What is UTM and how to generate a URL from UTM to Google Analytics?

Nowadays, running a digital marketing campaign without a properly conducted analysis misses the point. It can be done very easily by using appropriate tools such as Campaign URL Builder, which will improve link tagging. This type of solution is used by many e-shops. The aim of this article is to explain what UTM tags and the above mentioned tool are and what influence they have on the popularity of websites.

What are UTM tags?

UTM tags (Urchin Tracking Module) are parameters that are attached to url’s and through the use of Google Analytics allow you to determine the origin of incoming traffic to your website. UTM codes allow you to determine which elements and in what form presented (e.g. video, industry-specific text) attract your audience the most. Thanks to their use you will gain a lot of important information concerning your online marketing, among others you will analyze the sources of traffic to your website. There are several UTM parameters, these are: Source, Medium Campaign Name, Campaign Content and Term. We will describe them in more detail later in the text. UTM tags in a link are a commonly used solution in modern marketing efforts. Until recently it was hard to imagine a company resigning from using, for example, Excel, and now it looks similar when it comes to UTM parameters included in url addresses.

What do UTM tags look like?

A simple example URL without UTM codes might look like the following:

spaceads.digital/

The same link address with the codes added looks completely different:

spaceads.digital/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=search&utm_content=what_is_utm

Such tagged link doesn’t look too good, fortunately you can shorten it using proper tools. Using added tags with Google Analytics, you can get information about your advertising campaigns, determine their effectiveness and find out where visits to your site come from.

Campaign URL Builder – how does this tool work?

Tagging links using UTM parameters is not difficult, you can add them manually or use a free tool from Google – Campaign URL Builder. We recommend using this easy-to-use URL builder to streamline your tagging efforts and focus on your online marketing efforts. The tool guarantees automatic tagging and, with the use of an appropriate plug-in, shortening of links that are too long. How does this wizard work in practice?

In the Campaign URL Builder form you enter the url of the website to which the link should lead. Later you should enter UTM parameters which you will analyze in the future with Google Analytics. You can use the five codes mentioned in the article:

  • Campaign Source – used to specify the main source of inbound traffic to our website. This can be for example: Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter, Google or Banner. If your post will be published on Instagram then simply enter instagram.com in the form
  • Campaign Medium – this required parameter determines the type of traffic to your website. It can be paid or free, the most commonly used tags are: email, cpc, organic or as in our example adwords. Remember that source and medium are two different parameters and cannot be confused with each other.
  • Campaign Name – the last mandatory code in the creator, which can take any name, defines a particular campaign or promotion for example: sale of women shoes. This parameter allows you to compare specific strategies and their effectiveness using Google Analytics.
  • Campaign Content – not a mandatory field, it is used to specify the url which led the user to your website. Using this parameter will allow you to find out which of your ads generate the best results, it can be for example video, banner or text.
  • Campaign Term – parameter used to determine the keywords used in paid campaigns. This is used less often as most people use Google Ads, which offers automatic tagging.

When filling in the data in the Campaign URL Builder form remember that you cannot use Polish characters or special characters there. When tagging links you need to pay attention to the case, it’s best to use lower case so that the statistics in Google Analytics will be readable. You should know that when using this tool you cannot use spaces, only hyphens or underscores.

The most common mistakes made when tagging

When tagging URLs and using Google Analytics, avoid the following:

  • Do not use UTM parameters to tag internal links. You will lose information about the source of traffic to your website. This is because Google Analytics automatically assumes that you only use UTM parameters for external links and adjusts the data for each individual session. UTM tags applied to an internal link reduce the effectiveness of your ad campaign.
  • Do not repeat the same words urchin tracking module. UTM parameters should provide different information about users visiting your website and clicking on your links.
  • Don’t make life easier for your competitors by sending sensitive data in UTM codes. You don’t want them to be able to use your billing models or customer identifiable information in the future. The UTM parameter cannot contain addresses or names.
  • The parameter consists of several identifiers, you don’t have to use all of them in one link, you can do it in any order, the important thing is that the url’s contain them.
  • If you use Google Ads then you don’t have to tag the target url. Do it if you are running paid campaigns on other search engines. There is no need to tag free links for keywords.
  • You need to know that if you don’t shorten the name of your link, when a user clicks on it they will see it in full in the browser. When adding UTM parameters, under no circumstances use infantile or uncensored words as this can have disastrous effects on your campaign. It is also worth shortening the tagged links as this will make them more attractive for the user.

How to check statistics using Google Analytics?

Skilful management of UTM parameters may bring very measurable effects. In order to check what results are generated by our advertising campaign, we should use Google Analytics tool. Obtaining data concerning links containing UTM parameters is trivial. It is enough to go to: acquisition > campaigns > all campaigns. There we will find data on tagged advertising campaigns. The effectiveness of our parameters can be checked there; for example, we can analyse the traffic and the number of transactions generated by the UTM tag, as well as the source of the users. We can also find there such information as rejection rate or average session duration relating to our url.

In order to obtain reports concerning the time period we are interested in, we select: acquisition > all traffic > source/medium as a basic dimension, and then choose the source we are interested in. We can also use additional dimensions that allow us to analyze website traffic in detail.

With Google Analytics we will also check the correctness of our url’s. In real time, we enter the link generated by us, and with the help of the described tool we can see if our visit has been recorded. This is possible after entering the tab real time > sources of visits, where the source of the medium contained in UTM should appear.

Benefits of using UTM

Finally, for the undecided, let’s summarize the benefits of UTM parameter management:

  • UTM parameters allow you to get more useful data from Google Analytics,
    skilfully used utm tags will allow you to optimize the costs which you allocate for advertising your services or products,
    management of UTM parameters will allow you to assess which of your advertising campaigns bring the most benefits,
  • Using UTM parameters and statistics from Google’s analysis tool will allow you to eliminate or format url’s that generate high rejection rate or insufficient traffic.
  • Importantly, you do not need to be an expert to effectively use UTM parameters and keywords, thanks to intuitive tools, you will increase the popularity of your url in Google search and will not complain about low statistics of incoming traffic,
  • use of utm parameters will allow you to act on several fronts – Facebook, Instagram, Google advertising campaigns, which will allow you to determine the effectiveness of a given ad and abandon url addresses that do not bring tangible benefits.