How to Accurately Track Online Marketing Traffic Through UTM Codes

#Marketing Insights
BY Emma Glazier
Head of Marketing
9 Nov 2017

As a marketer, it’s really important to understand your website’s social referrals. With differing figures between social media platforms and some ambiguity in Google Analytics, it’s time to implement something that tracks social traffic accurately, the specific post or campaign it came from, and what the user did when they got to the site.

Google Analytics can interpret codes in the form of UTM tracking. UTM codes are a sequence of variables that can be added to incoming URLs which are understood by GA and can be reported on within the GA dashboard. This allows us to track multiple links on different platforms and channels and compare performance easily.

What can I track though UTM tracking?


For example, if you use these UTM codes/links in your Twitter posts, at the end of the month for each post you can clearly see:

  • Sessions
  • % New Sessions
  • New Users
  • Bounce Rate
  • Average Session Duration
  • Conversion Rate

All of this information is extremely valuable in understanding what your online marketing means and how the audience is reacting to your content and advertising. By implementing A/B testing with different copy, ads, and media, you can really dig deep into the success of each post to see which performs best. This allows us to optimise budgets and maximise results.

How do you create a UTM parameter?


There are 5 parameters you can add to your URLs:

Website URL: where you are directing the traffic.

utm_source: this tag refers to where your link appears, for example, Google, newsletter, Facebook, Instagram.

utm_medium: this is how your ad appears, for example, Facebook, CPC, email.

utm_campaign: the name of your campaign, a group of ads through various mediums. For example “Blog Post” - banners, social posts, newsletter.

utm_term: the paid ad keyword, this will also appear as “Keyword” within Google Analytics report.

utm_content: this is used for differentiating your tracking, and great for A/B testing! Remember - you must always ensure that all fields when creating your code are consistent. For example, the following variations would create three separate campaigns: utm_name=promotion utm_name=Promotion utm_name=PROMOTION

What does a UTM look like?


Here’s a UTM link that is directed to the blog post “5 Tips to a Stunning Instagram Feed”, that will be used on Facebook as an organic post:


Website URL: https://thisiscrowd.com/news/instagram-feed-tips/

utm_source: facebook

utm_medium: social

utm_campaign: stunning_instagram_feed_blog

utm_term: N/A

utm_content: post_with_orange_graphic

How do I create a UTM link for my campaign?


To create UTM links, you will need to visit the Google Analytics URL builder.

This post should have provided a basic outline of what UTM codes are, how they work and how to create them. For Crowd they are the cornerstone of our social marketing and PPC campaigns allowing us to report with accuracy and clarity.

If you want to speak with us about online marketing campaigns and ongoing digital support - get in touch.

Emma has been leading specialist digital teams in different global markets to deliver a world-class product for clients. She has experience across travel, entertainment, automotive, retail and consumer electronics sectors.

Get in touch with us today to talk about your marketing challenges.