UTM codes stand for Urchin Tracking Monitor. The name comes from Urchin Tracker which was a web analytics software that served as the base for Google Analytics. These are often used with Google Ads (formally Google AdWords). Marketing in the old days you spent hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on newspaper ads. These ads you often didn’t know the results. Either due to you or your employees not asking how you heard of us or truly thinking the newspaper was making results (e.g. you guessed). Today with technology you often will spend less but demand to know whether the results are working for you. First, you should’ve been asking that question under old school methods but there really was no 100% way of knowing. With UTM codes you can have some pretty accurate methods of how people are reaching you. They also can be used beyond just paid ads if used correctly. We’re going to not only dig into what UTM codes are but how you can use them and how to create them (easily).
With so many channels for marketing from search engines, to other websites, to social media the question of who is coming to your website is only one of the key questions to ask. Yes, it’s good people are coming. It’s even better if they convert and become customers (that’s what we all want). It’s also good to know where they are coming from so that you know if your organic campaigns or paid campaigns are performing the best for you. This is where UTM codes come into play and help you make sound, educated, and informed decisions to grow your business.
UTM codes are simple parameters you add to your website URL (e.g. https://www.jm2marketing.com is an untouched URL). An example of a longer URL would be https://www.jm2marketing.com/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign= Plan+Services+July&utm_term=valparaiso+web+design&utm_content=bluelink. To generate this URM URL we went to Google who gives you this magical “secret sauce” or “pixie dust” to you. They want you to use it as they know, like all good companies, that knowledge is power and the more knowledge you have the more you will use marketing (and they hope Google Ads).
Our example: utm_source=Facebook
The source is where the information is coming from. This is often Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Newsletter, Twitter, etc. This lets you know at a high level where everything is coming from.
Our example: utm_medium=cpc
How is this being used. CPC stands for cost-per-click. The other used command is email. You can use whatever you want but remember to have some consistency. We often use:
Note: Although we have mediums such as magazine and newspaper you do not want to have a user type in these URL’s. You use these on links people would click, not type in.
Our example: urm_campaign=Plan+Services+July
What is the name of the campaign. If you are running ads for specific services or products this is what you will use.
Our example: utm_term=valparaiso+web+design
The term is the keyword phrase that you are using for a specific URL. If you are running the same ad for multiple keyword phrases you should have different URL’s for each of the phrases.
Our example: utm_content=bluelink
Often when you run a campaign you will do what is called A/B testing. With A/B testing you break it into sub-categories (or campaigns). This allows you to have bluelink, redlink, or textlink if you were running three campaigns. The first with a blue button, then a red button, and one that just had a text link. By doing A/B testing you can see what is truly working and what isn’t working.
Often in a newsletter we will use all the same information and change the utm_content to match the link in the newsletter. Rather than using the same URL for every link we will use utm_content=link1, utm_content=link2, etc. where link1 or link2 are descriptive to where they are within the newsletter.
Whether you are marketing the business yourself or someone is doing it for you when it comes push to shove you are a marketer. Marketers need to know what is driving traffic to your site. You need the data to prove it and that data needs to be as accurate and understandable as possible.
Any marketing campaign you do should use UTM codes. Often it is good to use everywhere that you want to track the success of a campaign. They are free to use and the link to the Google campaign builder can be found at https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/.
No blog comments have been submitted yet. Be the first to leave a comment!