We’ve tried to make this as easy as possible, but if you need help – just ask!
UTM tags stand for “Universal Transverse Mercator” a fancy word for passing information into your website via a URL query string, when
you see a question mark, text and then equals (example: ?p=1 this is called a querystring
Firstly, you should be tracking all in bound links (everything) with UTM tags – and I mean everything, Email Signatures, Newsletters, Facebook ads, AdWords Ads – anything inbound needs to be tracked.
Because it tells you were the traffic is coming from (i.e. Facebook), the medium (i.e. banner) and gives you a complete picture of what content or advertisements helps you convert.
As long as you have Google Analytics setup it’s easy to add UTM Tags, Google have built a handy tool to do it for you:
The most important thing about UTM tags (and what I neglected 7 years ago) is consistency. Now my data is all over the place and I wish I had a plan from the start – make sure you categorise things, for example the utm_content, will this say “Link” or actually provide the Link it’s going to. People use it differently but I stick to the Google guidelines most of the time.
An example would be as follows – If I send an email out and I want to track different parts of it (let’s say different text links, banners etc) I can do this easily by changing the Campaign Content and the Campaign Medium, Keywords are useful for PPC but Facebook Ads have stopped passing them through – a commercial decision to make more money.
If I had a newsletter and I wanted to track a text link that said “Visit Website’, it would look something like this
UTM_Source = Newsletter
UTM_Medium = A Newsletter is an email, so that is the medium
UTM_Term = What Term was used, I typically prefer to add either the text link or URL. The URL is more useful but you could include both.
UTM_Content = Text_Link – Because this is a link of text not a banner etc.
You will see something like this under Google Analytics > Source
UTM_Source is the source of the link – Newsletter, Email, Advert
UTM_Medium is the type – for example a Banner
UTM_Campaign is a campaign name for your “Campaign”, this could be anything
UTM_Term Is the term that was clicked or used
UTM_Content = Text_Link / Logo_Link
Sometimes you don’t need to use all of these but it’s good practice to ensure that the phrases you use are the same – for example in the source don’t use Social and then Facebook, be specific.
I use UTM tags for my email signatures which has given me a good indication as to what people are clicking on and what I should be focusing on socially.
UTM Tags really are useful when using Adwords as you can pass variables through which means you can track the keyword and the ad set on the advert. It’s amazing how “PPC” many agencies do not use this. If your agency can’t tell you which keyword and ad set is converting – ditch them!
In summary start using UTM tags for any incoming link, it will give you a good idea as to what people are looking at and where you should spend your money.