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Guide for UTM-tagging URLs

Apr 13, 2012
114
83
First Name
George
I take so much from the Dealer Refresh site, always want to make sure I'm sharing enough. I share the document below nearly every day with some new digital agency who can't seem to figure out how to properly UTM-tag campaign URLs.

Click here to download:
http://bit.ly/UTMinstructions

Feel free to use and share as needed, to help properly categorize traffic for default Google Analytics channels.

Most of the power users on DR already know this stuff inside and out, if you all find edits or suggestions for me, please share!
 
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Steve Seeley

Lot Lizard
Aug 15, 2018
8
2
First Name
Steve
Another thing that I still see going on is people using UTM codes directly on there internal website links. This will skew your data because if someone lands on your site from say organic and they click on that UTM link within your site, that users journey will now be counted towards that UTM source instead.
 
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Reactions: pschnell
Apr 13, 2012
114
83
First Name
George
Another thing that I still see going on is people using UTM codes directly on there internal website links. This will skew your data because if someone lands on your site from say organic and they click on that UTM link within your site, that users journey will now be counted towards that UTM source instead.
@Steve Seeley, great point! In addition, this bad practice also causes a number of other issues as well, including:

1. Creates another session in Google Analytics, overstating and muddying your results.
2. Attribution is fouled up because the initial traffic source is lost. In tracking conversions, the "internal campaign" will be attributed.
3. Bounce rates rises as first session (prior to clicking on internal UTM link) will count as bounce.
 
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Reactions: pschnell
Mar 21, 2012
328
371
First Name
Ryan
Another thing that I still see going on is people using UTM codes directly on there internal website links. This will skew your data because if someone lands on your site from say organic and they click on that UTM link within your site, that users journey will now be counted towards that UTM source instead.
What's crazy is there were some pretty big vendors doing this on dealership websites and surprisingly they aggressively defended the practice when they were called out for it
 
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Reactions: pschnell

ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
220
215
First Name
Christian
Thanks @georgenenni - the community appreciates your support and knowledge.

Anyone using the Google UTM builder on a frequent basis? Any additional pointers or ideas?
Part of my laptop start up routine is to open the UTM builder. I have a list of parameters that I use for different areas, so my Analytics account will display traffic the way I want. Works pretty nice, saves the last URL I had in there, which makes it nice when I am building links to send out of CRM, so I will put:

Campaign Source: Email
Campaign Medium: date-{FirstInitialLastName}
Campaign Name: CRM

For social:
Campaign Source: {SocialChannel}
Campaign Medium: date-{PostDesc}
Campaign Name: Social

So on, and so forth.
 
Apr 13, 2012
114
83
First Name
George
Part of my laptop start up routine is to open the UTM builder. I have a list of parameters that I use for different areas, so my Analytics account will display traffic the way I want. Works pretty nice, saves the last URL I had in there, which makes it nice when I am building links to send out of CRM, so I will put:

Campaign Source: Email
Campaign Medium: date-{FirstInitialLastName}
Campaign Name: CRM

For social:
Campaign Source: {SocialChannel}
Campaign Medium: date-{PostDesc}
Campaign Name: Social

So on, and so forth.
@ChrisR the "Mediums" you are using above are not valid, and will throw your traffic into the Other Channel in Google Analytics. Please reference the guide I offer above, this follows the Google (and other) standards to make sure traffic properly categorizes. For Email, the Medium should be "email" (all lowercase). For Social, your Medium should be "social" or "social-network" or "social media" or "sm" etc. If you want to indicate the campaign date, just append this to the campaign name. Of all of the fields in UTMs, the one you do not have flexibility (if you want to flow into default channels) is Medium.
 
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Reactions: joe.pistell

ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
220
215
First Name
Christian
@ChrisR the "Mediums" you are using above are not valid, and will throw your traffic into the Other Channel in Google Analytics. Please reference the guide I offer above, this follows the Google (and other) standards to make sure traffic properly categorizes. For Email, the Medium should be "email" (all lowercase). For Social, your Medium should be "social" or "social-network" or "social media" or "sm" etc. If you want to indicate the campaign date, just append this to the campaign name. Of all of the fields in UTMs, the one you do not have flexibility (if you want to flow into default channels) is Medium.
Appreciate it! I have been doing it this way for years. Will change it up, so I can get better data.
 

Alexander Lau

Under the Bridge
Feb 11, 2015
2,439
736
First Name
Alex
Make sure you auto-tag your Google Ads as well. I've found this to be missing in plenty of dealer Adwords / Ads accounts (along with the lack of Analytics having connection) = don't trust your agency to do it for you, they rarely care.

Granted, the ?gclid=123xyz id's are going to stop being passed to 3rd party attribution companies (have fun with that, if you depend on an auto attribution tool).

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033981?hl=en
https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2938246?hl=en