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All You Need to Know About UTM Tags in Your Campaigns4 min read

March 14, 2019
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Monitoring the performance of the content is what primarily differentiates Content Writing from Content Marketing.

Tracking the sources can be tough when there are so many channels where you promote your piece. Google’s Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameter helps you find how people are finding your content.

Diving deep into UTM parameter and how it can help you learn about your online audience, here are the basics and everything you need to know about UTM campaigns.

What is UTM?

A UTM code is a snippet of simple code that you can add to the end of a URL to track the performance of campaigns and content.

An example of a UTM parameter for interlinked blogs

There are five variants of URL parameters used by marketers to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns across traffic sources and publishing media.

They are utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign, utm_content, and utm_term

A combination of the (five) tags can help you develop valuable insights around the channels which are bringing traffic to your site.

  1. Traffic SourceThe source parameter allows you to track where the traffic originated from. The parameter added to your URL is utm_source. Sources you may track could be Facebook, Google, Bing or the name of an email list. The parameter is utm_source.Example: &utm_source=facebook
  2. MediumThe medium parameter tracks what type of traffic the visitor originated from – CPC, email, social, referral, display. The parameter is utm_medium.Example: &utm_medium=cpc
  3. Campaign NameThe campaign name parameter allows you to track the performance of a specific campaign. For example, you can use the campaign parameter to differentiate traffic between different Facebook Ad campaigns or email campaigns. The parameter is utm_campaign.Example: &utm_campaign=retarget
  4. ContentIn case you have multiple links pointing to the same URL (such as an email with two CTA buttons), this code will help you track which link was clicked. The parameter is utm_content.Example: &utm_content=navlink
  5. Keyword TermThe keyword parameter allows you to track which keyword term a website visitor came from. This parameter is specifically used for paid search ads. The parameter is utm_term.Example: &utm_term=growth+hacking+tactics

Why Use UTM Tracking?

  1. Know Where Your Traffic is Coming From The top reason to use UTM tracking is to know exactly where your website traffic comes from. You can accomplish this by using the campaign, source, and medium parameter. For example, if you write an ebook that includes links to your website, add UTM codes to those links like the following: utm_source=ebooks&utm_campaign=agency_playbook. In Google Analytics, you can navigate to Acquisition → All Traffic → Referrals to see which sites generated traffic.
  2. Know Which Links People are Clicking in a Campaign Suppose you run a newsletter. After a few releases, you understand the open and click-through-rate. But do you know which links in your newsletter get the most clicks, and which get ignored? By adding the utm_content parameter to different links in the newsletter, you can track the number of clicks they receive.
  3. Group Traffic by MediumAs part of your marketing activities, you share your content on social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin among others. These show up under the “Social” channel in Google Analytics. By adding utm_medium=social to all links you share on any social channel, you can track your performance across all social networks.The utm_medium parameter is especially helpful for differentiating paid traffic. For example, all of your traffic from Facebook will appear as “social” by default in Google Analytics. If you are running paid campaigns in Facebook Ads, you don’t want that traffic grouped with your organic social traffic, you can add the medium as utm_medium=cpc or utm_medium=cpm to your Facebook Ads URL. This way you can group all paid traffic into one place.
  4. Track Traffic for Different Campaigns

    If you had a new product launch, can you tell with certainty that the traffic came from the launch campaign? For instance, if you were running a new 20% off discount campaign, you could organize all your links like this:utm_campaign=20off&utm_source=facebookutm_campaign=20off&utm_source=googleplus&utm_content=first-link

The point of using UTM code is to take control whenever you can. While you cannot control who shares the blog, you sure can tag your links to track them.

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