UTM tracking is a simple tool that can have major ramifications for your Google Analytics campaign tracking. It can give you traffic source and behavior information marketers only dreamed of having before the internet.
In the print media age, data-driven marketers could only use coupon codes and surveys to make educated guesses on ad effectiveness.
Still, there was a lot of uncertainty. How can a marketer track views on a highway billboard campaign?
Even if you have street traffic estimates, how do you measure the number of people who actually read the billboards? Also, how can you track how much they spent? A $2,000 billboard could attract 3,000 customers and still be a terrible investment if they only spend 50 cents each! And that’s before we look at gross revenue vs. net profit!
You can get much better answers to these questions thanks to Google Analytics and UTM tracking. This simple method allows you to determine which online listings, ads, and other backlinks are sending you traffic.
You can follow these visitors’ digital journeys to determine what they’re looking at on your site. Most importantly of all, you can ensure this traffic is converting!
Have you ever opened an article link and noticed that it seemed much longer than a normal URL? You might have even seen the name of the site you navigated from in this long URL. This link was likely a URL with a UTM tracking code.
UTM tracking works by adding code to the end of a webpage’s URL. UTM Tracking URLs can be built for free using tools such as Google’s URL builder. Users only need to paste in the intended destination URL and set five parameters to begin tracking: source, medium, campaign, term, and content.
For example, let’s say you’re tracking efforts to bring in website traffic and online appointments using your online listings. In this example, you’re creating a unique UTM Link for Dr. JD Dorian’s “Make an Appointment” link on his CareDash profile.
Knowing that information, the source on this tracking code could be “caredash” and the medium could be “provider-profile”. The campaign parameter should be set as “online-listings”.
Next, let’s set the term parameter. This parameter would typically be used to track a specific keyword in a pay per click (PPC) campaign. But for this organic campaign, let’s use it to track the name of the referring doctor, “jd-dorian”.
Finally, let’s specify that the content parameter was “online-appointment-link”.
The UTM builder exports the following: http://www.example.com/book-appointment?utm_source=caredash&utm_medium=provider-profile&utm_campaign=online-listings&utm_term=jd-dorian&utm_content=online-appointment-link.
Now you would enter this coded link for the appointment button on Dr. DJ Dorian’s CareDash profile.
Establish your UTM naming conventions, then deploy unique UTM code for each link on all online listings. This will allow you the greatest insight into your traffic drivers.
Google Analytics Campaign Tracking
You can use any of the five UTM parameters in Google Analytics campaign tracking. Campaigns would be the best parameter choice to track referral traffic from your online listings a whole.
However, you could also use source to discover which particular sites are bringing in traffic. You could even drill down to discover which providers bring in the most referrals using term or type of link using content.
For now, let’s focus on seeing how your entire “online-listings” campaign is performing in traffic acquisition. Open Google Analytics and click on to the Acquisition report drop-down under the REPORTS menu on the left-hand side.
Now, click on the Campaigns sub-drop-down, and finally click to open the All Campaigns report. This report shows you several acquisition, behavior, and conversion metric for every UTM coded campaign your running.
This column group includes users, new users, and sessions.
Users captures all user who initiated at least one session during the date range selected in the top right corner of the report. New users, however, only counts first-time users. New users are also counted under users, but not vise versa.
Sessions counts all periods of time for which a user was actively engaged in your website and ends after 30 minutes of inactivity. A user who visits your site, steps away for an hour, then resumes their visit will count as two sessions.
This section is broken into bounce rate, page per session, and average session duration.
The bounce rate shows the percentage of sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. Have you ever clicked a Google search result, determined it was not what you were looking for, and then immediately left the page in seconds without clicking anything? If so, you added to that page’s bounce rate (and signaled to Google to lower that pages rank in future searches!)
Pages per session, or average page depth, show the average number of pages viewed during a session. Repeat views of the same page in a single session are counted in this average.
The average session duration shows the length of your average session. Keep in mind that low averages could single a lack of relevance to your visitors but could also signal a very efficient website. The real measure of your website is if it’s accomplishing your goals.
You’ll measure those goal completions in the Conversions section. If you haven’t already, create a goal to measure online appointments and select it in the drop-down menu located at the top of the column. Converting visitors into patients is the ultimate goal of this initiative, so we’ll use it as our ultimate success metric.
Each conversion rate column will show you the total number of campaign-tagged users who fulfilled each of your goals.
Select your appointment booking goal from the drop-down menu next to “conversions”. You can go on to see the raw number of appointments booked in the goal completions column, as well as the completion success percentage. If you have assigned these appointments a monitory value, you’ll see the total value added in the goal value column.
Manage Your Online Listings to Improve Your Results
Now that you know how to track your online listings, it’s time to optimize them to improve your results. Managing all of your listings across your entire organization can be a daunting task. Lucky for you, Binary Fountain’s Listings Management platform can help simplify the task!
Our platform can serve as a central hub to help you control your business listings and citations across the internet. It helps you optimize your discoverability and lock in your data to ensure accuracy and drive more visits to your digital front door.
Control your listings, optimize your SEO, remove duplicate listings, and analyze and report on active citations, all in one place.
Want to learn more about how Binary Fountain can help you own your online listings?
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