You have a website… great! You’re active on your social media… fab! You’re driving traffic from social media through to your site… excellent!
But you’re not sure which of your social media campaigns was the most effective at driving the traffic through.
The answer is UTM parameters.
Firstly, what are UTM parameters?
Technically, UTM means Urchin Tracking Module, whose name came from one of the first analytics software developers, Urchin Software Company.
Google then acquired the firm, and we are now all familiar with Google Analytics instead.
But don’t be afraid by its technical-sounding name, UTM parameters are actually simple and easy for you to use.
Put simply, UTM parameters are tags that are added onto the end of a URL.
When a user clicks the link, their click and where it came from is tracked within Google Analytics. The parameters are short text codes that you add using a campaign UTM builder, which we’ll discuss later!
You don’t need to bring in your developer or programmer for help, you can do it all yourself, with ease.
Why should you use UTM Parameters?
As an agency, we use UTM parameters so that we can track the performance of all campaigns that we produce for our marketing clients.
They aren’t just for use by agencies though, they are a great way to keep track of your own social posts and other marketing campaigns.
By using UTM parameters, you can really delve into the success of your digital marketing activity and further understand the effectiveness of these campaigns.
One of the key functions of UTM parameters is tracking the success of your social media posts! There is only so much that the number of likes, comments and shares can tell you about the effectiveness of your social media strategy. It is important to understand how much traffic social drives through to your site - and the way to analyse this is through correct UTM links.
How do you actually build a UTM?
A good tool to build your UTM is:
This is a Google Analytics tool that allows you to easily add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics.
IMPORTANT! Remember not to use spaces within a URL builder, use an underscore _ instead.
Another key note is that you don’t need to keep the extra-long and ugly link on your post, instead you can make it look much prettier by using a URL shortener like bit.ly.
So, how do you create a UTM?
The parameters will include Website URL, Campaign Source, Campaign Medium, Campaign Name, Campaign Term and Campaign Content. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what you would add under each parameter - that’s what we’re here for.
It’s entirely up to your own business as to what words you use to define the parameters - as long as it is consistent, it’s understood by the team and it aligns with your channels within Google Analytics.
This is the link to the page on your website that you are directing the traffic to.
Example - www.ascensor.co.uk
This is the channel within Google Analytics that the traffic will come through.
Example - Email
This is the specific platform within the channel, for example Facebook would be the medium within the Social channel.
Example - Mailchimp
This is chosen by you and it will describe the goal of the traffic. Is it for brand awareness? Or perhaps for direct sales?
Example - Website Design
This will typically only be used if you are wanting to A/B test campaigns against each other. This will therefore be a keyword that describes the variant if everything else is the same.
Example - black_header
This simply describes the type of content that is part of your campaign - is it a banner or an article? Or is it a button or a download?
Example - Email Campaign
Still not sure what to put in your UTM parameters?
Here are some examples which should help put this theory into practice.
The images below show how the parameters would be used for Organic Social versus Paid Social. Although they look very similar, this is where the ‘Campaign Term’ parameter is important! If you don’t add the variant of ‘paid’ or ‘organic’ and use the same link for both, the results from this URL will combine the traffic and this will affect how you understand your campaign’s performance.
his is because you are likely to receive a lot more traffic through Paid Social.
However, if you don’t define the difference between these campaigns then you won’t be able to see the difference between them.
It is vitally important that you can measure the effectiveness of your own campaigns, just as it is for us to measure the effectiveness of ours.
If you’re promoting your business through digital marketing activities then make sure that you are getting valuable insights into what is driving the most traffic, and what could do with a little more work.