What are UTM trackers?

21 Apr 21 | 15:03:44

As a Medical Device marketer, how do you prove which content is working? Accurate data is often hard to come by in marketing, or maybe not? Imagine if you had access to data that could tell you what content (a social media post, webinar, piece of literature or paid ad) generated traffic to your website and which didn’t. UTM tracking does exactly that and even better it’s simple to set up.

What are UTM’s are why are they so useful?

UTM’s provide clarity! A UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) is a short piece of code (tag) added to the end of any URL (the address of a website). It allows Google Analytics (or other analytics software) to report on the number of unique visitors to your website from a specific source (a post, website page, ad or your exhibition stand to name a few). This means you can accurately identify the impact that each piece of content is having on increasing traffic to your website. When UTMs are not used you just see the referrer (e.g. LinkedIn or Twitter), which lacks clarity for marketers and prevents strategic decisions about which new content should be created. You’re pretty much running blind.

Where can I use UTM tags?

UTM tags can be added to any URL that points from an external source to your website. Note: If you want to track activity within your website, you should use event trackers, not UTM tags (Click for more information). Here are some good examples where UTM tags can be used to better effect:
    • Social media posts & biographies
    • QR codes (we always recommend using dynamic codes if possible)
    • Email campaigns
    • Email signatures
    • Paid ads (journal banners & social media)
    • Virtual congress booths

What should I know about setting up UTM tags?

Setting up a UTM tag is simple, however managing them can be tricky if you don’t have the correct nomenclature in place. To explain this further it’s helpful to understand how UTM tags are built. A UTM tag has 5 parameters, however only 3 are needed when not involving paid advertising. These are: rn Source – The referrer’s location (Newsletter, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.) Campaign – How it will be sent out (email, organic or paid social media etc.) Name – The campaign (the name fo the newsletter or social media post etc.)

How do I set up a UTM tag?

UTM tags are set up using Google Analytics’ URL builder. Once on the site you complete the parameters and a UTM URL will appear at the bottom of the page. This should be copied and used in place of the normal UTM in your campaign.

Top tips for creating your UTM parameters

Be precise

If you create a UTM tag for a post and allocate the source as “social media” your data will be general (LinkedIn and Twitter etc) and you will limit the power of UTM tags. Make sure all parameters are specific, so they allow you to see which content is driving traffic to your website. rn

Be organised

The more UTM tags you create the more confusing it can be, especially if your codes and nomenclature system is not consistent and organised. At Podymos we use an excel table to monitor UTM tags. This is important as it allows us to easily analyse our results, saving time and ensuring accuracy. We have included a blank table below to help you manage your UTM tags, which you may find useful. Use lower case for all tags and without spaces. Using a consistent case (upper or lower) prevents you from creating two identical campaigns (such as “linkedin” and “LinkedIn”). Although this isn’t a big problem, it’s an annoyance as your reports will show replicating lines creating confusion during your analysis.

Shorten your UTM links

UTM tags are lengthy which can be unwieldy in your communications. Using Google Analytics’ URL builder or Bitly can be helpful in shortening them. If you are using Hootsuite to send out content, your UTM code will automatically be shortened with Owley (Hootsuite’s own URL shortener).

How to access the data your UTMs create

In order to start analysing your UTM data in google analytics, go to Acquisition > All traffic and then Source / Medium. This is where you will see your UTM trackers reported as source/medium. This is a snapshot of our google analytics’ dashboard showing 3 of our UTM tags.
crating a UTM link using data
To look further into your analytics and the performance of each campaign click on the ‘other’ drop-down menu and select campaign. This will then show you website visits by content.
Google analytics data used in UTMs

Become a UTM ninja, you won’t regret it!

If you are a Medical Device marketer in charge of content creation, UTM tags will allow you to understand your audience and what brings them to your website. This precise information results in well-informed decisions that increase the outcomes of your marketing efforts. Best of all they are simple to set up. About Podymos Podymos is a dedicated Medical Device marketing agency. We are passionate about sharing relevant knowledge to expand our clients’ capabilities. If you would like to find out more about what we do, you can visit our services page, or get in contact with us.  
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