UTM Tracking: Know Exactly Where Your Website Traffic is Coming From
So, you have a fully functional, user-friendly online campaign that’s set up and ready to launch. All possibilities are covered, including email and social media. You launch the campaign and sit back waiting for results. Maybe it will succeed. Maybe it won’t. One asset is being able to track anyone who clicks on your campaign. How to do this? The answer is made up of three letters: U-T-M.
UTM: What does it stand for, and what does it do?
You’ve probably heard the term, but what exactly is a “UTM”? It is an acronym for “Urchin Tracking Module.” Originally invented and utilized by Urchin Software Company, which was eventually purchased by Google, it may be said that every UTM is the DNA that makes up the workings of an online campaign. As detailed in “Google Analytics: Help,” there are five UTM parameters that are added to any destination URL in an ad campaign in order to complete UTM tracking.
The “big five” that make up a UTM.
Each of the five unique UTM parameters needed for UTM tracking are actually self-explanatory.
- utm_source – The “source” tracks stats that include the advertiser, site, and publication that directs traffic to a campaign.
- utm_medium – This tracks the formats of how a campaign is marketed or advertised, and can include email newsletters, banner ads, and cost-per-click ads, as examples.
- utm_campaign – This involves any unique specifics, such as a taglines, promotional codes, or even if the campaign had a catchy title attached to it.
- utm_term – The “term” is more intricate, as it identifies keywords through paid search.
- utm_content – This serves to differentiate any content that might be similar, such as calls-to-action within the same medium, and by which different values can be assigned to measure which is more effective.
Of this list, “source,” “medium” and “campaign” are mandatory, while “term” and “content” are optional.
The literal value connected to UTM tracking
Every one of the UTM parameters used for UTM tracking must have a corresponding value assigned to it, creating a “parameter-value” which includes information related to a specific campaign. For instance, suppose a college wants to promote an Open House for its fall semester.
- The utm_source reads: “facebook” to identify traffic from a Facebook post and would appear in the URL as: “utm_source=facebook”.
Creating URLs with UTM Tracking
Online marketers can create their own campaigns utilizing UTM tracking. Or, they can enlist the help of tools which will build URLs and include the UTM parameters. The “Campaign URL Builder” in Google Analytics is one example of how to make UTM tracking easy.
How does UTM tracking work?
Let’s say the campaign for the college mentioned above has been created and launched. How does the UTM tracking work? A number of young people browsing online see the Facebook post promoting the Open House and click on it. Meanwhile, Google Analytics is tracking all traffic coming to the website. The creators of the campaign can see traffic coming to the website specifically from the Facebook post thanks to the UTM tracking specifying the source and medium.
This is only a general description of the complexities involved in tracking campaigns with the aid of UTM tracking. To learn more about how EGC can help analyze and build the campaigns for your online brand or business through our digital marketing services, contact us today.