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Track the impact of campaigns using UTM Parameters

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Tobias Lins

UTM parameters are the tags you sometimes see at the end of the URLs. They provide the owner of that URL with information about which ad, post, CTA button, etc., was clicked to direct a visitor to a specific page of a site. Therefore, you can use Splitbee or Google Analytics to see how much traffic comes from these same starting points.

Why? Benefits of using the UTM Parameters

Here are some benefits of using the UTM parameters:

  1. Tracking cross-channel traffic Using the UTM parameters, you can check from where most of your traffic is coming. This will help you in focusing on more return-based traffic sources which can increase the sales and revenue
  1. Attributing traffic to different campaigns Various goal-oriented traffic campaigns can now be checked using the UTM parameters that can be either for your eBook or blogpost to bring new customers and sales. Moreover, you can easily check if your marketing PPC funds are properly spent.
  1. Understanding the impact of A/B testing Split testing helps in improving your sales page or landing page. With this conversion enhancement technique, you can perform A/B testing and check for different variations of your landing page and choose which is the best among the lot.

How to use UTM parameters

Setting up UTM parameters is very simple. Just follow these 4 steps to track your social media results and conversions.

Step 1: Setting up an Splitbee Account

UTM parameters collect data to feed into Splitbee. If you haven’t already set Splitbee up on your website, you’ll need to do that before starting to implement this technique.

  1. Create a free Splitbee account or sign up using your company account.
  1. Create a new project using your domain you driving the traffic to.
  1. Copy and paste the script tag that's shown on the Dashboard to your <head> tag in your HTML.

Step 2: Adding UTM parameters for Social Profiles

There are two options for adding UTM parameters to your social posts. You can add them directly with some social media automation tool like “Buffer”, or you can use a Google tool.

Using the Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder

You can effortlessly create your UTM parameters using a Google UTM generator, and after the link generation just paste the links into your social media posts.

  1. Head to the ‘Google Analytics Campaign URL builder’ and follow these steps
  1. Enter the URL of the page you want to link to, then enter the values for the parameters you want to track. e.g: organic or Social Traffic
  1. Move down to find the automatically generated campaign URL at the bottom.
  1. Click Convert URL to Short Link, or hit Copy URL to use a different URL shortened. You can also use a third-party tool to create short links for you.
  1. Paste your link into your social media post and shorten it if not already.

Step 3: Campaign Tracking with UTM Parameters

  1. Log into Google Analytics.
  1. In the Reports tab on the left side, go to Acquisition, then Campaigns.
  1. Scroll down to see a list of all the campaigns you have created trackable URLs for, with traffic numbers and conversion rates.

Step 4: Data Analyzation for UTM parameters

Now that you’ve got all this data, you need to analyze it. This is a critical step to improving the success of your social media efforts.

  1. In Google Analytics, click Export in the top menu to download your UTM tracking data as a PDF, Google Sheets, Excel, or .csv file.
  1. Import the data into your social media report for analysis.

Always make sure to use manageable numbers in the UTM parameter to make sure that your team doesn’t confuse themselves in the marketing whirl.

You can create these links manually, just bear these points in mind
  • When you create these codes, they’ll append the URL as a string. Each string of parameters starts with a question mark: ?
  • Each parameter is written in lowercase using an underscore followed by an equal sign and the parameter name: ?utm_source=facebook
  • Parameters within the string are separated by an ampersand: ?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc
  • The hierarchy of these terms is the source, medium, campaign, term, content

Best Practices while Using UTM Parameters

Before you unleash UTM parameters on all of your links, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Making longer links short

You might know this well, but lengthy links are less attractive and cannot be segregated just by looking at the random numbers. For this purpose, you can use Google Analytics in-build feature or use any third-party software.

  • UTM parameters are publicly visible

Let’s face, the UTM parameters are visible and there is no possible way of hiding them. You can bury them in hyperlinks and buttons but they can still be seen by hovering the cursor over them. Therefore, always use some encrypted language so that your competitors cannot steal your marketing strategy.

  • Understanding its limitations

UTM parameters are static and only track information based on the data that you feed them—they do not change dynamically based on where the link gets shared. Like, the major issue that you should be aware of is when someone sees your link in an email and then copies it to share on Facebook. Anyone who clicks on that link from the Facebook post will register as coming from email.

  • Stick to lower-case

UTM codes are case-sensitive. That means Splitbee, splitbee, SplitBee, and SPLITBEE all are tracked separately. If you use variations, you’ll get incomplete data for your UTM tracking links. Also, keep everything in lower case to avoid data tracking problems.

  • Keep it simple

Easy and simple UTM codes will allow you to make fewer mistakes in your marketing campaigns and will make the whole process a lot easier for you and your team. Try to avoid using space between words, instead use underscore to ensure flow and possible link variations.