Do you track your digital marketing campaign’s performance through Google Analytics?
If you don’t, you should. Many website owners do. Those that don’t usually choose not to through a lack of knowledge about how or why to use Analytics to track stats for a website. But even those who take a cursory look at Analytics every now and then may not be aware of some of the cool things you can do to make it better.
One cool thing you can do with Google Analytics is to use UTM parameters. Here, we’ll talk about UTM parameters, including what they are and how you can take advantage of them.
What Are UTM Parameters?
URLs (or links) are pivotal to analyzing traffic and data. We can add certain things to our URLs and links to give us more information that we can then track and study.
UTM parameters are tags that you can add to a link in order to track it. How it works is simple: when someone clicks on a URL that has been tagged with a UTM parameter, Google Analytics receives that tag. You can then use that tag to examine data and figure out how people are getting to your website and clicking on your links.
Creating UTM Parameters
Google Analytics makes it easy for you to create UTM parameters. It gives you a tool called the URL Builder.
The URL Builder allows you to identify:
- Where the traffic is coming from, or the source (i.e. Twitter, Google, a newsletter)
- What medium the link is attached to (such as an email, a CPC ad, social media)
- What campaign you’re using the link with
You can create campaigns and use URL Builder to help you tag these campaigns for better tracking.
Let’s say you have an email newsletter and you want to track the success of that campaign in driving traffic to specific sections of your website, say, a new product page. You create an email with a link that goes back to the new product page, slap some UTM parameters on it, then send out the email to your subscribers.
You can then go back into Google Analytics and track how well that link performed. In other words, you can see how much traffic went to that specific web page from that one link in that particular email campaign. This allows you to fine-tune your approach and strategy and help you better execute your campaigns by knowing how effective certain methods are in delivering focused, targeted traffic to your site.
Using UTM Parameters Effectively
It helps to tag just about any URL or link that you have anywhere on your website and any time you send out a link into the ether, whether it’s from social media, emails, ads, or what have you.
For example, you can use UTM parameters to break down social media referral traffic to see if people are clicking on links in your profile or in your status updates (to see which one is more effective). This can be used on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a variety of other platforms.
You can also use them on email signatures and in email messages, to see if people are coming to your website from your individual email (in addition to email campaigns). Furthermore, you can use UTM parameters on social media ads, banner ads, online documents, newsletters, and the like – just about any place where you can use a link.
It’s pretty helpful to know which parts of your digital marketing machine are working best for you. Using UTM parameters in conjunction with Google Analytics is one way to know for sure. And that’s pretty cool.