Hi. First off, I wanted to thank you again for signing up for this newsletter. Weâ€™re going to talk a lot about Google Analytics but might throw in a side trip to some other or ancillary platforms.
Today, weâ€™re going to start off with something simple, but deceptively powerful.
UTMs and you
Ever go cruising around the internet and run across a URL like this:
http://brasstacks.chrisvannoy.com/?utm_source=newsletter1 &utm_medium=email &utm_term=awesome &utm_content=utm_training &utm_campaign=newsletter_no_1
Whatâ€™s with all those utm_whatever bits at the end you might ask.
Those bits are essentially tags that can tell your Google Analytics installation where your visitor came from.
Theoretically, they break down as follows:
- utm_source: What specific thing this visitor came from. In this case, this very newsletter.
- utm_medium: What kind of thing did this visitor come from? In this case, theyâ€™d be coming from an email. In other cases, it might be Twitter, or Facebook or a forum somewhere.
- utm_campaign: If this is part of a larger campaign, this is where youâ€™d plug it in. Essentially, if this newsletter were part of a larger marketing campaign, I could collate all the related pieces using this.
- utm_term: If this were a paid AdWords campaign, I would be using this to separate which keywords were involved.
- utm_content: Another AdWords (or other advertising) related bit. This one could be used to differentiate between different ad content targeting the same keyword(s).
I listed the above in a rough order of usefulness. You could get by with just the first three for most things.
The other important thing to note is that while those are the intentions for their use by the Google Analytics team, you could really make them whatever youâ€™d like so long as you know what they represent and keep it consistent.
Now, you donâ€™t necessarily have to even remember all of the above, thanks to the handy-dandy Campaign Builder tool provided by the GA team.
Plug in your values, hit submit, then copy and paste your fully-tagged URL and plug it into your marketing efforts.
Why bother with all this stuff?
I know all the above can seem like a heck of a lot of work, especially if youâ€™re juggling multiple marketing channels across simultaneous campaigns.
But the payoff in the Google Analytics interface can be huge.
Doing this work ahead of time allows you to make use of the standard Acquisition > Campaigns report. This shows you how many visitors came through the various sources, mediums and campaigns.
More than that, you can then use these values to segment your visitors, enabling you to tell how well different channels, mediums, and messages convert once on your website.
Weâ€™ll talk more about segmenting next week, but your homework assignment (if you can call it that) for this week is to take a look at your marketing efforts and ensure youâ€™re tagging all links to your site appropriately. Pay special attention to your email campaigns. Emailâ€™s notoriously difficult to track, typically showing up as direct traffic.
Without UTM data, it can be nearly impossible to see just how well those efforts convert into paying customers or new accounts.
As a bonus: If youâ€™re trying to track sales funnel across multiple Google Analytics accounts, you can use UTMs to track visitors between the different installations as they go through your funnel. Just tag up the links that go between them.
So, get cracking, and let me know if you have any questions or run into any problems.