How can you determine whether investing in Facebook is worthwhile or your recent promotional campaign drives sufficient traffic? The solution lies in using UTM codes and tracking links.

UTM, or Urchin Traffic Monitor tracking codes, is essential for identifying the kind of specific links or ads that get clicked on the most. It tells you which landing pages on your website get the most interactions and can even track which links within a specific ad campaign are getting clicked on the most.

Below is our beginner’s guide to creating these codes and setting them up in Google Analytics.

UTM codes

UTM Code in Google Analytics 4

Whether you’re setting up a code through an SEO campaign, social media marketing campaign, email marketing campaign, or another digital marketing service, getting as much data as possible is essential.

What is a UTM Code?

A UTM tracking code is a URL that redirects to your website or target landing page. It helps business owners and digital marketing agencies identify which specific links and digital ads (like those in Pay-Per-Click campaigns) get clicked on or converted the most.

When a UTM tracking code is set up correctly, it can provide valuable information about where your website visitors are coming from, how they are getting to your website, and what kind of products and services they are looking for.

When appropriately used, these tracking codes in Google Analytics can double or even quadruple your clicks and conversions. And that’s without spending additional money on your marketing campaigns!

What Are Its Benefits?

As mentioned earlier, UTM tracking codes are brief snippets of code added to the end of a URL, enabling tracking of website traffic origins. Despite their small size, they offer significant advantages to marketers. Here’s why they matter:

  • Enhanced Tracking

These codes provide precise insights into the origins of your website traffic. This visibility allows you to identify which marketing strategies yield tangible results. These codes lets you determine which sources, mediums, and campaigns drive the most traffic, leads, and sales.

  • Refined Attribution

These codes enable accurate credit allocation. For instance, if a visitor initially discovers your site via a Google search and returns later through a Facebook ad. These tracking codes reveal the entire customer journey.

Google Analytics UTM codes allow attributing the sale or conversion to both channels, acknowledging their respective contributions.

These codes offer a straightforward yet potent method to gain deeper insights into website traffic and marketing initiatives. They facilitate more precise tracking of sources and mediums, providing a comprehensive view of the channels generating the most value for your business.

Consistent use of these codes empowers smarter marketing decisions and enables optimization of campaigns for superior outcomes. Now, let’s explore further how these code links assist marketers in accurately assigning lead sources.

How Can These Tracking Codes Help Marketers?

An essential aspect of marketing excellence involves measuring your achievements and impact. A Google UTM Code can do this for you. Regardless of the metrics employed, demonstrating your value to your boss and the company is crucial.

You need your allocated budget — and perhaps even require more — and the opportunity to focus on marketing endeavors that yield results. Crafting these codes to track campaign performance is the most effective way to justify this need.

Relying solely on your analytics tool for source and medium breakdowns isn’t enough to prove the efficacy of a particular strategy. UTM links offer intricate data, enabling a deeper dive into the precise traffic sources.

These links utilize specific UTM parameters such as Campaign, Source, Medium, Content, and Term. With UTM tracking codes in play, you can ascertain:

  • Sources of Traffic

UTM tracking codes allow you to identify the exact sources generating your website traffic. These sources include the following:

  • Other websites
  • Paid posts and sponsored listings
  • Search engines
  • Social websites

These tracking codes distinguish these diverse origins, providing insights into where your traffic originates, whether through social media platforms, search engines, paid advertisements, or other websites.

  • Traffic Channel

Understanding the broad categorization of the traffic source is equally crucial. This categorization helps in assessing the overall value of specific channels. For instance:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Email
  • Organic search
  • Social media

These mediums represent different categories that your traffic sources can fall into. Create a UTM  code to analyze these categories as it provides insights into the overall performance and effectiveness of channels like organic search, email campaigns, paid advertisements, and social media.

This broader classification aids in determining the worthiness of investments in these specific areas.

  • Content People Click

Which elements receive the most clicks — images, menu, or sidebar links? Utilizing the content UTM parameter provides this insight. It’s pivotal for evaluating whether adjustments are needed, such as adding more images or refining the structure of sidebar links if they aren’t attracting clicks.

  • Terms Driving Traffic

A UTM code builder helps create links that serve another valuable purpose — aid in identifying the terms driving traffic to a particular page. The term parameter explicitly enables you to discern which keywords are responsible for generating the most traffic and which might require further attention or improvement.

UTM codes

Where Do I Use These Tracking Codes?

The short answer? Everywhere. But let us clarify this. UTM tracking codes are small snippets.

You add the UTM tracking code to a specified URL so that it can help you identify and track which specific ads or links are giving you the most action for your invested dollar.

Where Can I Generate UTM Code?

You can create a UTM tracking for Google Analytics in a few places. Our preference is the one coming straight from the horse’s mouth, Google’s free Campaign URL Builder below:

Creating These Codes Via Google Analytics

Can these codes be created through Google Analytics? The short and technical answer is no.  Google Analytics doesn’t facilitate the creation of these codes directly within its platform. While you can view UTM data in GA, generating its codes isn’t a feature available within Google Analytics.

However, you have a few options to create UTM-coded URLs. You can manually construct UTM-coded URLs by adding parameters to your links.

On the other hand, Google offers the Campaign UTM code builder, a free tool that simplifies the process of creating UTM parameters and codes for your URLs.

To demonstrate how to generate a Thanksgiving promotion URL for a hypothetical scenario — let’s say you’re the email marketing manager for a food chain and want to track the performance of a promotional email — follow these steps:

  1. Head to the Campaign URL builder tool.
  2. Ensure that you toggle the switch for “GA4” to align with the Google Analytics 4 configuration. This step ensures compatibility with the GA4 tracking system.
  3. You’ll see several fields to complete, and three of them are essential, marked with asterisks _ the website URL, campaign source, and campaign medium to generate the UTM codes. Additionally, it’s advisable to include the campaign name parameter in most cases, as we’ll do here.
  4. Enter the website URL. It should be the page where you intend visitors to land upon clicking your UTM-coded link.
  5. Next, complete the field for the campaign source. Since this relates to a promotional email, you’ll input utm_source=promotional_email.
  6. Afterward, proceed to input the campaign name (utm_campaign).  Given that the promotional offer targets customers in the United States seeking an alternative to turkey and stuffing, you’ll enter thanksgiving_sale as the utm_campaign.
  7. As you fill out the fields, the UTM code builder tool automatically generates the UTM-coded link.
  8. You can copy the URL by simply clicking on the copy icon to the right of the generated URL. This copied link can then be used in your promotional email.
  9. When your audience clicks on this link, the UTM parameters will be transmitted to Google Analytics, allowing you to analyze your email’s performance.

Take Your UTM Tracking Code Further

Set up conversion tracking and campaign goals to take your tracking codes in Google Analytics a step further. From there, you’ll not only track the clicks coming to your website but also be able to track conversions (or leads).

Remember, setting up Google Analytics UTM codes is a simple process made to look complicated. All you do is create and place a unique URL with tracking data on your ad campaigns.

Here’s a snapshot for your reference:

UTM Tracking Codes in Google Analytics

Leverage Tracking Codes With Clicta Digital

The additional insights provided by your codes equip you with more actionable data. This data becomes invaluable for conducting deeper analyses, such as A/B testing and optimizing ad strategies.

Moreover, aggregating campaign performance data across various channels can generate insights crucial for reporting and future planning.

Need help setting up your UTM codes in Google Analytics? Contact us, the digital marketing specialists at Clicta Digital. We would love to help!