UTM tags are parameters (variables) that contain additional data that are added to the landing page URL and allow you to transmit additional information about traffic characteristics to web analytics systems.
UTM tags first appeared in the Urchin system (later Google Analytics). When using utm tags, you can track and analyze most traffic sources, but many advertisers either don’t know about their existence or use them incorrectly.
Let’s find out what utm tags are and how to properly mark up ad campaigns.
In order to spend your advertising budget as efficiently as possible, you need to understand:
- which ad campaign shows the highest conversion rate, depending on the type of placement: search or display?
- which ad platform and ad campaign is most effective?
- is there a difference in the effectiveness of ads placed in the “Special Placement” or “Guarantee” block?
- which banner in the e-mail newsletter (at the bottom or top of the page) led to the sale?
All this useful information can be tracked and analyzed using utm tags.
What do utm tags look like?
For example, when you go to a site from an ad in the Google search results, the link may look like this:
If you advertise in Yandex.Yandex. Direct, the link may look like this:
UTM tags can be mandatory (utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign) or optional (utm_term, utm_content).
Both Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrica understand utm markup, but they handle it differently — Analytics puts the content of tags into their respective fields (Source, Channel, Keyword, Campaign, Ad Content), while Yandex.Metrica forms a separate tree report (Sources -> UTM Tags).
- If you try to use placemarks by omitting one of the required parameters, then all other parameters passed during this transition will not be taken into account.
- When writing utm tags, use the Latin alphabet, because when using Cyrillic characters, there is a possibility of data distortion due to potential problems with encodings.
- Don’t use capital letters
- Separate words with underscores (
_) or dashes (
utm_source — traffic source. The tag transmits information about the advertising source that leads to your site from. The source of traffic can be anything — a search engine, a social network, an e-mail newsletter, a saved file, a mobile application, etc.
Since in Google Analytics, the content of the utm_source tag is included in the Sources report, it is most logical to use markup in this format and use the domain name (or a domain name with a truncated domain zone)as the value
utm_medium — traffic channel (contextual advertising, display advertising, email distribution). In most cases, the channel determines the type / format of the ad.
- utm_medium=cpc-contextual advertising
- utm_medium=email newsletter
utm_campaign — name of the campaign. Enter the transliterated or translated campaign name in this parameter.
The content of the parameter can be compiled “modularly”, collecting it from the hotel’s important campaign characteristics:
- Name of the product or service category
- Campaign type
- Advertising period
- utm_campaign=old_bikes – campaign with used bikes
- utm_campaign=novye_velosipedy-campaign with new bikes
- utm_campaign=novye_velosipedy_vesna_poisk-spring search campaign with new bikes
utm_term – parameter containing the campaign keyword. When you use this parameter, statistics will collect data for those keywords that you use to target your ad campaign (and not for search queries). In Google Ananlytics, the content of the utm_term tag is included in a single report with search queries.
When we see the entire list of user requests that they followed to the site, we can check whether the search query matches the keyword and identify non-targeted requests (which do not correspond to the site’s theme).
utm_content – campaign content. In practice, it is often used as a tag for the content of an ad or ad group within an ad campaign.
The content of the parameter can be compiled “modularly”, collecting it from the hotel important characteristics of ads\ad groups:
- Name of the sub-category of goods or services
- Ad Type
In Google Analytics, the content of the utm_content tag is included in the “Ad Content”field
- utm_content=red_bike_480x60 – 468×60 banner with a red bicycle
- utm_content=red_bike_text — text ad about the red bike
- utm_content=red_bike_240x600_gif — 240 x 600 gif banner with a red bicycle
The URL linker will help you generate links from the specified utm tags.
If you want to use utm tags in sitelinks in contextual advertising, and your site consists of only one landing page — you can use anchors to link to different parts of the page, such as #slide1, #slide2. In this case, utm tags are first added to the main url address, and only then the anchor is added to the end:
To pass additional data using utm tags we can use the function in Google Adwords ValueTrack, or function of the parameters of the ads in Yandex.Yandex. Direct.
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