How to track and measure the success of your campaigns

Track your campaigns in Google Analytics and other website measurement platforms.

How to track and measure the success of your campaigns

What are UTMs and how do they help measure my campaign performance?

Do you want to know how visitors coming through your campaigns are interacting with your website?

Website analytics platforms like Google Analytics do a fairly good job at already categorising where they came from, for instance, organic search, social or email. However, often you may be running different campaigns with different audiences, ads and more. How do you tell them apart and know which ad they specifically came from?

That's where UTMs come in...

UTM stands for "Urchin Traffic Monitor" and is a little string of text that is appended to the URL that you wish to use for each ad, campaign and piece of content.

This helps you differentiate between the performance of all your marketing activity within Google Analytics and gives you a clear view of how the different segments have interacted with your website.

Say you want to know which campaign is driving more sign ups, sales or phone enquiries, without UTMs, you'd be hard press to know what was successful and what's not working. Meta, Google and Tik Tok have their own methods of tracking too, however, each attempt to claim credit for the same website interaction. We would recommend sticking with a source of truth like Google Analytics or Kepla.

A lot of platforms append their own tracking or UTMs which helps (Kepla does this), but sometimes you may want to make sure all of the UTM naming conventions are consistent across all of the activity you are running for a specific campaign.

Get access to a simple template builder here. Just copy the Google Sheet and rename it.

How to use the UTM builder

Step 1

Paste the URL you're looking to use for your marketing campaign.

Step 2

Select or type in a 'medium' which is the channel users are coming from.

Step 3

Select the source which is the platform (e.g. for social you may be using Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram or Reddit)

Step 4

Describe the name of the campaign e.g. (Winter Home & Living Promotion). This will need to be consistent across all URLs that you wish to track for the whole campaign so you can see total performance in Google Analytics.

Step 5

Add content names or 'keywords' if applicable. We like to use the content field to specify between 'prospecting' (new users or customers we want to reach) and 'retargeting' (re-engaging previous website visitors).

Step 6

When ready, copy the 'Generated URL' and paste into your browser.

Step 7

Head into Google Analytics and under 'Real Time' select 'Traffic Sources' to check that the URL is working correctly.

Step 8

Use each respective URL for your different marketing channels, campaigns and ads.

UTM best practices

Have a consistent naming convention setup

It's worth having a consistent naming convention process that your business sticks to. The main benefit is when it comes to reporting the results of different channels, campaigns and ad themes, re-using naming conventions is super important. Problems arise when you create your UTMs and specify the source as 'fb','fbook',Facebook','facebook'. We all know that it's the same source, however, in Google Analytics these will show up as their own source. Now you can clean this up within Google Analytics through using filters, but it just adds another step to the process. You'll then need to keep an eye for any future inconsistencies.

Avoid using UTMs for internal links on your website

It may seem like a good idea to apply UTMs to the internal links on your website but we would advise against doing this. This is because UTMs on an internal link will override the original source from where the visitor came from and any subsequent website interactions that will not be attributed correctly in Google Analytics standard reporting. Most commonly, this error is from people wanting to track button clicks on a certain page, which can be done through a tagging solution such as Google Tag Manager instead.

Use them across more than just Facebook and Google

You may not realise but UTMs can be useful across any URL that is used for marketing, whether you are working with influencers, running display campaigns with publishers, or doing guest content for another website. You should use UTMs as much as possible, which will help get a full spectrum of where your website visitors are coming from, what is the most effective, and where you should invest more time, money and energy.