How UTM Codes Build Audience and Track Traffic

How UTM Codes Build Audience and Track Traffic
Rick Washington

The phrase UTM codes may sound like an overblown plot element for world domination in the next Mission Impossible movie. But in actuality, UTM codes or Urchin Tracking Module codes are a great tool to tag your marketing campaigns. The codes allow Google Analytics (as well as other analytics tools) a little bit more information about each link in your campaign so your acquisition reports are filled with the right data.

UTM codes are like bread crumbs that tell you how your customers found you.

Essentially, UTM codes tell the story of how your traffic is coming to you. They are little pieces of code that you add to your website’s URL before you share them on another platform. When someone clicks on that URL with the added UTM codes you can figure out how people are getting to your site. Breaking it down even further, you can also use these UTM variables to track the finer details, like how much revenue you get from your Twitter bio.

Create a strategy through UTM codes to help you identify which campaigns are most effective.

An example of UTM codes is highlighted in yellow underline in the URL below. The codes are at the end of your URL to help you track the success of your content on the web. If you’ve noticed the question mark before the code, don’t worry—it doesn't affect anything on the page. The question mark is only there so whichever analytics program you use will know whatever source or overall marketing channel as part of a certain campaign that your traffic came through.

To help you get started with a campaign with UTM codes, here are five questions your UTM links must answer and examples of what UTM codes can track:

  1. Source: Where’s your traffic coming from?
    Ex: utm_source=Facebook
  2. Campaign: Are you running promos in your campaign? If so, group all content in one campaign in your analytics.

Ex: utm_campaign=25percentpromocode

  1. Medium: What type of marketing medium will your link be featured in?

Ex: utm_medium=socialmedia

  1. Content: How is it getting to you? Discover the different types of content that point to the same URL from the same campaign, source, and medium codes.

Ex: utm_content=sidebarlink or utm_content=headerlink

  1. Term: Which PPC keywords are most effective? 

Ex: utm_term=marketing+software

After you’ve spent months making an awesome product, wouldn’t it be great to not only generate more traffic but to know where those users came from for better targeting? Here’s the good news, you don’t have to do it alone. Our team can help you create a strategy (PPC keywords, content, marketing channels and social media) and tag your links at the very beginning before you launch your campaign. Plus, we’ll help you save time and effort when you’re trying to analyze your tracking later.

Click here for guidance on building targeted Google URLs with UTM codes that not only help deliver customers and prospects; but increase your revenue.