all your parameter information and then the tool will create a UTM url for you, using that information.

The other option, is to use the utm.io UTM Builder.

Whilst we have our own obvious motives for promoting this chrome extension, there are some genuine benefits to using the utm.io tool, over the Google URL Builder.

The main benefit, is that the tool allows for you to maintain best practices without too much hassle.

That’s because by using the tool you can create ‘Presets.’

This will help ensure that you don’t accidentally create different variations of identical parameters, thereby keeping your Google Analytics data well organized.

It’s also really easy to quickly shorten your URL, removing the need for you to visit Bit.ly and do this manually.

To use the tool, all you have to do is visit the landing page you’re using for the paid campaign and click on the icon in your Chrome toolbar.

Then the landing page URL is automatically loaded in, ready to be turned into a UTM link.

If presets enabled, then the UTM fields can be quickly populated. If not, you can just enter in the needed information, in the correct fields.

Using UTMs for AdWords

As mentioned, AdWords allows for Auto-tagging.

When Auto-tagging is enabled Google will create its own type of UTM link using a parameter known as the ‘Google Click Identifier,’ of which is shortened to ‘glicd.’

If you look below, you’ll see how a normal URL, is changed into a trackable link, once Auto-tagging is enabled.

Gclid Example

The good thing about Auto-tagging, is that it removes the need for you to manually create UTM parameters, as Google is doing all of the ‘tagging’ for you.

On top of that, Auto-tagging allows for you to gain heck of a lot more data than you would have otherwise been able to gather, using standard UTM parameters.

Just take a look below and you’ll see all the other forms of data that you’ll be able to glean from Auto-tagging, when compared to standard UTMs.

Auto-tagging and Manual Tagging

The problem, however, is that glicd parameters can only be used by AdWords and Google Analytics.

If you’re using a 3rd party tracking solution like Amplitude (link to their site using UTMs), for instance, then you’re not going to be able to garner much in the way of data, because the platform simply won’t be able to decipher the ‘gclid’ parameters being used.

So…

If you only want to use Google Analytics to monitor website traffic, then you don’t need to create UTMs for your links and you can enable Auto-tagging and just leave things as they are.

If that’s what you want to do, then you can enable Auto-tagging, by logging into AdWords and clicking on the ‘cog’ icon in the top right hand corner of the screen.

Click on AdWords Settings

Then select ‘Account settings.’

Then, under the ‘Tracking’ headline click on ‘Edit.’

AdWords Tracking

Click the checkbox, to enable ‘Auto-tagging.’

Enable Auto-tagging

When you click ‘Save changes’ you should then see the following, letting you know that Auto-tagging is enabled.

Enabling Auto-tagging

However, if you want to use a 3rd party solution, as well as Google Analytics to gather and study data, then you’ll want to make use of a hybrid solution.

This is possible, as you can use UTMs alongside Google Analytics.

That is because Google Analytics will first check if it can use a ‘gclid’ parameter and then If it can’t, it’ll use a UTM parameter instead.

This will ensure that your 3rd party solution tracks data, without removing your ability to track detailed AdWords data within Analytics.

The flowchart below, does a great job at showing how this process takes place.

Google UTM Reference

If you want to enable this hybrid approach, you first need to login to Google Analytics and click the ‘Admin’ option.

Google Analytics Admin

Make sure you’re dealing with the right ‘Property’ and then click on ‘Property Settings.’

Property Settings

Scroll down and under the ‘Advanced Settings’ header, click on  ‘Allow manual tagging (UTM values) to override Auto-tagging (GCLID values) for AdWords and DoubleClick Search integration.’

Advanced Analytics Settings

Once you’ve done this, you’ll then be able to use UTMs as part of your AdWords ads, tracking data in both Analytics and 3rd party solutions.

When you use this hybrid approach, make sure that you are very careful when creating UTM parameters.

If you fail to maintain precision there is going to be a variation in terms of the data that you’re gathering from Google Analytics and the data that you’re gathering from your 3rd party tracking solutions.

This, of course, can lead to issues later on down the line, especially if you’re going to compile your data.

You can also create ‘Dynamic AdWords UTMs.’

This is where you place certain parameters within a UTM and then Google will pass on the relevant information.

Using Dynamic UTMs is a good idea, because they allow for you to gather detailed information about a campaign.

The parameters provided, will help you work out the following –

  • If the click came from the Search Network or if it originated from the Display Network
  • Which Keyword triggered the ad and caused it to be clicked
  • Which Creative was clicked
  • Which site sent traffic

If you want to figure out which ‘Network’ sent the traffic, you can use the following parameter –

Network={ifContent:Content}{ifSearch:Search}

So, if you were create a UTM (I’ve kept it basic, just to make it easy to spot how this parameter fits in), it would look like this –

http://www.effinamzing.com/?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=camp1&Network={ifContent:Content}{ifSearch:Search}

Note: You can adjust the section after the ‘colon’ to suit your own reference. For instance, instead of using the above formatting, you could use – ‘{ifContent:display}{ifSearch:searchad}’

Creating parameters this way is known as ‘ValueTrack.’

ValueTrack Parameters

If you’re interested, Google covers this in more detail here.

 

If you want to track the Keyword, which led to the ad to being clicked, you can use the following parameter – 

kw={keyword}

Here’s how it would look, within a UTM –

http://www.effinamzing.com/?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=camp1&kw={keyword}

This parameter is relatively basic, and so there’s not much else to be covered.

If you want to track which ‘Ad’ sent traffic, you can use the following parameter – 

ad={creative}

Here’s how a UTM would look, when using that parameter –

http://www.effinamzing.com/?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=camp1&ad={creative}

Keep in mind, that when using this parameter, Google is only going to track the ‘Ad ID.’

As a result, you’ll need to develop a way to match up Ad ID’s with the data collected by your UTMs.

Thankfully, you can easily find this information by going to the ‘Ads’ tab within Adwords. Once there, click on the ‘Columns’ option and select ‘Modify columns.’

Modify Columns

Then click on the ‘double arrows’ next to ‘Ad ID.’

Display Ad ID

You’ll now see Ad ID’s next to the ads.

Finally, you can also track the site that sent the traffic. You can do that using this parameter – 

SiteTarget={placement}

Here’s how it would look, within a UTM –

http://www.effinamzing.com/?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=camp1&SiteTarget={placement}

As with the Keywords option from before, there isn’t much else to say about tracking sites.

So that’s how you can use Dynamic UTMs to improve your AdWords tracking.

Now let’s take a look at how you can use UTMs for Facebook Ads.

 

Using UTMs for Facebook Ads

UTM’s work well for Facebook Ads, and if you’ve clicked on an ad like the one below, you’ve probably helped someone track data, using UTMs.

Example of Facebook Ad

The process of using UTMs for Facebook Ads is somewhat simpler.

The key to getting this right, is creating an effective UTM in the first place of which makes it easy for you to work out what you’re tracking.

Let’s say that I’m using an ad for Facebook that is designed to generate ‘conversion rate optimization leads,’ shortened to – ‘croleads.’

My UTM Parameters for my Facebook ad will therefore look like this –

Website URL: http://www.example.com

Source: facebook

Medium:cpc

Campaign:croleads-01-18-25

Content:newsfeed-ad1

So the UTM link becomes –

http://www.example.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=croleads-01-18-17&utm_content=newsfeed-ad1

When it comes to the ‘Medium’ parameter, what you pick will depend on how you’re doing things. For instance, if you’re running an ad where you are charged per impression you might want to change the Medium to ‘cpm.’

Additionally, I didn’t necessarily have to use the ‘Content’ parameter, but doing so let’s me view the performance of that specific ad. If I do this, it is important that I give my ad the same name as it is given in Facebook.

This will make it easier to combine datasets from Facebook and Google Analytics, if I ever need to.

Note: If you are going to run a retargeting ad, then all you need to is change these parameters to reflect what you’re doing. More specifically, you’ll want to adjust the ‘Medium’ so that it reads ‘retargeting.’

This will make it easy for you to view how retargeted audiences behave on your site, when compared to audiences that came from the same UTM parameters, of which weren’t part of a retargeted audience.

You’ll also want to do this if you’re creating a Custom Audience of any kind on Facebook – say an ad that targets those who are on your email list or a ‘Similar Audience.’

When it comes to actually inputting your UTMs into Facebook, you need to be cautious.

If you just enter in the UTM as it is, there is a chance that Facebook will simply strip away the UTM, and send all traffic using a standard URL.

You can overcome this problem, however by using one of two approaches.

One approach, is to enter in your parameters within the ‘Tracking’ section, using the Power Editor.

Simply get to the stage where you’re creating the ad itself and then paste in your UTM parameters.

Facebook UTM Tracking

You’re not supposed to enter in your ‘Destination URL’ here and you should enter in your destination URL, when initially asked for a campaign URL.

If you don’t trust Facebook to properly track all of this information, then you can simply use a shortened, Bit.ly version of your URL and input it when entering in the destination URL.

That approach can be easier for some, especially if you’re using the Effin Amazing URL Builder.

So that’s how you can use UTM links alongside Facebook Ads.

Now let’s look at Twitter Ads.

 

Twitter Ads and UTM’s

Though it tends to depend on the ‘type’ of tweet your promoting, most tweets will show the URL for the ad, directly within the tweet.

Here’s an example of a Tweet that is using UTM tracking –

Example of Twitter Ad Using UTMs

As you can see, the tweet doesn’t show the entire URL. But the use of a UTM, directly within the Tweet does make it a little messy. It might also turn some people off, of whom don’t like clicking URL’s that look ‘strange.’

As a result, you might want to consider using bit.ly, to help shorten your links and to make everything nicer. If you’re using the Effin Amazing UTM Builder, then this is relatively easy to do.

The process for using UTMs within Twitter Ads is relatively simple and borrows from a lot of what we’ve covered already.

If I’m following a similar theme as my Facebook ads, these are the parameters I will use –

Website URL: http://www.example.com

Source: twitter

Medium:cpc

Campaign:croleads-01-18-25

Content:promotedtweet1

My link will end up looking like this –

http://www.example.com/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=croleads-01-18-17&utm_content=promotedtweet1

As mentioned, you can shorten this using a bit.ly, to help make things easier.

So when it comes to creating your ad, just insert your bit.ly link in the ‘website URL section.’

UTMs for Twitter Ads

It can also be a good idea to keep your campaign budgets small to begin with, just so that you can double check that your UTMs are in fact tracking data and that your bit.ly links work.

 

LinkedIn Ads and UTM’s

Similar to Twitter, LinkedIn doesn’t really allow for UTM tracking in the way that Facebook does.

This is not a problem, though, since you can just use the same approach that works for Twitter.

So for LinkedIn my UTM parameters will be –

Website URL: http://www.example.com

Source: linkedin

Medium:cpc

Campaign:croleads-01-18-25

Content:textads

…and my link will look like this –

http://www.example.com/?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=croleads-01-18-17&utm_content=textads

I can then turn that into a bit.ly link and add it in when creating my ads.

LinkedIn Ads UTM URL

Keep in mind that if you’re using different kinds of ‘ad formats’ on LinkedIn, you’ll want this to reflect in your UTM parameters.

For example, if I’m running Text Ads, as shown above, then I might be better off having my ‘Content’ parameter as ‘linkedin-textads,’ whilst using the same naming convention for other ad formats.

This makes it is easier for me to review the performance of different ad formats, when all other parameters are equal.

Bing Ads and UTM’s

One of the great things about Bing Ads, is that it has a feature known as ‘Auto-tagging.’

Though not quite as powerful as what you’d get with AdWords, Bing Auto-tagging allows makes it so that Bing automatically creates UTMs for you, based on your campaign.

For the most part, it can be a good idea to set up Auto-tagging because it makes the job of tracking your campaigns much easier.

Note: If you want to use Auto-tagging, double check that Bing follows your own personal conventions when setting up UTM parameters.

If there is a variation between how you personally name parameters,  and how Bing names parameters, it might create some discrepancies in Google Analytics.

Here is an explanation, in terms of how Bing creates UTM tags and how it names parameters –

Bing UTM Tag Explanation

For most people, this shouldn’t be a problem, but it is something worth noting if you’ve been creating your own UTM links for a while now.

Auto-tagging isn’t enabled as standard, so let’s take a look at how you can enable it.

Login to your Bing Ads account and click on the ‘cog’ icon that can be found in the upper right hand corner. After clicking on the icon, click on the ‘Accounts & Billing’ option.

Bing Accounts and Billing

You’ll then want to click on the ‘pencil’ icon, next to the ‘Account’ header.

Edit Bing Ads Account

After doing so, you’ll then see the following page.

Enable Auto Tagging for Destination URLs

Here you can enable ‘Auto-tagging’ by clicking on the checkbox, next to the ‘Auto-tagging’ header.

As you can see, there are two additional options here.

For a start, you have the option to ‘Replace all existing tags.’

Odds are you won’t need to do this, as you probably don’t have any tags in place at the moment. Though if you do this, Bing will essentially recreate your UTM links.

Below you’ll see an example of how tags will be replaced, using the formatting that Bing uses.

Bing will also add other parameters to your UTM links, of which weren’t there before.

UTM Examples

The other option, just allows for you to add missing tags.

Here, Bing will leave your existing tags alone, but add other data that might not be already present.

Using this option can be a good idea, if you want to keep some level of control over your UTM parameters but want Bing to do some of the grunt work related to keyword parameters.

If you don’t want to enable Auto-tagging, then you can just use the bit.ly method that we covered earlier and input your URL when providing the ‘final URL’ of your ad.

 

Print/Offline Ads and UTM’s

Tracking offline campaigns using Google Analytics is possible, though it’ll require a different approach from what we’ve covered so far.

The cleanest way to track offline advertising, is by using something known as a ‘301 redirect.’

Using this method, you create something known as a vanity URL and have it redirect using to a URL that makes use of your UTM parameters.

Tracking Offline Campaigns With UTMs

Doing things this way is a good idea, because now, the URLs you use in your print ads will look clean and reputable.

Yes, you could use bit.ly links in your print ads, but they won’t look professional and they can also make people wary of spam.

Setting up this redirect system up can be a little bit technical. So you might want to consider speaking to a freelancer on upwork.com, so that you can get the job done without fear of making a mistake.

The parameters for a UTM for a print ad might look something like this –

Website URL: www.example.com

Source: marketingmagazine

Medium:print

Campaign:croleads-01-18-25

Content:ad1

Making the final link something like this…

http://www.example.com/?utm_source=magazine&utm_medium=print&utm_campaign=croleads-01-18-17&utm_content=ad1

My vanity URL will end up looking something like this – www.example.com/specialoffer

When creating the Source parameter, be sure to use something that accurately reflects where your ad appears. So if you’re advertising in a certain magazine, use the name of the magazine.

This ensures that you’re later able to decipher which magazines (or offline ads in general) are driving the highest quality traffic.

Using the Content parameter, makes it easy for you to compare ads a later date. You might need to do this if run the exact same style of campaign, but with a variation in the ad.

The vanity url doesn’t really need reflect much of the campaign data, because it is just designed to be memorable and enticing.

Make sure you test all your links, before you send out a print campaign.

Note: You don’t just have to use UTM links for paid offline ads – you can use it for any situation your link is printed on something.

For instance, you could use UTM parameters to track what people do with the link found on your business card.

 

Using UTMs for Banner Ads

If you have paid campaigns where you’re placing banner ads on specific websites, then the use UTMs here is pretty straight forward.

You can just supply the person who is ‘hosting’ the banner ad, with the UTM link that they need to use.

Suppose my website is www.effinamazing.com and I’m placing a banner ad on www.example.com.

When creating UTM ads, my parameters will look like this –

Website URL: www.effinamazing.com

Source: www.example.com

Medium:banner

Campaign:croleads-01-18-25

Content:banner1

The link will look like this –

http://www.effinamazing.com/?utm_source=www.example.com&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=croleads-01-18-17&utm_content=banner1.

The ‘Content’ parameter can be especially helpful here, because it allows for me to monitor how specific banner ads are doing, if they’re on the same webpage.

As a result, when creating the ‘Content’ parameter, you might want to include information related to the kind of banner you’re using. For instance, a header banner or a sidebar banner.

If you need more information, visit the ‘Content’ section in the initial part of the post.

 

The importance of tracking conversions

It’s all well and good knowing which paid traffic sources are sending you the most visitors, but what you really want to know, is which sources are driving the most revenue.

If you don’t know which traffic sources are driving the most revenue, then how can you decide where you should spend more money and where you should stop spending – right?

After all, you might have one traffic source sending a lot of visitors, but producing very little in revenue, whilst another traffic source might be producing greater revenue, with fewer visitors.

So how can you figure out which traffic source is which?

The best way to do this is by tracking conversions and you can do this with the help of Google Analytics.

To setup conversion tracking, login to your Google Analytics account and then click on the ‘Admin’ option.

Google Analytics Admin Section

Then, on the next page under the ‘View’ section, click on ‘Goals.’

Select Goals

Then click on the ‘+NEW GOAL’ button.

Add a New Goal

When tracking conversions, what you track is going to depend on what you’re looking to measure.

However, you will notice that Google Analytics provides a lot of ‘Templates’ that you can use, of which will help inspire your tracking efforts.

Setting up Goals in Google Analytics

If you want to track orders, like I have, select the ‘Place an order’ option and then click ‘Continue.’

On the next page, I get to decide what to this name Goal, as well as the ‘Type,’ meaning what will trigger the Goal.

Goal Names and Type

Picking the ‘Destination’ option is often best for those who want to track orders, as we’ll see later. Once you’re done in this section, click ‘Continue.’

On the next page, I get to decide which ‘Destination’ is going to lead to a ‘Purchase’ goal being created.

Setting up Goal Values

I’ve chosen the ‘thank you page.’  That is because people will see when they’ve completed a purchase.

I’ve also provided an order ‘Value.’

Now when reviewing traffic sources, I’ll now be able to attribute financial outcomes to my varying paid marketing methods.

 

Viewing UTM Data in Google Analytics

If you want to view UTM data in Google Analytics, all you have to do is click on the ‘Acquisition’ option, within the left sidebar.

Tracking UTMs in Analytics

You can then pick the different ‘Dimensions’ to help you better understand your different traffic sources.

You’ll want to spend some time clicking around your analytics section, as doing so you will help you get a better feel for the data that is collected.

 

Conclusion

Understanding how to track your paid marketing campaigns can mean the difference between success and failure.

In this post, we’ve taken a look at how you can use UTM parameters to help you keep track of your paid campaigns and how much revenue they’re generating.

UTM codes can seem daunting at first, but with the help of the Effin Amazing Chrome extension, you’ll be able to build them very quickly.

What matters most, however, is that you use the correct parameters when creating UTMs.

If you can do that, you’ll find it much easier to review your data within Google Analytics and make judgement calls based on what you need to do next.

You might even want to consider creating just a couple of test campaigns, just so that you can get a better sense of how UTM links work alongside paid marketing.

After all, the sooner you learn how UTMs work the sooner you’ll be able to benefit, and what matters most is that you get started.

Best of luck!

Dan McGaw

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *