A UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) a little bit of code appended to the end of a URL or link. If UTMs are added, it allows you to measure where your traffic is coming from, with tons of granularity. If you do not use UTMs you will still see the referrer of traffic, but this is not typically very structured and still leaves you wondering what particular post, tweet, page or link the user clicked on to finds your site. This leaves marketers scratching their head, wondering what is working and what is not. A UTM will allow you to understand better where your traffic is coming from beyond the standard referring URL you would typically get.
Let’s break down how you should use a Google URL.
Here is an example of a link to our home page:
This an example of the same link with a UTM tag:
To break this down further, a UTM consists of several different components: website URL, campaign source, campaign medium, campaign term, campaign content, and campaign name.
- Website URL: https://skunkworks.ca
- Campaign Name: product
- Campaign Source: google
- Campaign Medium: cpc
- Campaign Term: segmentation
- Campaign Content: mixpanel
Each of these comes with a very specific purpose. Let’s examine them.
- Campaign Name (utm_campaign): This acts as the identifier for a specific campaign, product, or offering that you’re driving traffic to. It’s required for all UTMs.
- Campaign Source (utm_source): This is the referrer of traffic to your page, such as Google, Facebook or Outbrain. In many cases, this is the platform or tool you used to create the medium.
- Campaign Medium (utm_medium): This is the marketing medium that referred the traffic. So, unlike the source, it tracks the type of traffic such as a banner ad, an email, or a Facebook post.
- Campaign Term – optional (utm_term): While this is optional, creating a campaign term allows you to track the paid keywords of an ad or even the keyword of the link in a blog post.
- Campaign Content – optional (utm_content): This is another optional part of a UTM, but including this allows you to easily differentiate between ads on the same channel, like Reddit ads, which comes in handy when you’re A/B testing various images or ad copy.
UTMs in Google Analytics
Once you have created a URL with the official Google Analytics URL builder, we can track these visitors by campaign under Google Analytics acquisition section. We can also filter down reports, dashboards and views to the campaign you used in your UTM tracking code.
Some people don’t like the way UTM code looks when they distribute their links. If you want a more attractive looking URL thats easier to type and remember you can shorten it.
Shortening takes your long unattractive Google Analytics URL which contains the UTM code and then masks it behind a less complex URL. Popular shorteners include Google’s own goo.gl, Bit.ly’s shortener, or even your own custom YOURLS installation with your own custom domain name.
If you would like custom short URLs set up for your firm, contact your Skunkworks account manager for more information.
UTMs in Mixpanel
Mixpanel will automatically track first touch UTM tags as properties by default. If a UTM link was used, Mixpanel will automatically store them as first touch super properties and people properties. This is super helpful when trying to understand where your customers came from. Learn more about how Mixpanel tracks first touch UTMs here.
If you want to get super advanced, check out this Javsacript code that stores last touch UTMs. When this script is added it will enable you to store last touch UTMs in your super properties and people properties, giving you a full picture of your first touch and last touch attribution for any action a customer takes.
UTMs in Kissmetrics
As with most analytics tools, Kissmetrics tracks UTMs right of the box. One of the cool things about Kissmetrics is it also tracks first touch and last touch UTMs without any extra configuration. You can learn more about how Kissmetrics track UTMs on their support page.