Video: Google UTM Tracking: How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Campaigns in Google Analytics (Tutorial)
Today, you're gonna learn how to create UTM parameters to track all of your internet marketing efforts and all of your internet marketing campaigns. UTM parameters, UTM tags, UTM codes, these are all the same sort of thing. The idea here is that all of your digital marketing work can be quantified if you do this right. It's a super important part of online marketing, and if you get this right, you can measure everything, you can optimize, and you can get very, very granular and specific about everything that you do online. Super helpful. We're gonna go through the exact step by step process on how to do this, so make sure to watch the entire video. My name's Tommy Griffith with clickminded.
com. Let's get going. Okay. So creating UTM parameters to track your campaigns. We're gonna be diving into the ClickMinded SOP library for this one. SOP stands for standard operation procedure. It's just a fancy way to say a really comprehensive checklist. We have a ton of digital marketing SOP's on our website at clickminded.com. The execution time here is about one to two minutes. It's very fast. Let's do an overview of what we're gonna be talking about today before we get going. So what's the goal? The goal here is to easily create and keep a database of all the UTM URL's for the different campaigns that you are executing that drive traffic back to your website. The ideal outcome is that you have this very consistent usage of UTM parameters across your team, across platforms, and across campaigns that makes it super easy to understand the impact of all the different campaigns that you're executing in a third-party tool like Google Analytics.
Makes it very, very easy to measure. Why is this important? This is important be UTM URL's allow you to access how effective your marketing is. This is where it gets done, in the UTM URL's. It's often very difficult to establish a consistent usage for them, and if you can do this in the right way, it makes measurement super easy. When is this done? This is done any time you plan to link to your site as part of a campaign. There's a misconception out there that you only do this for paid campaigns. That's not true. You should be doing this any time you're trying to drive traffic back to your website and you want to measure it. That should be most times. Who does this? The person that does this is usually whoever's responsible for executing the campaign. It's another misconception, oh, it's the analytics guy that does this, or oh, it's the paid advertising person that does this. That's incorrect.
You wanna do this anytime you wanna measure, which should be most times, and you usually want the person executing the campaign as the one who is using UTM parameter URL's. Okay. Now we have an awesome, free downloadable for you. We're gonna hand over the ClickMinded UTM builder worksheets. You can take this template, copy it, and use it for yourself. It's extremely helpful in getting this done. If you want this, go ahead and click the link down below right now to grab it. Okay. Let's do a high level overview of what this doc looks like and talk about it a little bit before we enter any information. First up, you need to understand the best practices here before you enter your campaign information. You're gonna wanna fill out all your campaign information first.
That's the source, the medium, the name, the term, and maybe the content as well. Avoid stuff like special characters. Stick to just letters and numbers. It keeps it a little bit easier. The spreadsheet will give you a URL that will always use lowercase letters first and foremost. The reason why you wanna do that is because Google Analytics UTM tags are case sensitive. You don't wanna miss any data by being unsure whether or not your case is right with a certain campaign. It's just a completely avoidable, so just don't even go there. Keep it all lowercase to make it easy. This spreadsheet will also not let you use spaces. Don't use spaces. Instead, replace them with dashes. In the internet marketing world with URL's dashes or hyphens are spaces. A lot of engineers, programmers get this mixed up because a lot of engineering languages use underscores.
You actually wanna use hyphens in all situations, and you don't wanna use spaces as well. So use hyphens or dashes. Don't use spaces. Spaces aren't allowed in URL's. Instead, they're encoded in this weird way with a percentage sign and then 20. This just introduces a lot of weird complexity, so just avoid spaces and use hyphens instead. You should also have a rule on your organization to normalize how spaces should be handled. Keep it consistent. This spreadsheet does it for you. It's kind of idiot proof, so you actually can't do those things if you try. The spreadsheet will also automatically log the current date when the URL is generated. It makes it really helpful. The reason why this is important is because you wanna keep a time reference of your tags both inside Google Analytics and within your UTM log. When you're analyzing big time periods, you wanna be able to quickly kind of have a general idea of the period when that specific URL was promoted. The date is also generated in a way that allows you to sort by date inside Google Analytics by sorting it by name inside the platform, so it just makes it a little bit easier.
This spreadsheet will also let you select your source, mediums, and placements from the list. This is important because you wanna make sure everyone in your organization tags those parameters in the same way. If one teammate uses UTM source equals FB and another one uses UTM source equals Facebook, this can cause problems. You want everyone to have this consistent pattern. It makes for way easier measurement later on. With that out of the way, let's take a look at the actual spreadsheet and see how it works. Let's hope over to the guide section first. Again, just the high level overview. This spreadsheet always outputs the final URL as lowercase. Spreadsheet always replaces all spaces with dashes or hyphens in the final URL. The spreadsheet detects if the base URL is using parameters and adjusts the tracking parameters as needed. Dates are automatically logged and added to the UTM tracking.
Do not include any special characters. Then, always test your final URL before launching your campaigns. There's just some housekeeping stuff there. So we have a bunch of preset drop downs that you can go ahead and check out. We're gonna dive into these a little bit in a moment here. You can see all these here. But they can be edited under settings, so you can actually go ahead and change any of the drop downs that we have here. So a medium is another option. Something like that. You can actually see that, if I add that back in, another option under my medium. Another option. Right there. Right? So go ahead and kill that. You can go ahead and change this as your business needs to, or if it's got too much, if it's got too little, you can go ahead and make tweaks yourself. Let's dive into this. Okay. Who created it? All right. That's gonna be me. Tommy G.
Base URL will be my website. So we've got the date is set. What the source is gonna be? We'll call that Facebook. You can see the final URL is already being generated, but I haven't quite yet set everything yet. Right now, I've only set the source for Facebook, so it's got the UTM source as Facebook and then the content is the date. If I go ahead and add the medium, the medium is gonna be social, you can see social was just added as that UTM medium. This is gonna be my campaign. It's gonna be the Fall Sale 2020 Campaign. Whatever you wanna call it. The term or ad set. This is gonna be very specific based on the campaign. You may not always need this. We'll leave that blank for now. The ad placement? We're gonna do this in the actual newsfeed. Then, the content will be the Fall Sale infographic, something like that. And there it is. You can see our URL, so we have our website, we have our UTM source, we have our UTM medium, the UTM campaign, and then the content and the actual name appended onto the date.
Incredibly helpful. Okay. So we've generated our UTM parameter URL. Now we wanna make sure that it's actually working. We gotta check it. We gotta QA it. First thing we're gonna do is take this link that's been generated and open it up in your browser. We've opened up the URL. You can see the actual parameters we have on it here. All of this is listed. Now we can dive into this with the Google Tag Assistant Chrome Plug-in. If you don't have that, we have a link to that plug-in down below so you can grab it. So open up your actual URL, and then go ahead and click the Google Tag Assistant Chrome Plug-in. Make sure it's enabled, and then click record on the right hand side. Once you've hit record on Google Tag Assistant, you just have to refresh your page. Give it a quick refresh. Then jump back into Google Tag Assistant and click stop recording. Up here, this blue button, you click show full report.
Once you click show full report, you jump over here on the top right to Google Analytics report. It does a quick analysis of your recording, and gives you the results. You see down here. We'll scroll down a little bit, and you can see under acquisitions. Source? Facebook. Medium? Social. Campaign name? Fall Sale 2020 Campaign. This worked. Our UTM parameter URL's worked. If you didn't see the results, if it said no information found or no analytics found or no data found, what might be happening is you have an ad blocker or you're using some type of Google Analytics opt out plug-in. I use a Chrome plug-in that blocks my own traffic from Google Analytics, and when I first did this, it didn't show any results because all of that was being blocked. Make sure you don't have one of those installed, but it looks like, based on this test, that this is working.
That's it. That's how to create UTM parameters or UTM tags or UTM codes to track all of your campaigns. I hope that was helpful. If you learned something to day, go ahead and click subscribe down below for even more digital marketing tactics and advice. If you're watching on YouTube, would love a comment from you. Was this helpful? Are you gonna do it this way? Do you have a different way that you prefer? I'd love to hear about it. I read every single comment. Finally, if you want this template along with an exact walkthrough on how to do this and links to all the resources that I talked about today, go ahead and click the link down to clickminded.com below to grab everything as a downloadable for free right now. Thanks a lot..