UTM Tracking: UTM Parameters and Why You Need These Codes
In the realm of e-commerce, marketing is crucial for enhancing store visibility, boosting conversion rates, and driving sales.
But how can you tell if your investment in Facebook Ads or Google Ads is yielding a good return, or if your latest marketing campaign is generating enough online traffic? The solution lies in two words: UTM tracking.
UTM tracking provides the tools to accurately measure the success of your marketing campaigns. By employing UTM parameters in your links, you can attribute website traffic and conversions to individual marketing campaigns, channels, and sources.
This priceless data allows you to refine your marketing strategies, pinpoint top-performing channels, and distribute resources more effectively, ensuring that your efforts produce the best possible results.
In this article, you will gain an understanding of what UTM tracking is, how to use it, and how to keep track of its performance using Datma’s analytics.
Create UTM parameters for UTM tracking
UTM parameters are specific tags appended to a URL to track and analyze website traffic generated by various marketing initiatives. Developed by Google Analytics, UTM stands for "Urchin Tracking Module" and comprises five main components: source, medium, campaign, term, and content.
When a user clicks on a URL featuring UTM parameters, the data within these parameters is transmitted to the analytics tool, and recorded alongside the user's visit data.
This data offers valuable insights into the performance of different marketing initiatives, enabling marketers to gauge the success of various campaigns and channels and make data-driven decisions to enhance their strategies.
UTM parameters example
UTM parameters might seem daunting at first, but they are relatively simple to use once understood. For instance, let’s break down this link with UTM parameters:
? indicates to your analytics software that a series of UTM parameters will follow
utm_source=linkedin identifies the traffic source. This shows that the link was shared on LinkedIn. When users click on this link from LinkedIn, the UTM parameter "linkedin" will be recorded by the website's analytics tool, allowing the website owner to track the traffic generated from this specific source
& shows that another UTM parameter will follow
utm_medium=social denotes the medium through which the link was shared, in this case, "social." This signifies that the link was part of a social media campaign. Again, when users click on this link, the UTM parameter "social" will be captured in the website's analytics, offering insights into the effectiveness of social media as a marketing medium
& indicates that another UTM parameter will follow
utm_campaign=blog_article represents the specific marketing campaign linked to this URL, named "blog_article." By incorporating this UTM parameter, the website owner can measure the performance and success of this particular campaign in terms of driving traffic to the blog post
In summary, this UTM tracking link leads to a blog post titled "Boost the growth of Online Store With Product Analytics" on the website www.datma.io. It was shared on LinkedIn as part of a social media campaign under the "blog_article" campaign name.
The UTM parameters allow the website owner to accurately track the traffic sourced from LinkedIn, identify the effectiveness of social media as a marketing medium, and evaluate the success of the "blog_article" campaign. This valuable data can assist in making data-driven decisions to optimize marketing strategies and improve overall website performance.
However, these are just three out of the five components I mentioned earlier. The remaining two are term and content.
utm_term: This parameter is typically used for tracking keywords in paid search campaigns. It assists marketers in understanding which keywords are driving traffic to their website. For example, "utm_term=grow+online+store" would indicate that the traffic originated from a paid search ad targeting the keyword "grow online store"
utm_content: This parameter is used to differentiate between versions or elements of the same link. It is commonly used in A/B testing scenarios to determine which version of a link performs better. For example, "utm_content=cta_button" and "utm_content=text_link" could be used to test two different call-to-action buttons
A link incorporating all UTM parameters would look like this:
The Advantages of UTM Tracking
Precise Attribution: UTM tracking enables you to accurately attribute online traffic and conversions to specific marketing campaigns, channels, and sources. This level of detail gives insights into which marketing tactics are generating the most valuable traffic and which ones may need to be improved.
Data-Driven Decision Making: UTM tracking offers valuable data and insights that enable data-driven decision making. By analyzing the performance of different marketing campaigns, channels, and sources, businesses can enhance their marketing strategies and allocate resources more effectively.
Campaign Assessment: UTM tracking allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns. By comparing the performance of each campaign, you can identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
Channel Analysis: UTM parameters enable you to assess the effectiveness of various marketing channels, such as social media, email, paid search, and more. This analysis allows you to identify the most productive channels and allocate marketing efforts accordingly.
A/B Testing: UTM tracking is crucial for A/B testing scenarios, where you want to compare the effectiveness of different marketing elements, such as ad creatives, landing page designs, or call-to-action buttons.
ROI Measurement: UTM tracking enables you to accurately calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts. You can determine the cost of acquiring customers or leads for each campaign and compare it to the revenue generated.
Understanding User Behavior: UTM tracking helps you understand how users arrive at your website and how they interact with your content. By knowing the sources and campaigns that lead to conversions, you can tailor your marketing strategies to better engage your audience.
Segmentation and Personalization: UTM tracking allows for segmentation of website traffic based on different sources, mediums, and campaigns. This segmentation enables personalized marketing messages and offers, improving overall user experience and conversion rates.
Third-Party Platforms: UTM parameters are useful for tracking the performance of links shared on third-party platforms, such as social media posts or guest blog contributions. This tracking helps gauge the impact of your content outside your website.
Enhancing Marketing Strategies: By analyzing UTM data, businesses can identify successful marketing tactics, eliminate underperforming ones, and refine their overall marketing strategies for better results.
How to Implement UTM Tracking
Implementing UTM tracking involves a few simple steps:
Set Up UTM Parameters: Decide on the UTM parameters you want to track. The standard parameters include utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign, utm_term, and utm_content. Choose meaningful values for each parameter to ensure accurate data analysis.
Create UTM URLs: Generate UTM tracking links by adding the UTM parameters to your URLs. You can do this manually or use online UTM builders, which simplify the process by generating UTM URLs for you. If you’re looking for an online builder, Google’s Campaign URL Builder is a great choice.
Distribute UTM Links: Use the UTM tracking links in your marketing campaigns, emails, social media posts, advertisements, and other digital channels. When users click on these links, their activity will be tracked using the specified UTM parameters.
Track and Analyze Data: Monitor the performance of your UTM tracking links in your analytics tool, such as Google Analytics or Datma’s Analytics (more on this below). Access the data to evaluate the success of different campaigns, sources, and marketing efforts.
Make Data-Driven Decisions: Analyze the UTM data to gain insights into user behavior, campaign effectiveness, and marketing ROI. Use this information to make data-driven decisions and optimize your marketing strategies.
A/B Testing: If you're running A/B tests or multiple versions of the same content, use different utm_content parameters in the UTM URLs to track and compare the performance of each variation.
Consistency: Ensure consistency in using UTM parameters across all marketing channels. Use the same naming conventions for sources, mediums, and campaigns to avoid duplicate entries and make data analysis easier.
Avoid Personal Information: Don't include any personal information in the UTM parameters. UTM tracking is meant for tracking marketing efforts, not user-specific data.
By following these steps, you can effectively use UTM tracking to gain valuable insights into your marketing performance, optimize your strategies, and improve the overall effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns.
How to track the performance of your UTM tracking links using Datma’s analytics
Tracking the effectiveness of your UTM tracking campaigns can be easily done with Datma’s Analytics Session reports.
All you need to do is create a custom report in the Session tab and select what you wish to analyze. You have a wide selection of dimensions such as, UTM source, UTM medium, and UTM campaign, but also Channel, Marketing Provider and Referring site.
Then, for each dimension you can select custom measures such as, Sessions, Bounce Rate, Product View Rate, Product Impressions, Revenue, etc.
For example, your report could look like this:
|UTM Source||Sessions||Bounce Rate||Unique Visitors||Revenue per session||Session CR||Product Revenue|
|528||76%||456||2 USD||0.19%||59 USD|
|120||50%||300||1.5 USD||0.1%||30 USD|
With the ability to create your own custom report, you can measure the effectiveness of your UTM tracking marketing campaigns in the way that suits your needs best.
If you want to know more about the role and importance of the above measures (sessions, bounce rate, etc), read our article on the most important Web Analytics metrics for your online store.
UTM tracking is a game-changer in the world of digital marketing. By incorporating UTM parameters into your URLs and analyzing the data they provide, you can unleash the full potential of your marketing campaigns.
Embrace UTM tracking as a fundamental tool for gathering insights, optimizing marketing efforts, and achieving better results in your online ventures. Stay data-driven, and watch your marketing strategies soar to new heights.