UTM Tracking Guide

utm tracking guide

If you do any type of marketing for your business, then it’s important to know where your marketing dollars are going and what type of ROI you are getting on those dollars.

Being able to track all sources of online and offline traffic can tell you what’s working and what isn’t.

With UTM tracking codes, you can get insane insights on what’s working with your marketing efforts.

In this guide, we are going to talk about what UTM tracking codes are and how to implement them correctly.

What is a UTM Code?

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module and its a feature from the free traffic reporting platform, Google Analytics. Urchin comes from the Urchin Tracker, which is the web analytics software that is the base of Google Analytics data.

When you set up UTM codes, you can separate out your marketing campaigns and track specific sources of traffic, specific actions, sign-ups, conversions and more.

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By creating different UTM codes for each campaign, you can view specific data about each campaign and see the direct ROI of that campaign.

For example, let’s say your business is going to run a TV ad, social media ads, and an SEO campaign. Setting up UTM tracking codes for all of these sources will allow you to see which source traffic is coming from and what that segment does on your website.

Example:

https://www.ninjareports.com/signup?utm_content=signup&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=springsale

You can add these parameters to any link to track just about anything.

UTM Parameters

There are 5 different parameters that you can use in order to track different segments.

utm parameters image

Below is a table of the parameters you can use, what their purpose is and an example implementation.

Parameter Purpose Examples
utm_source (required) Identifies which site sent the traffic, and is a required parameter. utm_source=Google
utm_medium Identifies what type of link was used, such as cost per click or email. utm_medium=cpc
utm_campaign Identifies a specific product promotion or strategic campaign. utm_campaign=spring_sale
utm_term Identifies search terms. utm_term=running+shoes
utm_content Identifies what specifically was clicked to bring the user to the site, such as a banner ad or a text link. It is often used for A/B testing and content-targeted ads. utm_content=logolink or utm_content=textlink

Ok, so now that you are familiar with what UTM tracking codes are, let’s talk about how to install and set up them.

How to Implement UTM Tracking

Implementing and using UTM tracking is pretty simple really.

You can use the Google URL Builder to build out your URLs very quickly and easily.

Simply head there and you will see a number of fields to fill in to build your URL:

Website URL

The website URL parameter is required and will be used as the base of your UTM tracking link. This URL should be the exact URL of the page you want the person to land on.

website url google url builder

Examples:

  • https://www.ninjareports.com
  • https://www.google.com
  • http://facebook.com

Campaign Source

Campaign source is the source of the traffic that will be sent to your website. This can be from another website, adverts, or even on your own website.

camapign source google url builder

Examples:

  • google
  • facebook
  • newsletter
  • quora

Campaign Medium

The medium is the type or category of traffic that you will be directing to your website.

campaign medium google url builder

Examples:

  • cpc
  • banner
  • email
  • social
  • referral

Campaign Name

The campaign name is a general name for the campaign that you are using to direct traffic to your website.

campaign name google url builder

Examples:

  • new_year_sale
  • 1_20_2020_sale
  • free_trial

Campaign Term

With the campaign term query parameter, you can identify the paid keywords you are using for your campaign. This way you can track which keywords are providing what actions on your website. The campaign term parameter is not required.

campaign term google url builder

Examples:

  • seo reporting
  • ppc reporting
  • ecommerce reporting

Campaign Content

This is used to differentiate similar links or content in the same ad. For example, if you have two links in an email newsletter, you can use the content parameter to see which link is more effective.

google url builder campaign content

Examples:

  • ad_1
  • advert-3
  • sale_link

Once all of the fields are filled in, you can scroll to the bottom and see the built URL.

campaign url full

Simply click ‘Copy URL’ to copy the URL to your clipboard. Now you will paste this URL wherever you are sending traffic from.

For example, the URL  we created was for Google Ads, so we will add that URL in Google Ads when building out our ad. Optionally, you can also convert the link to a short link so it’s shorter and easier to read.

And that’s it!

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