What Is UTM Tracking and Why Do You Use It?

Sheila Hart-O'ConnorWed, 07/25/2018 - 16:36

This blog was originally posted on rso-consulting.com and can be accessed here.

When you’re managing several digital marketing channels – social media, email, PPC, etc. – it’s helpful to know which channels and campaigns deliver the best results. Instead of chasing down data from individual accounts or combing through Google Analytics for each individual link, you can use what is called UTM tracking to simplify the process.

Let’s take a closer look at what this means, and why you should use it.

What is UTM Tracking?

UTM tracking is the process of identifying where and why a person clicked on your link. To make this possible, you need to apply what’s called a UTM code to the end of the URL being included in your content (social media post, display ad, etc.).

It will look something like this:

https://yourwebsite.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=careers

In this example, the UTM code identifies your link as a Careers PPC campaign on Facebook. When you’re running several different campaigns, you should use separate UTM codes in order to compare results in Google Analytics (GA).

Here’s an example of what the results look like in GA:

UTM Tracking Code
Apply UTM tracking code to campaigns for ease of use in Google Analytics. (Image Credit: SproutSocial)

Why Do You Use UTM Tracking?

UTM tracking is an easy way to identify which campaigns and channels are most effective. If you’re spreading your budget across PPC and email marketing, and you want to know which one is driving more traffic, then you would assign different UTM codes to each and measure the results.

You can use UTM codes to track:

  • Number of clicks on an ad
  • Traffic to a web page
  • Conversions
  • A/B testing

Of course, there are other ways to use UTM code to your advantage. Influencer marketing, guest blogging, and static URLs are great places to apply tracking, as well as many other areas of digital marketing.

For now, consider where you want to measure results, and start tracking your links with UTM codes (or give us a shout and we can get you started).