Imagine this: you’re about to launch your digital marketing campaign and you expect a flood of traffic to come towards your website. In that situation, everything from email marketing to social media, advertising, and search results come to mind.
But, how can you measure the results of your campaigns and ensure that they’re successful?
This is where the Google URL Builder steps in – a tool that helps you gauge which campaigns are performing greatly, and which aren’t. If you want to monitor the traffic and conversions for any WordPress link on your website, Google’s URL Builder is the perfect tool for the job!
As a marketer, there are various ways to use the tool for campaign tracking. With this guide, we’ll take a deeper look into how we can use it to learn more about your prospects’ behavior and how you can convert them.
What Is the Campaign URL Builder and How Does It Work?
Google explains the Campaign URL Builder as:
“A tool that allows you to easily add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics.”.
It works by attaching UTM tracking parameters to one of your URLs, and turning it into a URL that you can track individually as a part of your marketing campaign.
In short, UTM parameters are tags that you add to the end of your URLs to analyze your marketing campaign. When people click on the URL with an appended UTM parameter, you’ll get insights for the channel that they used to open your page, as well as their interaction with it.
Here’s an example of a UTM parameter in a URL that appears after clicking a sponsored Facebook post:
The UTM parameters that you can append to your links are:
- Campaign Source: The platform on which you shared the trackable link, for example, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Gmail.
- Campaign Medium: The marketing medium that is relevant to the source. For example, if you use Google as a source, the medium can be AdWords.
- Campaign Name: You can name the campaign as you wish, for example, “Clients Email Newsletter”, “Lead Nurturing Campaign” etc.
- Campaign Term: A parameter that describes the term you bid on for your URL. For example, you might bid on the term “WordPress Multisite,” and consequently, “WordPress multisite” will be the UTM term.
- Campaign Content: A parameter that is used to specify the content of your ad promotion that led to the click. This is especially useful if you A/B test versions of your ads or pages.
The most significant parameters are Source and Medium. Source sets out the platform, such as Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn. The Medium determines the link-sharing (status, post, tweet, email).
If you enter your source and medium, the URL builder will automatically attach them to the adjusted URL.
Afterward, you just click on ‘Convert URL to Short Link’, and voila, you have your trackable URL.
Why You Should Use the Campaign URL Builder
With the Campaign URL builder, you’ll be able to monitor each marketing campaign individually in Google Analytics. If you don’t track your marketing campaigns separately, you won’t be able to determine what’s performing and what’s not.
This is particularly crucial for your paid promotions. If you’re already investing money in your campaigns, you should know whether you’re getting the highest ROI possible. For instance, your email analytics or social media reports will display the click-through rates, post impressions, and views. However, through stats such as impressions, you can’t see the entire picture of your marketing campaign.
Basically, you should use the Campaign URL Builder for the following:
- Organically-placed social media posts.
- Social media advertisements.
- Your own PDFs that are linked to your website.
- Any other channel that drives traffic to your website.
The Campaign URL Builder combined with Google Analytics will help you gauge which campaign brings in the most conversions and leads for your business.
How to Use Google’s Campaign URL Builder
To start using this tool, you need to add the UTM parameters in the URL Builder. Then you can open the URL Builder and first, enter the URL that you want to link to, and the values for each of the parameters that you want to analyze.
When you scroll down the page, you’ll notice the automatically generated campaign URL. Click on ‘Convert URL to Short Link’ or ‘Copy URL’.
Then, just paste the code into your social media updates. See this example for Twitter:
To track the results of your campaign with Google Analytics, open your account and go to Acquisition > Campaigns.
This is where each of your campaigns for your trackable URLs will be located, together with the statistics and conversion rates.
Keep an eye on trends and prioritize your campaigns according to the type of content people spend more time on.
Frequent Mistakes When Using UTM Parameters
Everyone can make a mistake using UTM parameters, and when you discover that you’ve made one, your entire campaign might already be a fiasco. The most frequent mistakes that you need to avoid when using UTM tags for your campaign URLs are:
Assigning “CPC” as Medium When You Run a Social Media Campaign
In Google Analytics, a “CPC” medium is a default Paid Search Channel. If you assign it for your social media campaign, the traffic that you’ll receive will be redirected to your Paid Search campaign. Examine if that’s the case with your social media campaigns and alter accordingly in the Channel Grouping settings.
Ignoring Case Sensitivity
When you tag your links, you need to use the same format. Otherwise, you’ll have segregated campaign reports in Google Analytics. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to use lowercase letters to help GA arrange your sessions correctly.
Confusing “utm_source” and “utm_medium”
The “utm_source” is the website that the link came from. For example, a source can be the domain:
utm_source=facebook.com, utm_source=linkedin.com, utm_source=twitter.com
The medium is the advertising platform that presents the source. For example:
utm_medium=affiliate, utm_medium=display, utm_medium=email, utm_medium=social, etc.
Failure to Shorten Long URLs
Extremely long URLs look messy and unprofessional. Not only does it look bad aesthetically speaking, but it also creates a sense of distrust and suspicion surrounding your website. Unkempt URLs with lots of characters and letters usually looks unsecure, which might turn your customers off. You can use the following link shorteners to keep your URLs organized:
Not Being Consistent With Spelling, Naming, and Capitalization
UTM tracking codes can be sensitive, and even the slightest error in spelling and capitalization can ruin your data. For example, instead of using “WordPress”, you should use the proper term, which is “WordPress”. This might look the same to you, but it makes a world of difference when it comes to UTM parameter tracking.
Make sure to double-check, as these small mistakes can make it difficult to compare and analyze the data. Let the marketing team know about this and advise them about this common mistake so it can be avoided in the future.
Best Practices for Using UTM Parameters
Before you unravel the power of the Campaign URL Builder, you need to keep in mind the following best practices for UTM parameters:
Use Google Analytics Correctly
When prospects click on your link, part of the code that is executed is the Google Analytics script. With that piece of code, you can discover how people get to your website by analyzing the referral URL.
You must obtain as much data as possible about web users that visit your website. Without UTM tags, Google Analytics will not be able to deliver detailed insights about the users that respond to your marketing campaign.
Don’t Use UTM Parameters for Internal Links
Every time a new visitor lands on your URL that has a UTM parameter attached to it, Google Analytics starts a brand new session. At that moment, GA presumes that you use UTMs only for external links and therefore readjusts the data for each session. Basically, when one individual user visits your website multiple times, every metric will be changed and reset each time.
Tag Only What You Need
If your Analytics account is connected to your Google Ads account and you’ve allowed auto-tagging, you don’t need to tag your destination URLs. Instead, Analytics automatically monitors all of your Google Ads campaigns. However, if you run paid search campaigns in search engines that are not Google, you’ll need to tag the destination URLs for those ads.
There are also links that you don’t need, or can’t tag at all. For example, you shouldn’t tag organic (unpaid) keyword links from search engines. Search engine names are automatically located and displayed in your reports. And again, you shouldn’t tag Google Ads URLs as long as you are using auto-tagging.
When using UTM parameters, it is important to stay consistent with every step. For example, if you want to send out a daily or weekly email newsletter, you should use the same format and naming convention to make your sorting and analysis easier.
UTMs are case-sensitive, so ‘linkedin’, ‘LinkedIn’, and ‘LINkediN’ will be tracked individually. That will result in disparate data about your LinkedIn campaign. Also, stay away from spaces when naming your UTM tags. An “organic linkedin” will become “organic20%linkedin” when people open the URL, and that looks and feels bad.
Use a Spreadsheet to Follow Your Progress
When you start using UTM parameters in your marketing campaign, you need to keep a clear track record. You need to make sure that everyone involved in the campaign is on the same page. For this purpose, you can use a spreadsheet to help you track the shortened and full URL, and all the individual UTM codes that you use in those URLs.
There you have it, we now hope you know how to use Google’s Campaign Builder with its custom UTM codes in your marketing campaign and its data analysis.
The UTM parameters provide you with the insight you need about your web traffic. In the process, you’ll uncover data about user behavior on your site, which in turn, will help you boost your sales, and the overall success of your marketing campaigns.