Why UTM Parameters Are So Important
UTM Parameters, text codes added to a URL to track data about website visitors and traffic sources, are an excellent way to keep track of channels that are driving traffic to your website.
To put it into perspective, most analytics tools would classify traffic from your Google My Business listing as organic search traffic. While that isn’t entirely wrong, it isn’t entirely right, either.
If you’re interested in understanding how much traffic your Google My Business listing is generating (you should be!), using UTM parameters will help paint that picture.
In order to gain specific insight into traffic from other sources, UTM parameters are a necessity.
UTM parameters are actually very simple to use and there are plenty of helpful tools you can use to implement them for your own website.
Here are some of my favourite Google Chrome extensions:
- Google Analytics – Campaign URL Builder Chrome Extension
- UTM.io – Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder Chrome Extension
Where to Use UTM Parameters
So, where should you be using UTM parameters? Here are a few popular high-impact areas to put UTM parameters to work:
- Google My Business
- Email Marketing
- Social Media ads
- Email Signatures
- Social media posts focused on driving traffic
Any source that is a significant traffic-driver to your website that may be categorized in your analytics tool under another source/medium should make use of URL parameters.
The most important information to include in your UTM parameters are source and medium. You will have the opportunity to add other information to your UTM parameters if you desire.
See UTM Parameter Performance in Analytics
Once you’ve implemented URL parameters and they’ve generated traffic to your website, login to your analytics tool and navigate to your acquisition dashboard.
I use Google Analytics, so all of the examples below will be taken from there.
Adjust your date range so that dates, where your URL parameters were in use, are selected.
Navigate to Acquisition > Source/Medium.
If your URL parameters are working properly, you should see the Source/Medium data reporting according to your source/medium naming convention.
In this example, Facebook is the source and paid social is the medium I used for Facebook ad campaigns. Without URL parameters, this traffic would have been attributed to referral or social by default.
Using URL parameters on these campaigns makes it easy to see how much traffic the campaigns are generating and how that traffic is performing on the website.
If you decide to add other identifiers, such as a campaign, you can use the secondary dimension drop-down and select a campaign to get even more visibility into performance.
You’re now equipped with all the UTM parameter knowledge you need to get a better insight into how different channels are driving traffic to your website.
If you have any questions about UTM parameters, their implementation or anything digital marketing related, do not hesitate to reach out to Ian.McDougald@edealer.ca.