When running a digital online marketing campaign, chances are you will distribute numerous pieces of marketing content in many places across the web. Assuming you place different ads of varying sizes on a number of platforms, how do you tell which banner sizes is performing the best?

This is where the UTM comes in. UTMs can, however, be challenging to implement, but once you’ve correctly integrated them in your marketing data tracking plan, everything else will fall in place. UTM parameters are an effective way of tracking the performance of different URLs.

By tagging your campaign URLs with UTM parameters, you can get a deeper understanding of how your visitors are interacting with your website.

This article will reveal top UTM tips that will help you correctly integrate, test and enhance your UTMs for top-notch performance.

Test the tagged links before using them


Before you release your UTMs to do the hard work, be sure to test them and make sure that they’re actually working. The easiest way to do this is to load the URL links that contains the UTM tags into your browser.

If the tags go missing after loading, chances are they’re not configured correctly. In case you’re using AdWords auto-tagging, you need to make sure that auto-tagging is enabled in on your website.

Don’t tag internal links

Avoid putting UTMs in links in your own content that lead to other pages within your website. This is not necessary because Google Analytics already tracks the traffic on your website even without URL tagging. Additionally, if you add UTM tags on internal links, you will end up losing the information on where the visitor originally come from.

For instance, if someone comes from Twitter and clicks on your UTM tagged internal link, they will be recorded as a new visitor. And this will ruin your data and reports as you won’t be able to know the actual source of your conversions.

Be consistent with your UTM naming conventions

Google AdWords

It really doesn’t matter whether your use “promote”, “paid” or any other tag to represent paid traffic from a certain ad platform. The most important thing is that you should always use the same tag to represent the same parameter.

If different team members of your campaign interchangeably use “promoted” and “paid” to represent the same type of traffic, it will be difficult to have a proper aggregate or overview of your data.

Additionally, UTMs are case sensitive. So, for instance, “Paid”, “paid” and “PAID” is not the same thing. If you’re not consistent and careful with naming your tags, you may end up with unnecessary different data sets representing the same thing. Generally, avoid using uppercase letters to minimize chances of naming inconsistencies.

Be careful about spaces

As you may already know, spaces are not allowed in the URLs and the same applies to the UTMs. If you must use spaces in your UTM tags, replace it with %20 and Google will read it as space.

This, however, will result in messy looking tags, so instead of spaces, use dashes or underscores.

Whatever naming format you choose, try your best to stay away from spaces and uppercases, make everything consistent and communicate the same to your team members.

Google My Business Insights is part of the package

Did you know that you can actually use UTMs to track visitors originating from c (GMB)? UTMs can actually help you track how users who come directly from GMB are interacting with your website compared to those coming from organic listings.

You will also get to learn more about the phrases triggering GMB listings and enhancing your local maps presence and searches.

If you ran a retailer store or shopping center, you might at some point see reduced organic traffic and think that your search presence has dropped.

In real sense, searchers and potential customers might be getting all they need to know about your business from map rankings and graph listings. In such a case, they don’t have to visit your website at all.

The UTM codes will give you clearer metrics about parameters that are usually thought to be intangible. You will be able to understand better where you stand with the non-branded search and improve the way you strategize your marketing campaign.

Fine-tune ad campaigns using UTMs

Using UTM parameters, you can track in detail very specific information about your marketing campaign segments.

For instance, you can track your Facebook Ads and analyze some of the parameters such as the age range targeted, ad optimization, interests targeted, the type of content used and much more.

The information tracked can allow you to fine-tune your ad campaign for better targeting. With this data in place, you can also refine your ads from Google Analytics console and even tweak your organic marketing efforts to fit in.

Knowing which ad campaign appeals to which interest group, for instance, puts you one step ahead of the competition.

Filter paid and organic social media properly

UTM is great at filtering data from different mediums. Chances are your marketing campaign includes videos, backlinks, emails, infographics, blog post and so on – both paid and organic. Being able to sort the traffic by medium will help you determine which ones have higher returns and focus on them.

Other than filtering incoming traffic by medium, you can narrow down and find out what content works best for different platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. You also want to determine how much of the traffic is paid and how much is organic. Whichever parameter you decide to track, make sure it’s well labeled in your Google account.

Tag all the traffic that you have control over

Remember to track all traffic and links in all your campaign material including the emails that you send out. If you’re using a third party tool, it most likely has a way of tagging URLs –look for that option and tag them.

Take a look at all your traffic sources in Google Analytics and figure out how to tag the traffic that you haven’t tagged yet. You might not be able to tag all the traffic, for instance, direct traffic, and that’s OK.

By the way, if you want to have a complete picture of your complete marketing funnels, i.e. which traffic channels your visitors are coming from, what pages they land on and what actions they take on your website before they exit or before they convert, use Statly as your all-in-one advanced analytics solution.

Bottom line

UTM parameters are a great way of having all your important marketing data in one place and analyzing it both holistically and deeply. You will get visibility and insights into your data like never before.

Using the above UTM tips, you will be able to correctly set up your UTM parameters and build your insights to appropriately optimize your campaign.

Register for this free training to learn how you can fix and optimize your sales funnel for better conversions without needing to increase your traffic.