30 years ago, when I was 5 years old- I went missing from school. Then I was found on a road which led to my home. It was one of the busiest roads in the town. That’s what makes this story somewhat dramatic. I wasn’t lost as everyone else thought. I was going home and I was dropping stones on my way so that I can return if I don’t know where to go.
I had heard this story somewhere, in a school probably. I am pretty sure it is a famous story and you have read it too. Anyway, the point is that there was a way I could track back to where my source was – School.
Similarly, In the digital world, there is a way to track visitors. Instead of stones, there are UTM tags.
What are UTM Tags?
UTM tags, also known as UTM codes or UTM parameters, are bits of code you add to your URLs for the purpose of tracking them. For example
The source is social media
The channel is facebook
The campaign is the new year
Similarly, you can create UTM tags for all your campaigns
Ordinarily, links to your websites or landing pages, do the basic job of bringing visitors. They do not tell you where the visitors came from. This is what UTM tags do for you by simply embedding them in your links. UTM tags also make it easier to glean information from your Analytics tool such as LeadSquared.
When users click on a link to your landing page, one that you’ve probably shared in a Facebook ad, an email newsletter, or some other campaign ad, the UTM tags in your link are collected by LeadSquared and saves that information in a database like this
However, UTM tags can be used for different purposes (which would be discussed in detail below) and this allows you to group each metric for more in-depth analysis of your traffic.
Now, let’s look at the really cool stuff you can track with UTM tags.
Where are your visitors coming from?
One of the biggest questions any digital marketer wants to answer is the source of his visitors, especially when they have multiple lead sources. Think of a digital marketer who is handling campaigns on different mediums, channels and maybe different products. It is not easy to keep a track of the traffic coming from all the dimensions.
The utm source tag/parameter shows you where your traffic comes from, whether it is from Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc. For instance, the analytics tool is able to group every visitor that comes from Twitter in the same group based on the use of UTM tags.
How is your traffic reaching you?
This UTM tag is important because, for every source in a campaign, there can be multiple mediums implemented for converting customers. Hence, the use of the utm_medium parameter. This means that if you have an infographic and a video ad displayed on any source, your Analytics is able to tell you if a visitor clicked on the infographic or the video ad.
The utm_medium parameter is also used for other channels like blogs on your website or a guest blog, as well as email.
Which campaign is getting you traffic
The utm_campaign parameter is used to measure the performance of particular campaigns if you have a couple of them running simultaneously. This UTM tag groups traffic by the campaign. That is, if you have a Google AdWord campaign and a Facebook Campaign, the Analytics tool separates traffic from each other based on which of the campaign it is coming from.
Importance of UTM tags
UTM tags help to streamline your traffic. Even the simplest of things like blog posts. If you have tons of blog posts on a guest platform like Quora or LinkedIn, UTM tags will tell you which of the posts brought a particular visitor.
Apart from being able to tell what your traffic is coming from, which is a holistic way of stating the importance of UTM tags, they are core to measuring the performance of your campaigns. Because at the end of the day, you can only control what you can measure.
As of 2018, organizations and individuals across the world spend a combined $100 billion dollars on digital marketing alone. What this means is that there’s a lot of competition for the same customers you are trying to convert. It also means that you cannot afford to spend time hitting and missing with your marketing campaigns. Hence, the need for tools like UTM tags which show you loopholes within your campaigns quickly – what is working and what is not.
Another positive side to the adoption of UTM tags is that it keeps you from continuing to spend on campaigns that are not working. If a copy isn’t selling your value propositions to your audience, UTM tags offer one of the best chances at realizing this. And you can make changes as soon as possible.