Utilizing Google Analytics: UTM Codes

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes are one of the most undervalued features offered by Google Analytics. UTM Codes allow you to analyze detailed segments your traffic. Instead of comparing Twitter to Facebook click-throughs; you can find out which Facebook post is generating the most traffic.

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What are UTM Codes?

This allows Google Analytics to track your campaigns more closely. This will help you work out how your audience get to the important information on your website. Then you can exploit these through your online marketing campaigns.

Why should you be using them?

UTM Codes are an easy way to find out from your target audience how they want to be reached. By tracking their routes and clicks to different pages on your website you can easily work out where you need to focus your attention.

For example, if you apply UTM Codes and you find out most of your clients get to your website by clicking on Facebook Ads, you know to increase the budget for Facebook Ads and exploit this audience. Alternatively, if your tracking shows you that barely any of your customers are clicking through on your email links, you now know you need to create more effective emails.

How can you Build your Own UTM Codes?

Google analytics offers a URL builder that allows you to simply input your parameters as UTM Codes. Below is a screen shot from Google’s URL builder:

Google's URL Builder

What do the parameters (codes) look like?

These are used to identify the source – search engine, newsletter or other refferals.

Identify the medium – email, cost per click and other methods of sharing.

Used for paid search to note keywords for an advert. If you connect your Google Adwords and Google Analytics accounts then an auto-tagging feature will be available for you to use instead.

This can be used for A/B testing and content targeted adverts. It can differentiate ads or links that lead to the same URL.

This UTM is used for keyword analysis and will identify specific product promotion or strategic campaign.

Where to use UTM Parameters

Here are some examples when UTM Codes help tracking…

Profile vs. Status

On sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, you may want to see if your profile or status updates are generating more traffic. However this means on Twitter and Facebook the full URL for your website will be displayed. When the URL is extremely long and you don’t want it to negatively impact clicks, use a URL shortener.

Posts from Different Accounts

If you have more than one account, on a social platform, sharing information bout your business you can track which account is generating the most traffic.

Banner Adverts

This can help you decide which sites it is worth spending money on keeping your banner advert on them. You will need to specify the dimensions, colors or banner type.

Posts from Different Accounts

If you have more than one account, on a social platform, sharing information bout your business you can track which account is generating the most traffic.

Newsletters

You may want to see which links in your newsletters are getting the most clicks. Use UTM parameters to analyze if links with graphics, product images or text the most clicks.

Online Documents

If you post documents your audience can download for free then you may want to track which of your documents are sending the most traffic back to your site.

Social Adverts

It is a good idea to setup UTM parameters to track which social platform is sending your website the most traffic. All you need to do is add the parameters to the URL when you are creating the ad.