The who, what, where and why of UTM codes…

Every second, on average, users tweet around 6,000 times. This corresponds to over 350,000 tweets per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year. And this is just Twitter!

Factor in the 1,420,992,993 users currently logged onto Facebook and the 2,197 photos uploaded to Instagram every second , and you’re beginning to get a grasp of the sheer scale of online audiences.

Now imagine if your brand had the chance to get in front of all of these people. Your brand’s message would go global quicker than the time it’s just taken you to read this sentence.

How do you find out who’s noticing your brand? How do you monitor their tweets and shares on Facebook?

Track your traffic

There are many tools you can use to shorten links, to inform you who clicked on your links and what country they are from, but what if you want to know more than that? What if you need to know what is working and what isn’t?

Or just the simple question of, how do you track your traffic?

The answer is UTM codes. Over the last ten days I have heard and read the words ‘UTM codes’ more times than I would like to admit. What has become apparent is the importance of the role they can play in improving your brand online.

UTM codes might sound daunting, but once you get your head around them they are extremely simple to use.

What are UTM codes?

In simple terms, UTM codes (Urchin Tracking Module) are codes that you can attach to custom URLs in order to track a source, medium, and campaign name. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where searchers came from as well as what campaign has directed them to you. These can work for both offline and online links, enabling you to track precisely where your traffic is coming from.

This can be a great way to test different wording and/or images used on ads to find out which one is more successful.

How to make UTM codes:

UTM codes are free and easy to make. The step-by-step guide is simple to follow.
google layout for making utm codes
The main thing to remember is to make sure you name everything correctly as you want to see it appear on Google Analytics.

The main four pieces of information you need to focus on are:

  • The website URL – This is the link you want to direct the customer towards.
  • The Campaign source – Where the traffic has come from.
    For example, your brand’s Facebook page.
  • The Campaign medium – This is the type of ad that is featured.
    For example, is the ad featured a promotional paid ad, a full page layouts in a magazine, or an email campaign, etc.
  • The Campaign name – In simple terms, this is just the name of the campaign. This could be anything from ‘60% Off Windows’ to ‘Summer Giveaway.’ Whatever you have named your campaign, this goes here.

Once you have all this information, Google Analytics will then do all the hard work for you and create your custom UTM Code.

What to do next:

You have your unique UTM code – hurray! – but the link is still looking too long, especially if you are wanting to share this on Twitter. The best thing to do is visit a link shortener such as Bitly, TinyURL or Ow.ly.

This takes seconds, and will leave you with your fully functional, practical UTM code. All that’s left to do now is to track your progress in Google Analytics!

Campaign performance

To find how well your campaign is performing, the appropriate section on Google Analytics will show you all the campaigns that you’ve created trackable links for. You can then click each link, and find out where your traffic has come from.

It really is as simple as that. You’re then free to report your findings – to yourself, your boss or your client!

UTM codes are the perfect way to easily track how your campaign is doing, and should be a vital part of any campaign to find out which medium of traffic works most effectively for your clients.

Who’s visited your website recently?

For more information how a UTM code tracking can benefit your business, give Zest a call on +44 (0)1865 684999 or contact us online.