Your Google Analytics is only as good as your UTM Parameters. Why? Because before you track conversions, leads, or goals, you need identify where your traffic is coming from. UTM Parameters are the way to do this.
What Are Google UTM Parameters?
UTM parameters are placed at the end of your URLs before a campaign launch to help identify inbound traffic.
Here’s a Landing page URL example from an email promotion sent out by No nonsense, a client of ours:
The landing page URL tells No nonsense that this user was ‘sourced’ from SilverPop through the medium, email. The email is part of a promotion campaign that launched on 3/28/2014 about Shoe Solutions.
This is one example from an email. But the options are endless! UTM Parameters can be used for Bing paid search ads, Pinterest, media buys and more.
Should I UTM Everything?!
Generally by default Google Analytics can identify traffic coming directly to your site, free search engine traffic, and Google paid search traffic. Traffic that GA can’t identify tends to get lumped into Referral traffic.
From there, yes! You should tag as much as you can.
Here’s an easy URL Builder that Google Provides to help you get started: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en
Google also describes each parameter in more detail.
You can also build an excel sheet that concatenates the parameters that you want to add to a list of URLS.
This Seems Like a LOT of Work, Why Should I Do This?
Let’s go back to the No nonsense email example.
Since No nonsense UTM’d the email landing page, they can filter in GA for that email and then see all the different performance statistics that occurred from that email’s traffic.
They can see:
– How many visits did this email generate?
– Did people bounce from this email or did they stay, engage and ultimately buy?
– Was the email viewed more from a mobile device or a desktop or tablet?
– Did New Yorkers visit the site via this email more than Texans? Or Virginians?
– Although this email was showcasing their Foot Liner socks, did shoppers ultimately buy only that product when they came to the site via the email or did they buy other product types as well?
– At what point in the purchase funnel did the shopper interact with this email? Second point? Fifth point? Last?
From all these data points, No Nonsense can measure the value of their email program in their overall marketing mix.
Conversion tracking and product level tracking would have to be set up to see some of this data. But if UTMs were not created, No nonsense wouldn’t be able to see performance from their email program and differentiate it from all their other traffic channels.
I’m Ready! Any Tips?
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
– Parameters are case-sensitive, it’s best to keep them all in lowercase lettering
– Plan your naming conventions and keep it as a handy reference to maintain uniformity in your data history
– Start big then get granular, make sure all your main channels are labeled and think about keyword and content labeling
Good luck UTM’ing and enjoy the flood of data you start to receive!