Have you ever clicked through an article on Facebook or an email newsletter and looked at the URL? If you have you may have noticed that the URL looks especially long, even going beyond what you can view in the address bar. This is because someone applied a UTM tracking code.
Turns out, using UTM tracking codes is not only common, it’s smart. The person who wrote the post put the tracking in place to see advanced information about what actions a user is taking when visiting the website with that link. This information can include where they are coming from online, the number of pages they’re viewing on your website. and how much time they’re spending on your site.
Beyond being interesting, this information is extremely valuable for any business owner or jewelry designer. It means you can see how people are interacting with your site and use that information to create new content or even improve your jewelry design.
Getting Started With Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free analytic software that you can install on your website. Setting up Google Analytics isn’t hard; it’s the first step to tracking usage on your website. Once you have that it’s time to create your very own long tracking link.
Introducing UTM Tracking Codes:
UTM (which stands for Urchin Traffic Monitor) is the “secret sauce” that connects what you do on a social site to Google Analytics. That means every time that you apply a UTM tracking code to a link that you post on social media (be it Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook) you can know exactly what traffic comes to your site using this link.
But what’s the catch?
No catch. Well, only that you need to know how to create a UTM code. The good news is that it is pretty easy to pick up. Essentially here are the ingredients you’ll need to create a custom Google Analytics UTM Code:
- Campaign Source
- Campaign Medium
- Campaign Nam
Let’s break these down one-by-one:
Link: This is the link to your story on your site. It’s the easy part. Go find your link and then read on.
Campaign Source: This is the “where” of the equation. Is it social media? Which platform specifically? Are you driving them to your website from an email newsletter? Pick something you can use time and time again, and keep it consistent (capitalization counts!).
Campaign Medium: This is the “how” of the equation. How is your audience getting to your content? A specific post on social media? If you’re re-promoting older content or an older jewelry design, maybe you add something to designate that here as well.
Campaign Name: The “what” of the equation. What date did you post the content? What was the link about? I personally use a combination of date and what the article is about in this field so I can quickly figure it out when I view the information in Google Analytics.
Once you enter all the parts, you’re going to get something that looks like this real-world example from above:
- This is the article link
- This is the campaign source
- This is the campaign Medium
- This is the campaign Name
Creating Your Own UTM Tracking Codes:
Feel like you’re ready to get started tracking your links? Excellent! I’m excited I converted you to the dark side. The best way to do this is to visit Google URL Builder and use it to guide your codes. I like using this site because it has stars (or asterisks) near all the fields I mentioned above so you know what is required to enter.
As an added bonus, if you don’t remember what field is what, it includes definitions as well. The website also features additional fields you can choose include for additional details and information. Once you finish entering your information, the link automatically generates for you to copy.
NOTE: Once you create a UTM link it’s pretty freaking long. If you want something shorter, pop it into Bit.ly or Ow.ly to shorten it so it’s not taking up your whole social description.
Once you become a pro, it may make sense to keep a UTM link and manually change out the parameters yourself. When you can do this you’ve officially reached UTM pro status.
And now my friends, every time someone clicks that link Google will know exactly what people are doing when they click on a link from your website in Google Analytics. Don’t worry about suppressing your newfound feelings of joy; track all the things!
How do you plan to use this knowledge to inform your jewelry business decisions? Leave those comments and any questions you may have in the comments below.