Google Analytics UTM Tracking: 5 Critical Aspects

Last Modified: December 29th, 2022

UTM Tracking - Featured image

When you create a Google Analytics account to monitor your website, the system assigns you a code to add to your website URL. This code is known as the UTM Tracking Code. It helps Google Analytics discover the social media platform or website that brings the highest traffic to your site. 

With the help of Google Analytics UTM Tracking, you can easily know where to focus your marketing efforts for optimum productivity. UTM Tracking helps you track the progress of your Ads Campaigns. It also helps you keep track of your Social Media posts, and Email Newsletters. With Google Analytics UTM Tracking you can make strategic business decisions concerning your Ads Campaigns.

This article discusses how Google Analytics UTM Tracking works. It introduces you to the Google Analytics UTM Tracking Parameters. It provides the strategies that you can use while creating Google Analytics UTM Tracking Parameters. It also provides applications and advantages of Google Analytics UTM Tracking. It also acts as a comprehensive guide to activate Google Analytics UTM Tracking on your website.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Google Analytics UTM Tracking

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Google Analytics UTM Tracking Codes are codes that help you determine which of your ads have the most conversions. When you add the UTM Tracking Code to your URL, it calculates the number of website visitors that click on your ads and make a purchase.

It then delivers this data to Google Analytics, where the webmaster can find the report. This data will help you determine whether to stop running an ad, reduce or increase the Marketing Funds for a particular ad.

Parameters of Google Analytics UTM Tracking

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Every Google Analytics UTM Tracking Code consists of an original website URL and Ad Campaign Parameters. These Parameters indicate the exact location and purpose of a particular ad. There are 5 Google Analytics UTM Tracking Parameters:

  • Source: A Source is a platform where you are running the ad. A UTM Source could be Twitter, Google, Facebook, or a Newsletter.
  • Medium: This is the Medium through which you are running your advertisement. Your UTM Medium may be Social Media (for ads on Facebook and Twitter), Email (for Newsletters), and Cost Per Click (for Google and YouTube Ads).
  • Campaign: This refers to your Campaign Name. The purpose of this Parameter is to identify a specific ad. An example of an Ad Campaign could be the “Black Friday Sale”.
  • Term: A Term is the paid keyword for a particular ad. For instance, the paid keyword for “Black Friday Sale” might be “Traditional Bags”. 
  • Content: A Content Parameter highlights specific details about an ad. Such details include product size, amount of discount, etc.

Your Google Analytics UTM Tracking Code should look like this:

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Strategies for Creating Google Analytics UTM Tracking Parameters

The Google URL Builder generates UTM Tracking Codes from the Parameters you provide. If you don’t identify your Parameters clearly, you might get confused while reading your Google Analytics UTM Tracking Code and its reports. Follow the strategies below to create your Google Analytics UTM Tracking Parameters, and avoid confusion while reading your reports:

1) Consistent Naming Strategy

If you follow a standard rule while entering your Google Analytics UTM Tracking Parameters, you are less likely to be confused when reading your Website Analytics Reports. For instance, you can write all your Google Analytics UTM Tracking Parameters in lowercase. If you decide to use uppercase letters throughout, you might forget your decision and input some Google Analytics UTM Tracking Parameters in small letters. This problem rarely occurs when users write in lowercase.

You may also use dashes (-) to separate your words instead of underscores. Dashes are better because your website content will appear even when people search information using variations of your keywords, unlike with underscores.

2) Store the UTM Codes in a Spreadsheet

If you monitor your ads as a team, it might be helpful to place your links in a Spreadsheet to show your team how the new URL links look like. You can easily delegate the workload of studying your Website Analytics to your subordinate if everyone can identify the links for all your ongoing ads.

Applications of Google Analytics UTM Tracking

Although businesses mostly use Google Analytics UTM Tracking to track their ads, it is not the only place where you can adopt the technique. The following are other domains where you can use Google Analytics UTM Tracking. 

  • On your Social Media Posts: Businesses with large Social Media followings often promote their websites on their Social Media pages. If you run a business like this, you can monitor the number of followers clicking on your website’s link through a Google Analytics UTM Tracking Code. Just remember to indicate that the link is for a Social Media post in your UTM Medium.
Google Analytics UTM Tracking on Social Media Posts image
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  • In your Email Newsletter: Do you promote your website and products on your email newsletters? Then, you can use Google Analytics UTM Tracking to determine the Conversion Rate of your email copy.
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  • For Tracking Conversions of your Banner and Social Media Ads: This is the most common usage of Google Analytics UTM Tracking. Creating Google Analytics UTM Tracking Codes for your Social Media and Banner Ads will show you which ads have the highest conversions.
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Advantages of Google Analytics UTM Tracking

Listed below are the advantages of Google Analytics UTM Tracking:

  • It helps you spend your Marketing Funds wisely: In marketing, large budgets don’t always translate to increased profit. But with Google Analytics UTM Tracking, none of your Marketing Funds will go to waste. Google Analytics UTM Tracking provides a report on how many conversions your ads are bringing to you. This way, you can fish out the ads that don’t convert and stop running them. High-converting ads will, therefore, receive a greater percentage of your Marketing Funds. According to your Website Analytics Reports, redistributing your Marketing Funds will also ensure that you accumulate huge profits during your Ad Campaigns.
  • Accurate Reports on your Website Traffic: According to the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Rush, Google Analytics is one of the 2 most accurate Website Analytics Programs available on the internet. Surprisingly, Google offers this service for free. This means that any business owner can measure and understand how their ads are performing irrespective of the size of their Marketing Budget.
  • It helps marketers improve upon their expertise: As you run more ads for businesses and track them with Google Analytics UTM Tracking Codes, you get an idea of the kind of ads that perform well on each platform. This means that you can predict whether or not a campaign will be successful on a particular Social Media platform. In addition, Google Analytics UTM Tracking can help you avoid investing in ads that are less likely to increase business revenue.

Steps to Activate Google Analytics UTM Tracking on your Website

Follow the steps below to activate Google Analytics UTM Tracking on your website:

Step 1: Install Google Analytics

Log on to Google Analytics, and create an account if you don’t have one yet like in the image given below. Then, install the software on your website.

Google Analytics image
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Step 2: Access Google URL Builder

Type in Google URL Builder in your browser to access the Google URL Builder website like in the image given below.

Google URL Builder image
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Step 3: Generate a Unique URL

Enter your Ad Campaign Parameters to generate a unique URL for your website or ad like in the image given below. Your Ad Campaign Parameters are the Source, Medium, Term, Name, and Content.

Campaign URL Builder image
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Step 4: Change URL Settings

Change your original website URL to the new URL like in the image given below.

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Step 5: Access your Website Analytics

Access Your Website Analytics. After running your ad for a day or two, go to your Google Analytics account and select ‘Acquisition’ on the menu bar located at the right-hand side of your Analytics page. Then, click ‘Campaigns’ to view your ad results like in the image given below.

Google Analytics Campaign Ads result image
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This article introduced you to Google Analytics UTM Tracking and its Parameters. It provided the Application and Advantages of using Google Analytics UTM Tracking. The article also provided all the steps to activate UTM Tracking in your Google Analytics account.

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Share your experience of understanding UTM Tracking in Google Analytics in the comments section!

Isola Saheed Ganiyu
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Isola is a freelance writer specializing in the domains of data integration and data analysis. He has a passion towards creating engaging and educational content, breaking down these sophisticated subjects for easily understanding.

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