Making & Using UTMs To Track Web Traffic

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Ever wondered which amazing piece of online content you produced is bringing in the dollar through your website?

Using UTM’s can make your life as  a data nerd that much simpler!

So, it’s time to don your coding hardhat and use one simple pimple piece of code that will change the way you analyse web traffic FOREVER.

Time to input your source, medium and content… because Wednesdays are about to get GIANT.

Hello my name is Sam and welcome to Giant Wednesday, the only place to be to discover the wonderful world of digital marketing. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and post your comments below.

We’re here to talk UTMs my friend and, put simply, a UTM is a piece of code made up of text that is added to your URL and tells analytics tools a bit more information about each link.

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like some top level coding genius, but lack the understanding of all the letters and symbols, then UTMs offer the next best thing.

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module… weird, I know. But, aside from the word urchin, they do exactly what it says on the tin.

Let me give you an example. 

You’re running some new and exciting video content promoting your latest product. You’ve chosen to publish it across all social media platforms for maximum reach.

You’ve included links to the product page on your site and followed a whole host of best practices and it’s paid off. You’ve got loads of traffic to your website. Wooo!

But when you go further into your analytics you can’t work out what traffic came from your video or what came from the other promotional content you produced?!

How will you measure the return on that video?! How will you know if it achieved your objectives?! Was it EVEN worth it? Who the hell knows?

Well I reckon you can probably guess that the solution here, is a UTM. 

They’re a great way to stalk people across your site and even better provide you with valuable insight to make your digital marketing efforts better!

Put simply a UTM will allow you to see exactly what piece of content or marketing drove someone to your website, and that’s pretty handy! So instead of Google Analytics telling you 20 people came from Facebook, we can tell which exact post from Facebook drove them to your site – Awesome!

Adding a UTM s can help you track and answer three very useful questions. In no particular order, these are;

  • Where is the traffic coming from?
  • How is it getting there?
  • Why is it going there?

If we wanted to be geeks about it, we could simply say:

  • Source
  • Medium
  • and, Content

When you’re done It’s going to look like this. A long piece of ugly stringed-together wording. Or stunningly beautiful if you’re into that kinda thing, which I am.

There are hundreds of UTM generators out there on the world wide web. But we personally like to keep track of the ones we’ve already made in a handy spreadsheet. Like the one we link to in the description below, available to you, for free. Aren’t we kind?

To make sure you’re getting the most out the builder, I’m just going to quickly run through the sections that you need to fill out to UTM-ify your link.

First up, the URL

This is the page you want to send people to, so would most likely be on your website. The URL is the direction or end point for all the traffic you are going to generate.

Next up, is the Campaign name

This one is pretty self explanatory. It’s going to help you work out why the traffic is going to your website and helps you to segregate data in analytics later on. For example, some people use it to differentiate between types of sales they’re hosting like ‘spring_sale’ and ‘summer_sale’.

This helps work out which particular campaign has been successful.

Now it’s time for the source.

You want to know where they’re coming from, don’t you? In our UTM builder, you can select some top level sources from the drop down box such as website, email and social media platforms.

Source dictates how your audience sourced the content in the first place. Was it via an email? Or perhaps through a post on social media? You decide,

Now you want to fill in the medium so you know how the traffic is getting there. 

For example, if you selected your source as an email, then you’re going to want to use the medium to list the type of email it was to help separate it from all the other email campaigns you might have. For example, was it the Summer newsletter, perhaps?

And finally, the content name.

This is where you get specific and detail the actual element of that content that drove the initial click.

Say in your email newsletter you’ve linked to the webpage in two different places using different coloured buttons, it would be good to know which coloured button drove most traffic so you can understand what works for your audience. You can type into this section ‘blue_button’ ‘pink_button’.

And there we go! Easssssssssy! You’ve built a UTM! 

Now you understand what they’re for and how to build one you are an unstoppable force of CODERY.

You can find the information you built into the link through things like Google Analytics under the source/medium sections, using ‘ad content’ as a second dimension.

More on understanding Google Analytics to come in future videos, but taking a look at this I can see clearly what worked and what didn’t.

So go wow your boss with your urchin knowledge and beautiful insights from the data collected. Be a hero and become known around the office as the king of all data!

That’s it for today, go forth and comment your views on this and give us a like and subscribe to see more great digital and marketing content every week.

Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next week for another GIANT Wednesday.

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