In a simple definition, UTM tags (or UTM codes) are a way to track traffic coming to your website from a certain platform.
For example, if you post a link to your site on Facebook, and you use a UTM tag, you will be able to track people that clicked on that specific post and how they interacted with your website!
The main reason people use UTM tags is to track campaign performance, because UTM tags will help differentiate the traffic coming from each source and medium by campaign. First, let’s define what source and medium are. According to Google:
- Medium is “the general category of the source.” Examples of medium would be Organic, Referral, or Paid.
- Source is the “origin of your traffic.” Examples of source would be Google.com, Yelp.com, or Facebook.com.
It will help organize traffic if you use both Source and Medium in your UTM Tag. Now, let’s take a look at what a generic UTM Tag looks like:
You can sort of read this UTM tag like a sentence: in this example with the Bluleadz URL slug page, we’re only tracking people through the set campaign (in this case, “Campaign Name”), the source is LinkedIn, and the medium is paid social.
Since we’ve used this UTM tag, whenever we look at our reporting platform for that Source/Medium, we’ll be able to see how that specific campaign performed as opposed to the rest of our paid LinkedIn traffic.
Let’s look at a more specific example and see the UTM build. Say I have a men’s clothing store, and I have a content offer that I would like to promote for “Best Shirt Material To Buy If You Sweat A Lot.”
I am going to use Facebook and LinkedIn to promote this offer, but I will also be posting it organically and by using paid. There are four UTM tags I will need to create:
The reason I will need four is because I have two sources and two mediums that need to be matched up:
- Source: LinkedIn and Facebook
- Medium: Paid Social and Organic social
There are a few UTM Generators out there that will build the UTM for you. Below are my two favorites.
- If you use HubSpot, go to Reports > Reports Home, the on the left-hand side there is a button that says “Tracking URL Builder” then click “Create New Tracking URL” in the top right.
- If you don’t have a campaign created, you can create one under Productivity > Campaigns, then there is a button in the top right that says “Create Campaign”
- If you use Google Analytics, you can use this link: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/
I would recommend using UTM tags for any campaign that you would like to see direct ROI from. UTM Tags can be very useful, but if overdone or done incorrectly, they can get very confusing in reports. In other words, and this is the only time I’ll say it, don’t be like Oprah…
If you have ever needed to show your boss or a client the importance of your digital marketing efforts with a specific campaign or channel, UTM tags will be extremely useful. With proper tags, you can track every bit of performance from your desired channel or campaign!