Have you heard the term UTM and wanted to try them out, but weren’t quite sure where to begin? Are you looking for an easy way to track where your traffic and prospects are coming from? If so, this quick guide is for you.
The Quick (and Easy) Guide to UTM Parameters is designed to help small marketing teams who might not have access to a web developer or 3rd-party attribution tools. UTM parameters can be used by everyone (even if you are a busy team of one) to help track where your leads and visitors are coming from. Whether you are a tech genius or a tech newbie, embrace UTM parameters as a very powerful, free and easy way to track the source of your traffic from shared content.
UTM parameters are a free and easy way to get basic attribution information on the content you share or the places you advertise.
UTM parameters are specific tracking information appended to a single URL that allow you to track specific information related to where that URL is clicked. The parameters can be tracked using an analytics platform, such as Google Analytics, and/or captured using your web forms.
What are Common UTM Parameters?
Although you can create any parameter you want, the most common UTM parameters are:
Source: Google Analytics, https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033863#parameters
The easiest way to create your own URLs with parameters is to use one of the free URL builders available:
Many marketing automation platforms, such as Marketo or Hubspot, have built in URL builders.
Once you understand the structure of a URL containing UTM parameters, you can easily create them manually.
The real power of UTM parameters comes in the tracking information that they pass into your analytics platform. Since most of us rely on Google Analytics, let’s explore how URLs with UTM parameters are tracked there.
On the left side navigation, got to “Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium”
In addition to using URL parameters to assess the traffic from your various sources and campaigns, you can often capture that data using hidden fields on forms. By capturing them during the form fill process, you can track where your leads are coming from.
The ability to capture data using hidden fields depends on how your forms are built. With the myriad of form options, it’s impossible to give step-by-step directions for each. I have experience with both Gravity Forms and Marketo forms which is likely to translate to the type of forms you use:
One limitation of using hidden fields to capture UTM values is that the UTM parameters are only available on that specific page and don’t remain with the visitor as they navigate to other pages on your website.
For example, if you direct someone to your home page using a UTM parameter, such as https://www.mysite.com/?utm_source=Facebook, the UTM parameters would be available for a form on that page. However, if that visitor clicks to your Contact page and fills out a form on that page, no UTM parameters will be captured on that form.
Tracking attribution is the first step to understanding the results of your individual marketing efforts. Adding UTM parameters to all the links you share is a quick, easy and FREE way to begin to track attribution.