Google Analytics: UTM Link Tagging Explained

A customer of Intown Web Design developed an offline postcard campaign.   The postcard campaign centered around their revolutionary new product.  The postcard instructed them to visit a website about the new product. However, this website was not complete.  To provide the best customer experience we created a 301 redirect to the existing product page on the company's main website.

Steven Johnson
by | Posted: April 5, 2008 |
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The challenge that we faced was how do we track the number of people who received the postcard and followed the instructions.

The problem was solved using link tagging with Google Analytics UTM values.

Overview

Intown Web Design built custom UTM urls to be used in the 301 redirects.  By doing this the customer could visit the new product domain name on the postcard and then be redirected to the product page with the longer url and we could track the entire process in Google Analytics.

What are Google Analytic UTM Tags?

Google UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) tags allow you to add extra information to you the link you create.  This extra information appears in the Google Analytics reports under Traffic Sources. 

A Link with UTM tags added:

http://www.domain.com/page.html?utm_source=Partner-Domain &utm_medium=Mailer&utm_campaign=New-Product

Required UTM Values

  • utm_source=XXX  This is the source of the link Example: Search Engine, another domain, or name of email list
  • utm_medium=XXX This is the method of delivery. EX: Postcard, Email, or Banner Ad
  • utm_campaign=XXX This is a name that helps you keep track of your different campaign efforts Example: Fall_Drive, Christmas_Special

Optional UTM Values

 

  • utm_term=XXX This is a used to identify paid keywords. Example: speakers, monitors, shoes
  • utm_content=XXX This is for split testing or separating two ads that go to the same URL


To create the URL just add a "?" at the end of the URL and then an "&" between each one of the terms.

If you would like some assistance here is a very helpful Google Analytic UTM URL Builder.

Where to view the Link Tagging Results?


After you have created your links and sent them out via email, other web sites or pay per click, it is time to see your results.  As with all Google Analytic Reporting it can take several hours for the data to appear in you reports.

In Google Analytics go to Traffic Sources --> All Traffic Sources

Depeding on how much traffic you site gets you may have to filter to find the information.  After you locate it you will see the UTM values you entered for the Source and Medium.

Additionally you can filter the different reports to see the other UTM values that you added to your links.

Summary.

Tagging Links with UTM values is a very powerful and valuable tool that gives you the ability to create unique links for different campaigns.  These links can be distributed via email, banner ad, affiliate program, or even offline marketing campaign.

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