Are you getting ready to launch your next social media campaign? Or perhaps you are about to send a newsletter promoting your website? Are you tracking your links properly? In this post you will learn how to properly track your social media campaigns. For that you can use the UTM Parameter Builder or use the Campaign URL Template I share with you below.
UPDATE: The new version of Google Analytics (4) is now out as Universal Analytics will stop tracking from July 2023 onwards. The UTM parameters can still be used in the new version. If you want to read more about GA4, go to the blog Universal Analytics vs Google Analytics 4.
If you know me already, you might know that I love analytics and tracking in general. I for example wear a sleep tracker in a form of a ring that I wear all the time, but especially at night. I like to see how much REM and Deep sleep I got the night before so I can decide the following day which frog I eat first thing in the morning if you know what I mean.
And when I create any campaign for a client, I tag all the links with the UTM Parameters. These parameters are simply a way to let Google Analytics know where the users who clicked on that link are coming from. The name can be a bit scary, but in reality, it is very simple to use.
With the UTM Parameters Google Analytics learns about the source of the traffic, the medium, the campaign and the ad name.
Know where your marketing efforts are getting results and where you need to pivot
The advantage of using the links with the UTM Parameters every time you promote your website, is that when you go to your acquisition report on analytics, you will be able to see which campaigns are generating the traffic on your website. With this information, you will know exactly where your marketing efforts are getting the best results, where you should increase or decrease your investment, and where perhaps you should rethink your strategy.
If you forget to add these parameters, you will see the traffic from the paid campaigns as traffic from a referral, which is not the same thing because the referral traffic is usually organic traffic that you don't pay for. And this makes a big difference when you are planning your paid marketing campaigns.
The URL Campaign Builder from Google (formerly the UTM Parameter Builder)
The URL Campaign Builder allows you fill out each field and generate the full URL that you can then copy and paste onto your ads. In order to make things easier and faster, every time I create a new Facebook or any other campaign for a client, I use a template I created on Google Sheets where all I need to do is add the platform name in the "source" field, the marketing medium in the "medium" field, usually CPC (cost per click), I add the campaign name, and lastly, I add the image name in the "content" field. This builder is available for free from Google, you can check it out on the link below.
The Campaign URL Template on Google Sheets
I created a video (see below) where I show you how I use this template. I also show you where in analytics you will see the results of your tagging and what happens if you don't tag your links properly. You can download the template and use it as an excel spreadsheet if you prefer. I usually clone this template in Google Sheets and I start a new one for each one of my clients. In that way I know exactly which links we are using, as well as which landing pages, campaigns and ads.
This template will save you time and effort. So next time you send your newsletter with a link to your website, you can use this template and the URLs will be properly tracked on your Google analytics tool.
How to properly tag your Campaign URLs - watch the video
In the video below I talk about how I generate the URLs for all the social media campaigns (or the UTM Parameters). We add these links to any Digital Campaign when promoting a page on a website o a landing page. I show you how to "tag" your links properly and also what happens when you don't do that. In reality, it is not a big deal if you only run one or two campaigns from time to time. But when you run several campaigns on different platforms, it is nice to be able to use a template where you can easily tag all the URLs that go on the different campaigns in multiple platforms.
So next time you send an email promoting your website, or you launch a Facebook ad, don't forget to add the UTM Parameters to your URLs. In this way Google Analytics will show the traffic in the right place. And this will help you to better understand your analytics reports at the end of your campaigns.