Using UTM codes allows you to track the sources that generate traffic. By tagging your publication URLs with UTM codes, you can get a good understanding of how your visitors interact with your publication. UTM parameters are five tags that you can add to the end of the URLs of your publication or an external link inside your publication.
When someone clicks on a URL with UTM parameters, it allows analytics software such as Google Analytics to track information. Information such as how visitors are coming to your publication and if they're interacting with any content associated with a campaign or social media post. These codes add that extra bit of information to the visitors of your publication for tracking purposes. Understanding the basics of UTM parameters (and when to best use them) can help you make the most out of your reports statistics.
An example URL:
Five UTM tags
There are five different UTM parameters that can be added to the referring URL. By determining these codes, keep in mind that you can structure these for inbound and outbound purposes for your digital publication. Let's take a look at how each one can be used:
The source or platform that sends traffic to your publication, like LinkedIn, Maglr domain or your email newsletter.
Refers to the medium or marketing channels that lead visitors to or from your publication. You can use these tags to identify the medium like cost-per-click (cpc), social media, email, affiliate or QR code. And for outbound traffic you can specify the publication type such as a brochure, online magazine or sales presentation.
Used to identify which campaign, promotion or publication is generating traffic by tagging its name.
Term tags are mainly for tracking your keywords during a paid AdWords campaign. You can also use it for display ad campaigns to identify aspects of your online audience.
This tag is used to identify the exact element in your ad, promotion or publication that was clicked. This is often used for optimization purposes, for example, to know what content asset works best to activate your readers. For example, if you’re sharing a magazine at page level, you can indicate this here.
The importance of UTM parameters
Using a combination of these five tags can help you to gain valuable insights about which promotional efforts are bringing traffic from and to your publication. Tracking software such as Google Analytics gives you a rough estimate of which channels generate the most visitors, even without using UTM codes. It will show you how many visitors have come through search engines, social media, or links from other sites. UTM codes, however, allow you to zoom in even further. You’ll be able to find out exactly where your visitors originate from by adding these codes to URLs in your content marketing efforts. Knowing which channels work best can help your team target and utilize the types of content that perform best.
How to build and track UTM parameters
If you have connected Google Analytics to your Maglr account, you can also use tools such as the Campaign URL builder. This tool allows you to easily add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track visitors in the Maglr statistics dashboard. UTM codes can be used for much more than just measuring inbound traffic to your publications. You can also tag outbound traffic: traffic from your publication to your website, for example signing up for newsletters or registering for a demo. Tagging these links allows you to closely monitor conversions. Below we will explain using two examples of UTM codes for inbound and outbound tracking purposes.
These UTM codes will tell that visitors came to visit your publication via a promoted LinkedIn video.
These UTM codes will tell you that visitors came from your publication that clicked the call-to-action button on the 4th page to register for a demo trial on your website.
Keep in mind
In order to keep your URLs clean and descriptive, we advise you two things when creating UTM codes for tracking.
- Use dashes over underscores, percentage and plus signs in your URLs.
- Stay consistent with lowercase throughout all of the parameters. When you use a capital letter one time for i.e. a campaign, tracking software will see this as a different campaign.
- We also recommended that you shorten the URL, using tools like bit.ly or Google Link Shortener to make for a good user experience.
- Also, save and keep track of all your active UTM codes in Excel or other tools to leave no room for error.