Have you ever looked at your digital marketing reports and wondered if your campaigns are actually working or not? Are you getting the results you’re paying for, or if you are getting results, are they coming from that expensive digital marketing plan or your networking and referral efforts? There’s an easy way to measure effectiveness of your campaigns that many firms aren’t even using, or don’t have configured properly.
Google Analytics allows you to track actions visitors take on your website, where the traffic is coming from, and much more. UTM (Urchin Tracking Module – an odd name from an old Google acquisition) parameters provide Google Analytics with more context around where your traffic originates, and what marketing campaign to associate it with for tracking purposes.
UTM parameters are code that you put at the end of a website address to tell analytics tools where traffic comes from. They can be used on almost anything – your Google My Business link, social posts, links on third party sites back to your site, and much more.
Why do UTM parameters matter?
Measuring your marketing metrics are critical for you to see what’s working, and what’s not. How does a UTM parameter help you see what’s working?
The example in the section below could tell us the following:
- The visitor came from a Facebook page post.
- The post was associated with your “spring” marketing campaign.
- They landed on one of your recent blog posts, then visited your About page, then visited your Contact page and submitted a form.
Then, in your CRM you see:
- You had two calls with them.
- They signed with you for your services, and paid you $15k in revenue.
So, this simple tracking method connected the money you’re investing into organic marketing efforts (SEO) to $15k in revenue. If this is the only case you got from the efforts in the past quarter and you paid $20k in marketing dollars over the previous quarter, that’s telling you something bad. If you invested $20k in digital marketing, and you got 10 of these $15k clients that are attributable to those services, then your investment is paying off!
How to Implement UTM Codes
Here’s how link tracking with UTM parameters works:
Basic UTM Code: ?utm_source=X&utm_medium=X&utm_campaign=X
Sample Code For A Standard Link: <a href=”https://www.legalscapes.com”>https://www.legalscapes.com</a>
Sample Code for A Link Using The Google UTM Code: <a href=“https://www.legalscapes.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=spring_promo”>https://www.legalscapes.com</a>
Let’s break down the Basic Google UTM code example shown above.
In the example, there are three sections of code, each connected with the “&” symbol. Here’s an explanation of what each section of code means:
utm_source=X (Campaign Source). In this section of the code, X is the source of the link. (e.g. Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc)
utm_medium=X (Campaign Medium). In this section of the code, X is the medium or method of delivery. (e.g. organic, advertisement, mailer, referral, post, etc)
utm_campaign=X (Campaign Name). In this section of the code, X is a name that helps you keep track of your different marketing campaigns. (e.g. spring_promo, mediation, etc)
Let’s look at the final link using the Google UTM code.
The UTM code is simply pasted/added to the end of the regular URL with no spaces.
- The source variable is labeled facebook — the source of the link
- The medium variable is labeled post — the medium or type of marketing
- The campaign variable is labeled spring_promo — the specific marketing campaign
Does the thought of creating the code for these trackable links make you nervous?
Don’t worry! Google Analytics has a free URL Builder you can use to create links tagged with the UTM code at https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en. It’s a simple tool to help you create trackable links — and all you have to do is copy and paste the final link into your site.
Set Up Measuring First, Then Promote
Properly implemented tracking for your website and digital marketing is the first step in getting a marketing machine that works for YOU. Once you’ve got this step down, you’re ready to start actively promoting your site and measuring the results from each marketing campaign.