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UTM Parameters: How to Track Campaigns in Google Analytics

Google Analytics users, are you tracking your online campaigns with UTM parameters tagging? If not, you are losing a lot of information about the source of traffic and your medium, the campaign from which the traffic came and other important information (but … don’t worry, we will explain this article in a friendly and understandable way). If you are already using tagging, this article will help you refine your knowledge of the subject.

Before we talk about it, you must understand that Google Analytics is a very important tool for your brand’s success on the web, but to use the tool correctly, there are things you must do. If you do not do so, you miss a lot of vital information and it is likely that the information that will appear in the tool will not allow you to make wise decisions.

Through this full guide, we will explain how to tag URLs, why, how and when to use it, and of course you will get a URL generator so you can do it yourself.

What is UTM Parameters?

URL tagging allows the Google Analytics tool to understand the source of user traffic, what a medium is, the name of the campaign from which users came to your site, the content, and a keyword for the campaign. All of these parameters (5) are named as utm tags.

Well, these utm tags should be at the end of the link of your site or your landing page. For example, if you direct traffic to an article on your site when the user clicks on a newsletter you’ve sent them, maybe an email link, and more. [This tagging is called manual tagging, there is auto-tagging if you use Google Adwords, we’ll talk about it later].

To illustrate and explain to you how it looks, here’s a simple example:

https://netolink.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=cta-facebook&utm_content=image

What we have in this link: the homepage of our site and then 4 utm tags that explain to us and google analytics from where the user came to our site.

In this example, when the user clicks such a link, the parameters are:

  • Source of arrival: Newsletter (sending news – email marketing).
  • Medium: Email.
  • Campaign name: cta-facebook
  • Content: Image.

Do not worry, below you’ll get more detailed information about what’s considered a source of arrival, what medium you’re in, what you need to enter, and more.

Why should I tag URLs using UTM tags?

What would you think if we did not tag the users, and they would enter our site after clicking on an e-mail newsletter?

If you do not know because most e-mail providers block information for safety reasons. Even if your Gmail subscribers (Google’s email provider), Gmail would not have passed on the information.

As a result, Google Analytics would not understand where the user came from and then it should have been:

  • Source: direct.
  • Medium: none.

We are certain that this information would not have been of any use to you.

As you probably noticed by the first example (with utm tags), when a user clicks on such a link, Google Analytics can identify where the user came from, the medium of arrival (ie how he came), the campaign, Allows you to get more information.

For example, you can see if your email users convert more than users from the search engine. That is, you can know and segment additional data for those users.

How should I tag URLs using UTM tags?

Before we talk about how to tag, we need to know what parameters are there and what they mean. As we explained above, there are 5 main parameters of utm labeling (by the way it is called manual tagging because it needs to be manually executed by you), and they are:

  • utm_source – traffic source.
  • utm_medium – Medium.
  • utm_campaign – Campaign name.
  • utm_term – Paid keyword.
  • utm_content – content.

What is utm_source?

The utm_source parameter identifies the advertiser, site, or source that sends the traffic to your site. Ie who sends traffic to your site.

You ask how Google Analytics can identify? Most sites transmit referral information, except for sites that block this option. Therefore a user comes to you through different sites, Google Analytics will show the domain name of the site. If you’re talking about big sites like Google, Facebook, etc., Google Analytics will not add the domain extension, such as .com, etc.

When Google Analytics does not know who the source of the traffic is, for example, a newsletter you sent to your customers, email correspondence with a customer, advertising on the media, an app (by the way, an app does not transmit information) or any other source.

How to tag the source of traffic? Manual tagging is required such as: utm_source=newsletter or utm_source=twitter.com.

Is this parameter required? Yes.

What is utm_medium?

The meaning of the utm_medium parameter is the channel/marketing medium for your site, means of advertising. Ie what sent the traffic to your site.

As Google Analytics knows how to identify the source of traffic, in cases where it can identify, it automatically tags the source as Referral. When it comes to a referral that is a search engine or a social network, it knows how to define the most appropriate channel (not always).

How to tag the Medium? Manual tagging is required such as utm_medium=email or utm_medium=social.

Just a minute… How do I know all the marketing channels? Good question! Here you’ll see the default channel grouping:

  • Organic Search: The medium is organic.
  • Social network: The medium is one of the following: social OR social-network OR social-media OR sm OR social network OR social media.
  • E-mail: The medium is email.
  • Referral: The medium is referral.
  • Sponsored Search: The medium is one of the following: cpc OR ppc OR paidsearch. And an Ad Distribution Network does not exactly match utm_content.
  • Media Advertising: Medium is one of the following: cpm or banner or display. Or Ad Distribution Network is exactly the same as utm_content.
  • Other advertising: The medium is one of the following: cpa or cpv or cpp or content-text.
  • Affiliate Marketing: The medium is an affiliate.
  • Direct / none: The source of access to the site is direct and one of the following: Medium is none or not set.

Is this parameter required? According to Google’s link creation tool, no. But, we strongly recommend you – yes mandatory.

Below, there are a few examples so you can figure out how to tag correctly.

Please note: it is necessary to record exactly the words as shown here. Do not use uppercase or a first capital letter. This can damage the data display.

What is utm_campaign?

The utm_campaign parameter represents your campaign name, promotional code, or anything you can identify with that particular campaign.

Since this section is not mandatory, you can use it only if you are interested in any campaign. Or when you advertise on a social network or on search engines. This allows you to differentiate between multiple campaigns and analyze each one separately without mixing data.

How to tag a campaign name? Manual tagging is required such as: utm_campaign=cta-facebook or utm_campaign=my_new_campaign.

Whether you’re using a hyphen or underscore, you can list a campaign in any language, not just English.

Is this parameter required? No.

What is utm_term?

The utm_term parameter represents the keyword used for a paid search. That means you can see data about the word searched on the Internet and click on your advertisement. For example, if a user searched: Men’s shoe end season. This keyword will appear if and when you’ve tagged your ad and link.

If you are using Google Adwords, we recommend that you perform auto-tagging (below).

How to tag a keyword? Manual tagging is required such as utm_term=luxury_watches_for_men.

Is this parameter required? No.

What is utm_content?

The utm_content parameter represents the specific content in the campaign that users click to reach you. In other words, you can use this option to produce an A/B test to see which content is more useful.

For example, if you send an email campaign to customers, and there are 2 call-to-action buttons such as: Try it now or Buy now. You will see which button helped to get more links.

How to tag a campaign name? Manual tagging is required such as: utm_content=buy_now or utm_content=click_here.

Is this parameter required? No.

Are there any tools to tag using UTM tags?

Yes. There are several tools that can help you build URLs for your campaigns.

Websites

If you want to create a link to your website, you can use the Google Campaign URL Builder tool here.

When you enter this link, you will need to enter all the UTM tags we discussed earlier. Of course, do not forget to register your website, ie the URL you want to tag (it does not have to be homepage).

Android apps

If you want to link to your Android app, you can use the Google Play URL Builder tool here.

IOS apps

If you’d like to link to your iOS app, you can use the iOS Campaign Tracking URL Builder tool here.

How to tag a Google Ads account automatically

We will not expand on the topic of Google Ads (AdWords) tagging in an expanded way nor are there differences in manual/automatic tagging in Google Ads. But we will explain to you what you need to know.

If you’re a Google Ads advertiser, you have a way to tag your campaigns automatically. To do this you need to link your 2 accounts: Google Analytics + Google Ads.

Important: To link Ads and Google Analytics, you need administrative access to the Ads account and “Edit permissions” in your Google Analytics account.

Link Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Gear and click “Linked accounts.”
  3. In the Google Analytics section, click on “View Details”. You will get a list of properties with access to them.
  4. Click “Set link” next to the property you want to link.
    • If the asset has one view, you can choose whether to import data into Google Ads or not, and then click Save.
    • If you own multiple views: you can select all the views that interest you (one or more). Then you can choose whether to import data into Google Ads or not, and then click Save.

Auto-tagging Google Analytics and Google Ads

  1. If you never linked the accounts (or manager account):
    • As soon as you’ve saved an account link, you’ll see an auto-tagging link.
    • Click “Allow for this account”.
  2. If you’ve already linked accounts in the past:
    • Click on the Ads gear.
    • Click on “Account Settings”.
    • Click “Edit” in the Tracking section.
    • Select Enable or disable auto-tagging.
    • Click “Save”.

How does Auto-tagging Google Ads looks like?

Unlike this utm switches manual labeling. Auto-tagging is done with the gclid tag. This is how it looks when a user clicks your ad on Google Ads. for example:

https://netolink.com/?gclid=abc123

Where the abc123 changes at each click and includes all parameters of the utm tags.

Where do you see the data in Google Analytics?

Well, the theory is a good thing. So right, we talked quite a bit about utm tags. Now is the time for practice.

In order to view the data in Google Analytics, you must first log in to Google Analytics and log in to your account. Here’s how to find the information:

Tab: Acquisition >> Then: Campaigns >> Then: All Campaigns.

In the table header, you can see the main properties, that is, the dimensions of the utm tags we discussed earlier.

In the table itself, you can get information about the feature you selected, for example, if you chose “Campaign”, then you can see all user campaigns that arrived at the site in a period of time as shown at the top of the report.

When you click on a campaign, you can get information about the specific campaign such as Source / Medium and more.

Tip: In the “All campaigns” tab in the sidebar of Google Analytics, you can also see both paid and organic keywords (not paid, organic). When your paid keywords are keywords while the user clicked on them when they reached your site.

Tip: For Google Adwords data, you can see data in Google Analytics, in the Acquisition tab >> Then: Adwords >> >> Then: Campaigns.

Examples of using UTM parameters in different campaigns

Well, this article provided you with a lot of information about utm tags, how they are used, and URL creation tools. But that’s not enough, to give you more value, we’ve decided to give you a few examples so you can do it professionally.

Sending an article in E-mail

Send email and newsletter to your customers? Excellent. Here’s a way to create utm tags.

Example: You want to send news and a new article posted on your site to your subscribers by email. The article will talk about choosing a credit card clearing agent. The article will have a link and a picture.

  • Source: Because it is a newsletter, the source is a newsletter.
  • Medium: Nizelter is sent via email so the medium is email.
  • Campaign: Credit clearance.
  • Content: Link and Image.

Here’s how the link for an image looks:

http://example.com/article/1244?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Credit_Clearing&utm_content=image

And for the link:

http://example.com/article/1244?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Credit_Clearing&utm_content=link

** Not mandatory to use campaign name in English.

Advertisers on Facebook Sponsored? (By the way… although it is superfluous to note, we also specialize in sponsored advertising). Here’s a way to use the utm parameters.

Example: You advertise a 30% discount on women’s clothing, so you try 2 ads with 2 different content.

  • One picture: A woman with a smile and a shopping cart in her hand strolling through the mall.
  • Second picture: A girl smiles when she buys and pays at the checkout booth with lots of clothes.

Here’s an example of a campaign:

  • Source: Because it’s Facebook, the source is facebook.
  • Medium: Since Facebook is not a search engine but a media network, we’ll use display.
  • Campaign: 30off.
  • Content: a lady-mall and a lady-buys.

http://example.com/category/women/clothes?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=30off&utm_content=lady-mall

and also

http://example.com/category/women/clothes?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=30off&utm_content=lady-mall

Advertising in the newspaper

If you are using traditional media, you should also use the utm parameters to get useful and in the future use this data.

Example: Let’s say you publish a computer purchase tender for your organization in the New York Times.

  • Source: Because it’s the New York Times, the source is The New York Times.
  • Medium: Although the New York Times is offline, to avoid opening a new channel, we’ll use a banner.
  • Campaign: Computer_Tender.

http://example.com/tenders/2547852?utm_source=New_York_Times&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=30off&utm_content=Computer_Tender

Now, because this link cannot be in this way in the newspaper, and there is no risk of being remembered, the link can be shortened. Do it like this: http://example.com/com1

Then, call 302 redirects from the short link to the full link.

Signature by email

Signing up with this email is one of the important places to tag links. It helps you understand whether users are clicking on such links in your e-mail (perhaps in the future add something interesting to your signature to make sales).

It’s easy to get confused and call a source called Email, but the medium is email. So we recommend using a different source.

Example: Danny is a marketing manager, he corresponds a lot with clients, Danny has an email signature with a link to the site.

  • Source: Since this is a signature area, the source is Email Signature. (There is no exact answer to what is most appropriate here).
  • Medium: Because it’s email, we’ll use email.
  • Campaign: Signature of the Marketing Manager, Danny.

http://example.com/?utm_source=Email_Signature&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Danny

Conclusion

This guide provides you with a lot of information about UTM parameters and how to use them. Now it’s your turn to tag your links, start tagging everything correctly so you can get a lot of information. This information can make your insights and help your brand grow.

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