Understanding the practical use of UTM links may be a bit hard at first and they may seem kind of pointless, but we will try illustrate their use and connection with Google Analytics via a practical example and then teach you how to use them yourself.
Case Study On How To Use UTM Campaign Links
Let us imagine that you are the head of an Advertising Agency that recently got in touch with a famous designer who wants you to promote his latest high heels collection via posters, Internet banners and billboards. So in short, both online and offline. The job is simple enough so you set-up posters and billboards around town with with the product design and write the link www.highheelsdomain.com which is supposed to be the website of the product. You also set the banners you placed on several partnered websites to direct to this page. All seems to go well…
Situation twist: The website www.highheelsdomain.com is not ready on time and the client says you should redirect users to www.designername.com/new which would be easy enough if everything wasn’t already posted.
The smart head of the agency comes up with a brilliant plan, however, and decides to make a 301 redirect from www.highheelsdomain.com to www.designername.com/new which is a good idea, but bad practice as he will later not know how many visitors came to the main site because they typed in the original URL after they saw it on a poster. So in short they agency will not have any data on how many visitors their campaign attracted.
Unless of course they decided to use UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) tags to redirect to web page of their client. Thanks to this practical use they can later on track how many people got to the designers site via the UTM tags and they will now these were visitors that came via their advertising methods.
How To Use UTM Campaign Links
Building this long UTM links is as easy as filling out a short form. Google gives us the great URL Builder tool where you just fill out the needed fields and get you data back in the form a perfect UTM tagged URL.
There are different parameters you may encounter so here is a shrot explanation on what they stand for.
- utm_source=SOURCENAME – This identifies the source that will be displaying the URL. For example you can type in Newsletter and then send out this UTM tagged link in your newsletter to your reader and later you will now just how many people came to your website via this source.
- utm_medium=MEDIUMNAME – The Campaign Medium tells Google Analytics the medium in which this link was shared. This can be e-mail, banner, cost-per-click and so on.
- utm_campaign=NAME– The Campaign Name tells Google Analytics the campaign for which this link was shared. For example, it could be something like winter_sale.
How This Will Help You
If you starting any sort of advertising promotion for your website make sure your publishers link back to you via UTM tagged links that you will test and provide. This will help you keep track of how many visits the publishers give you and if its worth continuing to work with them. It will also help you track how many leads and sales you get from these publishers.
You can even change the utm_medium tag for each publisher so you can have Banner1 and Banner2 as mediums and known which represents traffic from which site.
Here is an example of UTM link:
A bit long, but very useful! Remember that you can view the results of your UTM campaign via Google Analytics (Traffic Sources > All Traffic Sources).